about the artist
OLIVIA JANNA, MFA
The importance of process, play, and experience are the components that inform my work today. In my paintings “Finding My Voice” I confront loss, unknown desires, motherhood and fear.
The tools I use today I learned from my education and experience. The importance of process I learned as a child when at play. I studied illustration, textile design and painting in college at Rhode Island School of Design. Illustration incorporated my strong drawing hand, while textiles taught me about pattern and color. Painting is a world of complete freedom, bound to the rigors of compositional laws but is not defined by any rules. Painting is a blank canvas for storytelling.
While completing an MFA program at Lesley University College of Art and Design, curiosity lead me to investigate the formal relationship between play and creativity. I developed interactive installations using constructive and deconstructive building materials. This body of work engaged children and adults alike in controlled risk behavior—in other words, play.
Today I tell stories. I make paintings that combine childhood memories with adult behaviors. The work investigates the relationships in the past in a playful and serious manor. My strengths, drawing, pattern, and color, are incorporated with my love for story telling.
1986 , BFA, Rhode Island School of Design
2005, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2014 MFA, Lesley University College of Art and Design, Art institute of Boston
2008-2010, Teacher, Open Art Room
2011-2013, Director, Superheroes
2011, Stepping Stones, AVA Gallery, Lebanon, NH