Olivia Been’s large-scale installation will be featured in the gallery space On the Wall. The artist is presenting an installation comprised of a painted scroll with collaged photographs and text. The work is an homage to the artist’s mother. Beens painted the scroll on an Amtrak train trip from New York to Arizona to her mother’s side following a fall. The handwriting, text, and the photographs are all from her mother and link the artist’s life to her mother’s past. The entire installation reveals the artist’s memory of her mother.
Sculptor/educator Olivia Beens, born in 1948 in Holland of Czech and Dutch parents, lived in Portugal until age 7. After receiving a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1977 and an MFA from Hunter College in 1982, she moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan where she still lives and works. During the 1980’s, she exhibited installation and performance work in many alternative art galleries including Franklin Furnace, ABC No Rio, PS 122 and was a member of artists groups such as Colab, PADD, and other political art groups. In 2014 and 2015, she was an Artist In Residence (SPARC) at Sirovich Senior Center and completed a series of ceramic murals that are permanently installed in the grand auditorium. She has taught through many arts organizations, worked for the New York City Department of Education, Brooklyn College and Pratt Institute. Beens has received commissions for public art works through Public Art for Public School and has been awarded a New York State Council on the Arts fellowship, as well as residencies to the Mac Dowell colony for the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Hambidge Center and received a Fulbright-Hayes fellowship to Turkey, and traveled to India and Portugal with grants.