Erin Oliver

Studio & Gallery

Lititz, PA

Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.


Artist's Biography

Erin Oliver is an artist and educator currently residing in Lititz, PA. Oliver has received several grants and residency fellowships including the Vermont Studio Center, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Residency, the Ella Foundation Pratt Emerging Artist Grant, and the Gasparilla Emerging Artist Award, juried by Paul Galloway from MOMA. Her paintings and installation work has been exhibited along the East coast including Tempus Projects in Tampa, FL, Carrack Modern Art in Durham, NC, UNC Asheville, NC, Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art in Greensboro, NC, and USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, FL. She received her MFA from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL and holds an Art Education degree from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

Artist's Statement

My multi-disciplinary practice investigates ideas about abstraction and artifice, cyclical processes, and visuospatial awareness by constructing layered sculptural installations with ephemeral materials. The installation environments evoke natural and imagined worlds that explore the boundaries between science, metaphysics, movement, and healing.

My latest body of work uses tunnel book structures as a jumping off point for exploring layered spaces through flat materials, primarily paper, to create depth and optical environments that expand into physical space. I experiment with light, color, and shadows to project replicated forms and make these spaces more complex. The materials serve as objects as well as screens, distorting the sense of light and space, and notions of real, constructed, and imagined. The cut outs generate negative shapes that become areas for bodies as well as light to pass through, projecting shadows, repeating shapes, and perpetuating abstraction of the forms and spaces within the whole.

Through an intuitive making process, I respond to the landscape and use abstraction to deconstruct natural imagery through drawing, cutting, layering, and suspending ephemeral materials in space. The environments I construct become surrogate landscapes, acting as portals to transport the viewer to enchanting fantasy worlds. I conjure abstracted biomorphic forms from nature, such as plant life and wave patterns, to evoke calming biological responses. These encounters aim to facilitate a sense of presence and connection to the surrounding environment as a reflection of ourselves. By combining sensory input from my surroundings with contextual knowledge and imagined realities, I traverse a sense of place theoretically and experientially to question and explore our experience of space, both its limitations and its possibilities.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo and Two-Person
Night Swim, Carolyn Wilson Gallery, Tampa, FL
With Jenal Dolson

Shadowboxing, The Box, Tampa, FL

Marks of Clarity, Block Gallery, Raleigh, NC
With Kiki Farish

New Death, Old Growth, Room 100 Gallery, Durham Art Guild, Durham, NC

Grey Area, Nicholson Gallery, ArtsCenter, Carrboro, NC
With Constance Pappalardo

Site-specific installation, Artspace, Raleigh, NC

Double Capture, Carrack Modern Art, Durham, NC

Fragile, Off the Radar Series, Goldenbelt Studios, Durham, NC
With Zoe Sasson
Curator: Heather Gordon

Hager Smith Design, Raleigh, NC

13th Annual International Drawing Discourse Exhibition, S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, UNC Asheville, Asheville, NC
Juror: Catherine Murphy, Artist/Tepper Chair at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University

Out to Pasture, USF Contemporary Art Museum (USF CAM), Tampa, FL

But when you come from water, The Chapter House, online exhibition

Fang Bang III, Parallelogram Gallery, Tampa, FL

Dark and Full of Flowers: Secundo Sunistra, Tempus Projects, Tampa, FL Curator: Johanna Robotham, Curator of Contemporary Art, Tampa Museum of Art

Winter Show, Greenhill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC

Monster Drawing Rally, NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Site Specific Installation, Centers + Edges, TEDxDurham, Durham, NC

Reflection Gallery, Wake Med Cary Hospital, Cary, NC

Goldenbelt Artists Group Show, Theatre Art Galleries, High Point, NC

Abstract and Contemporary Forum Exhibit, MJH Gallery, United Arts Council, Raleigh, NC

RECAP, Carrack Modern Art, Durham, NC

Berserk, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
Juror: Chris Vitiello, Chief Arts Contributor, Indy Weekly

Dyn-O-Mite Art Auction, Mercury Studios, Durham, NC
Event Collaborator and Exhibiting Artist

The End is Over, Three Person Exhibition, Winmore Studio, Chapel Hill, NC

Scapes, Durham Art Guild, Durham, NC
Juror: Jennifer Dasal, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, NCMA, Raleigh, NC

Unfettered, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
Juror: Katharine Adkins, Assistant Curator, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC

Contemporary South, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
Juror: Noelie Rice, Curatorial Assistant, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC

