Paintings by Emilia Olson
June 23, 2019 to August 17, 2019
Emilia Olson is native to, and a current resident of, Montpelier. She graduated from Montpelier High School in 1997 and from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) and Tufts University in 2002. After graduation, she settled back in Montpelier where she runs an interior painting business.
Emilia studied oil painting at SMFA and worked as an apprentice to a mural painter while living in Boston. She has painted several commissioned murals, in both public and private spaces, including a mural in 2002 for Kellogg Hubbard Library in Montpelier, and a mural in 2010 for the Cancer Treatment Center at CVMC. Several retail stores and private residences have also commissioned her mural work.
I have not had a studio practice in 17 years. After graduating from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) in 2002, I intended to continue my studio painting while working, but the balance never happened. My boyfriend at the time built a plywood box in my parent’s house to store my paintings from SMFA. It soon came to represent the end of my painting practice.
When I was approached to make new work for this exhibition, I initially declined. I had no new work and did not want to exhibit old paintings. I was no longer that painter. The invitation did prompt me, however, to think about why I was not creating new work and what it would look like if I were. But, every thought of new work filled me with dread and heaviness because my mind returned to The Box, and my old paintings.
In order to make new work, I needed to examine my old work—directly and literally. I pulled paintings out of The Box, and they became my raw materials.
The initial layers of paint on each panel are from 2002 or earlier. I layered additional paint on the panels before sanding and waxing each piece. Some paintings are cut and reconfigured as a departure from the two dimensional format. I tried to approach each painting with curiosity and without judgment. I focused on finding a composition and surface in each that I enjoyed and wanted to build on.
Many thanks to my partner, Jacob Rogen. His loving support, along with framing and construction, helped make my vision a reality. And thank you, Maureen, for making this show possible.
THE GALLERY at Central Vermont Medical Center is located in the lobby of the hospital and is open every day. For more information about THE GALLERY at CVMC please email Maureen O’Connor Burgess, Curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.