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 Brooklyn-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 holds an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University.
Her work has been exhibited nationally, most recently in a solo public art installation at the Garment District Alliance's Space for Public Art (New York, NY). Additional solo exhibitions includeEarlville Opera House (Earlville, NY), Ground Floor Contemporary (Birmingham, AL), Sean Christopher Gallery (Columbus, OH), and Tucker Cooke Gallery (Asheville, NC). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, Artist Equity Gallery, and The Yard, among others.
She has been an artist in residence with Chashama (ChaNorth), and named an Emerging Leader by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). As a reviewer, 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, Rhode Island School of Art and Design, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, and Columbia University, among others. She currently serves as a Program Officer, Career Advice and Training at NYFA, where she manages professional development programs for artists nationally.