Artist Statement Kelly Olshan’s work responds to the idealism and anxiety of endless striving, grappling with a relentless fixation on a better elsewhere. Her 3D paintings and site-responsive installations invite the viewer to navigate an imagined landscape. Abstracted staircases defy spatial logic: rendered impossible to climb, they provide false pathways to an inaccessible place. Disjointed but interconnected, these structures weave through imagined skyscapes, waterscapes, and distant horizons that never arrive.
Kelly Olshan is a NYC-based visual artist and arts manager. She graduated Valedictorian from UNC Asheville with a BFA in painting, where her work is part of the University's permanent collection, and went on to receive her MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University. Her work has been exhibited nationally, most recently in a NYC solo and debut public art installation, Traverse, at the Garment District Alliance's Space for Public Art. Additional solo exhibitions include Portals at Ground Floor Contemporary (Birmingham, AL), Reimagined Landscapes at Sean Christopher Gallery (Columbus, OH), and Perpetual Pursuit: Painting the Unattainable at Tucker Cooke Gallery (Asheville, NC). Group exhibitions in NYC include Artist Equity Gallery, Gallery Arte Azulejo, The Yard, and Yashar Gallery, among others. This year, she will be an Artist in Residence at ChaNorth. In 2019, she was named an Emerging Leader by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). She serves as a frequent panelist for NYC Percent for Art Program, and on the NYC DOT Public Art Advisory Committee. She has given artist talks and guest lectures at School of Visual Arts (SVA), Rhode Island School of Art and Design (RISD), Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, Columbia University, among others.