Lexington, Virginia • January 5, 2010
The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., is pleased to present the solo exhibition "Inside Out," paintings by Kathleen Olson. The exhibition will show through June 30, 2010, in the Williams Gallery, Huntley Hall.
Olson has had numerous one-person exhibitions and her work has been exhibited widely in regional and national exhibitions. In 2007 and 2005 she had solo exhibitions at the Accademia dell' Arte in Arezzo, Italy.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including a Hewlett-Mellon Fellowship; the Ford Foundation Grant; Artist in Residence, The National Centre Frans Masereel, Kasterlee, Belgium; and Visiting Fellow, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has also received many Glenn Grants from Washington and Lee University for Faculty Development, allowing her to paint in the South of France, Greece and Italy.
Olson's paintings have dealt with an interior/exterior theme for some time, with strong emphasis on light, color and pattern. Windows and doorways reappear in her paintings, as a means of passing from one space to another and as a device for incorporating various dimensions of time and place.
In her painting Olson strives to balance her gestural brush stroke with formal structuring, resulting in a sense of ordered chaos. Her current work features landscapes and interior/exteriors from her travels to Italy.
Olson taught painting and drawing in Louisiana for four years before joining the faculty at Washington and Lee University in 1987. She is currently a full professor, teaching all levels of drawing and painting.
Olson received her bachelor of arts degree in 1979 from the University of California at Berkeley where she studied with the renowned painters, Elmer Bischoff and Joan Brown. She spent a year in the graduate program at Pratt Institute in New York before joining the master of fine arts program at Yale University, where she received her master of fine arts in painting in 1983.