Art in a Wright Space


Visit the Park Inn's skylight room lobby to see an exceptional exhibit: Joseph Nelson's sculptural chairs, directly inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's design principles. Made from the finest Midwestern woods and shaped into intriguing geometric forms, these chairs aren't just furniture—they're pieces of art that echo the natural world. Set within the Park Inn's historic setting, the chairs offer a unique blend of form, function, and artistry for all to enjoy.

Joseph Nelson, also known as Joey, has crafted a triptych of sculptural chairs that embody the essence of art, craftsmanship, and the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright. These chairs, reminiscent of abstract tree structures, are handcrafted from native Midwestern woods such as walnut, cherry, hickory, and maple, and are composed of geometric shapes. The design features trapezoidal planes extending from a central spine, which is a nod to Wright's envisioned mile-high skyscraper. Adorned with playful circles that might echo Wright's designs for Midway Gardens or the iconic windows of the Coonley Playhouse, they also suggest the sacred symbolism of a Japanese moon. The chairs also incorporate musical elements, with fret-like triangles that rhythmically suggest a harmonic chord or the notes of a Western musical scale, a concept that Wright himself compared to the composition of his architectural work. These pieces can be interpreted as homages to Wright or simply enjoyed as exquisite handcrafted sculptures that also function as chairs. Nelson encourages observers to relax and reflect on the beauty of nature through these chairs. A native of Ames, IA, Joey currently lives and works in Waukesha, WI, with his wife Jennifer and their son Isaac.

More of his work can be seen on his website