Miriam “Mimi” Nelson is largely self-taught. She is a psychotherapist who always wanted to sculpt. In her early years, she could not afford the money for lessons and in later years there was no time.
She ran a counseling center in Miami with her husband as well as teaching at Miami-Dade Community College and Miami University Medical School where she taught the use of hypnosis for various medical modalities.
She led a busy life but the urge to sculpt would not be quiet. When she saw that the Museum school at the Museum of Art in Coral Gables was starting a class in stone sculptures in January of 1982, she signed up and in a few years, was exhibiting in galleries in and around Miami.
However, polished stone is quite seductive and people cannot resist touching it - often with their rings and wrist watches, thus necessitating hours of re-sanding and repolishing.
So, she started working in bronze, but a need to work ever-larger pieces led to working in steel and aluminum.
In 1989, she moved back to the northeast to Sherman, Connecticut and start using Peter Versteeg as her fabricator. Over the years, newspapers and some magazines have featured articles about her and her work.
Her daughter refers to her as the “Grandma Moses of Metal,” an apt name for a lady of her age.