ARTIST STATEMENT

As I value the beauty, mystery and sanctity of the natural world intensely, I also fear for the health and future of that world as our planet continues to suffer from climate change and an oppressive human footprint. Through my perspective, I bring attention to the foreboding presence man has on these sacred natural spaces. If we slow down enough to find it, every aspect of the natural world has a unique language. Within my paintings, I seek out those non-human languages and fuse them with my own, thereby imagining a surreal new world, one in chaos, pain and movement, but also one that embodies the wonder and ethereal qualities that still exist.

It is second nature to let flowers speak for us, for love or grief. Artists have drawn on the language of nature for centuries, whether it is expressed through a poem, a painting or a dance. Trees sway, wind whistles, whirling leaves are harbingers for change. Stormy seas remind man of his powerlessness. Mountains loom and conjure the majestic and symbolize goals conquered, and those that are insurmountable.

After the death of my beloved sister Anne, I threw funeral flowers onto the surface of our pond, I was so weary of grief reminders. As I saw them floating, the moment crystallized as a symbol of her beauty and fragility. As they slowly sank, it was a mirror of her struggles to stay afloat. The language of nature pierced my soul that day, and continues to speak to me as I in turn, speak for nature through my paintings.

Artist Lil Olive

EXHIBITIONS

2021 New Works, Solo Exhibition, Obelisk Home Art Gallery, Springfield, Mo.
2019 Earth Melancholia, Solo Exhibition, Obelisk Home Art Gallery, Springfield, Mo.
2018 Inspiration: A National Juried Exhibition Exploring Creative Expresssion, Webster Arts Center, Webster University, St. Louis, Mo.
2018 It’s Not Natural, two-person exhibition, Bookmarx Bookstore, Springfield, Mo.
2017 Reflections and Other Water Offerings, Solo Exhibition, Obelisk Home Art Gallery, Springfield, Mo.
2016 Spiva Invitational Group Show, Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin, Mo.
2014 New Works, Solo Exhibition, Good Girl Art Gallery, Springfield, Mo.
2013 Tribute to Rose O’Neil, Group Show, Rose O’Neil House, Drury University, Springfield, Mo.
2010 Open Doors Invitational, Group Show, Creamery Arts Center, Springfield, Mo.
2005 Get Your Heart On, Valentine Group Show, Good Girl Art Gallery, Springfield, Mo.
2006 Photo Spiva National Juried Competition, Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin, Mo.
2004 Keep Off the Grass, Two-Person Show, Good Girl Art Gallery, Springfield, Mo.
2003 Eating Disorder Awareness, Group Show, Missouri State University, Springfield, Mo.
2002 Still Lives and Real and Imagined Two Person Show, Carthage Art Central, Carthage, Mo.
2000 Photo Spiva, National Competition, Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin, Mo.
1997 Two Person Show, Iron Horse Restaurant, Springfield, Mo.
1998 Silos and Minarets, Solo Exhibition, Mud House Coffee Shop, Springfield, Mo.
1997 Mannequins on Main Street, Solo Exhibition, Kassab’s Store, Joplin, Mo.

Public Collections
Orthopedic Specialists of Springfield, Springfield, Mo.
Rose O’Neil House, Drury University, Springfield, Mo.
Mercy Hospital, Springfield, Mo.

Public Commissions
Two Murals, Discovery Center Children’s Museum, Springfield Mo.

Illustrations
The Art and Science of Chocolate, Event Poster, Discovery Center Children’s Museum, Springfield, Mo.
Album Cover, Frog Daddy Band

Publications
2019 Salann Magazine Artist Feature
2017 Reflections and Other Water Offerings
The Poetry and Painting of Lil Olive, Lulu Press

Awards
2014 Patron’s Choice Painting Award, 1st Place
Spiva Art Center Charity Ball

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