Community Color Gala and Art Auction, Carrack Modern Art, Durham, NC

Dimensions, Associated Artists, Winston-Salem, NC
Juror: Jerald Melberg, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC

PoPuP Benefit, Carrack Modern Art, Durham, NC

Cove artist, Lebanon Frame and Gallery, Lebanon, PA

Spring Show, Davidson County Community College, Lexington, NC

Annual New Works, Jacksonville Center, Floyd, VA

Artist's Bibliography

13th Annual Drawing Discourse Exhibition Catalogue, January

West, SK, “Putting the cartography before the horse: Art and our environment,” Out to Pasture Exhibition Catalogue, April

Artist Block Video Series: Erin Oliver, BlockGallery, Raleigh, August 3

Cockrell, Caroline, “Connect with Erin Oliver and New Death, Old Growth,” ArtsNow NC, March 21

Vitiello, Chris, “Tableau Vivant: Beat the heat in the coolest museum and gallery shows this summer,” Indy Weekly, May 27

Mandel, Aaron, “Erin Oliver Double Capture opens at the Carrack,” Clarion Content, June 4

Vitiello, Chris, New and old galleries adapt to a shifting landscape,” Indy Weekly, August 27

DeBlase, Shelley, “Combining Nature with the Ethereal,” Au Courant Magazine, October

Professional Experience

Yocum Institute for Arts Education, Sinking Springs, PA
Teaching Artist, January 2022 - Present

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Instructor of Record, Beginning Drawing, August 2020 – May 2021
Instructor of Record, Beginning Sculpture, January 2020 – May 2020
Treasurer, MFA Organization, January 2019 –May 2021

Hope Ginsberg, Performance Volunteer, Land Dive Team: Tarpon Springs, Sponge Exchange, Tarpon Springs, FL

Gallery Preparator/Coordinator, Carolyn Wilson Gallery, Tampa, FL

Longleaf School of the Arts, Raleigh, NC
High School Visual Arts Teacher, January 2017 – June 2018

Heather Gordon, Assistant, Cinnabar, Tape Installation Project for You Are Here Exhibition, NCMA, Raleigh, NC

Heather Gordon, Assistant, And then the sun swallowed me, Tape Installation Project, CAM Raleigh, NC

Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC
Teaching Artist, Docent, September 2013 –October 2016

The Arts Center, Carrboro, NC
Teaching Artist, June 2013 – December 2016

Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC
Teaching Artist, November 2015 – December 2016

Patrick Dougherty, Stickwork Volunteer, Durham Museum of Life and Science; Hillsborough Arts Council Riverwalk

Durham Civil Rights Mural Project Volunteer, Durham, NC

Preparators Volunteer Installation Committee, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC

Lakewood Montessori Middle School, Durham, NC
Middle School Art Teacher, August 2011 -June 2012

Patrick County School District, Stuart, VA
Secondary Art Teacher, August 2010 - June 2011
Elementary Art Teacher, August 2008 - June 2010

Hillside High School, Durham, NC
Secondary Art/Photography Teacher, October 2007 –June 2008

Lectures & Workshops

Virtual Visiting Artist Lecture: Drawing Discourse, UNC Asheville, Asheville, NC

Nasher Teens: Hanging Mylar Sculpture Workshop, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC

Visiting Artist, Physics and Kinetic Sculpture Lecture, Research Triangle High School, RTP, NC

Nasher Creates: Sculpture Workshop, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC

Pecha Kucha Presentation, Greenhill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC

Visiting Artist, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC

Visiting Artist, Physics and Kinetic Sculpture Lecture, Research Triangle High School, RTP, NC

Teaching Artist, Sketching in the Galleries, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC

NasherTeens: Paper Installation Workshop, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC

Artist Talk, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT

Artist Talk, Carrack Modern Art, Durham, NC

Teaching Artist, Sketching in the Galleries, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC

Awards & Honors

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts Residency, Nebraska City, NE

Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Residency, Rockland, ME

Gasparilla Emerging Artist Award, Tampa, FL
Juror: Paul Galloway, Collection Specialist, MoMA, NYC

Playa Residency, Climate Change Themed Residency, Summer Lake, OR

David & Pat Nevin Scholarship, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC

Ella Foundation PrattEmerging Artist Grant, Durham, NC

Vermont Studio Center, Full Fellowship, Johnson, VT

Goldenbelt Studios Residency, Durham, NC


University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
MFA, Studio Art

Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
BS, Art Education
Magna Cum Laude