Gallery 126 Linda Olson "untitled plethora" Exhibit

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Linda Olson

Dawson Community College Gallery 126 is pleased to present "Linda A. Olson, M.F.A. untitled plethora" celadon vessels, serigraphs, and rock art documentation in photographs and drawings by Linda Olson on exhibit from February 8 - March 15. The Opening will take place on Friday, February 8 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., Olson will give a presentation "Rock Art as a Writing System" which explores a selection of the North American rock art she has investigated and documented over the past twenty years.  As always, everyone is welcome to come meet the artist, enjoy the artwork, conversation, and refreshments.

On Saturday, February 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. there will be a "Screen Printing Workshop" with Olson. For more information on this workshop go to

As a young girl growing up in central North Dakota, Linda Olson paid attention to the terrain. Rocks and prairie grass were part of the everyday landscape. Olson's love of rock art became her primary research focus after taking a course at the University of North Dakota. She learned about the field of rock art research.  Since then, she has traveled the United States and beyond pursuing her passion for ancient rock art in canyons, caves, deserts - wherever petroglyphs are found. Olson has spent the last 20 years providing a definitive, artistic record of petroglyphs created by people on rock surfaces and investigating sites, primarily in Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana and Colorado. In May 2012, she found herself in Peru, a land of bold colors and ancient architecture, and took advantage of the opportunity to investigate one of Peru's most famous rock art sites, the Nazca Lines. This exhibit includes a sampling of photographs, drawings and documentation of North American rock art.

Olson has found visual expression in many mediums.  Also, included in this exhibition is a series of serigraph prints inspired by the petroglyphs she studies, as well as some of her current work as a ceramic artist exploring an investigation of celadon and other iron bearing glazes on functional ceramic ware.

Olson explains, "Celadon is a Western designation for a high-fired green glazed ware that originated in China, but later was celebrated and created throughout Asia, and eventually, the rest of the world. The color is produced with a feldspathic glaze with weak iron oxide colorations in a reduction firing. Literally, celadon translates as green, and the color ranges from yellow to grey-green to olive to blue or blue-green depending on the concentration of the iron oxide colorant and the firing conditions. Bluer celadons are harder to achieve. Extremely slow cooling is required to produce more blue-green colors. A true celadon will develop a distinct crackle pattern that will darken with use."

Olson adds, "As an artist I have no desire to make identical, production ware. Manufacturers have filled our lives with identical, lifeless, functional ceramic ware that provides the user with no connection to the maker. For this exhibition, and in my latest series of ceramics, I have focused on making things that people have requested, things that my family, friends and others will enjoy using. Rather, I prefer to investigate problems that I set for myself and remain open to the alternatives a work might itself suggest. I prefer an unselfconscious drip of glaze to a highly contrived decoration, the softening of a form as you remove it from the wheel, or the mark left by an errant tool."

Olson earned a MA from the University of Montana in 1987 and a MFA from the University of North Dakota in 1990. Her bachelor's degree, with majors in art, English and psychology, is from Minot State University. Professor Olson currently teaches ceramics at Minot State University, where she has taught since 1990 -courses in photography, printmaking, three-dimensional design, crafts, ceramics, sculpture, art teaching methods, professional practices for the visual artist and visual arts seminars. She is a member of the graduate faculty. Olson is Chair of the Division of Humanities at MSU, Director of the Northwest Art Center and Director of the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. Olson has received awards and fellowships for her artworks which have been included in juried exhibitions nationally, and in galleries regionally throughout North Dakota, in Minnesota and Montana, and internationally. Olson has work in a number of public collections including the Slovenian Embassy in Washington, DC; Skien, Norway Art Center; the University of North Dakota; North Dakota State University PEARS Collection; and Minot State University, as well as many private collections. Olson is, also, well known for her rock art documentation, and several of her artworks have been included in publications.

"Gallery 126" hours are Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., evenings Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 6:30 - 9 p.m. Located in room 126 next to the library.

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