Elton’s practice generates sensory experiences that forge deep connections with the natural world. The work responds to specific places, informing durational relationships to land. Through fieldwork and experimental research, she looks at the stories embedded in soil, shifting ecologies, human impacts, and how communities inhabit specific places through their traditional knowledge. This process-driven practice manifests as an expansive body of sculptures, scents, collections, crops, dinners, performances, and even food systems that range from solitary daily tasks to large civic engagements.
From 2008-2015, Elton co-operated Jubilee Farm in Chimayo, a rural village in Northern New Mexico. There she maintained a studio in the oldest plaza in the U.S., a historic building made from adobe bricks. Committed to exploring place, her work today engages community through land reclamation, as native seed saving initiatives, farm and art education programs, and food production. Merging the everyday tasks of land-base living with a studio art sensibility, she creates opportunities to experience the natural world through physical labor, through slowness, and through the senses.
Elton earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has shown her work internationally and nationally including Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India; 5 x 5, Washington, DC; Kingston Sculpture Biennale, Kingston, NY and Phillips De Purry & Co., NY. She has received awards from Joan Mitchell Foundation, Santa Fe Art Institute, and NYFA. She has been a fellow at Ucross Foundation, WY and artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center, VT; Oak Spring Garden Foundation,VA; Catwalk Institute, NY; Byrdcliffe, NY; Olana, NY and Santa Fe Art Institute, NM amongst others. Elton grew up in New York's Hudson Valley, NY where she now lives.
Elton was a visiting artist at Bennington in 2016 and 2020, and returns as a visiting faculty member for Fall 2022.