Revelation of Process
Year of production:2009
Running Time: 8:37 min
Director/Producer: Austin Nelson
Part of a documentary made for Contemporary Charleston at The City Gallery opening May 15, 2009. Featuring music by Clay Ross and Talkdemonic.
February 2016 Cover Imgage
Artwork for Lowcountry Tides, Essay by Michel Smoak Stone
Podcast Interview by Antrese Wood.
February 26, 2015
Darlington, Abigail. Local Artist dubbed Coastal Community Foundation's Artist of the Year. Charleston Scene October 21, 2015
Karin Olah, a local artist whose paintings of Lowcountry scenery often incorporate textured fabrics, has been dubbed Coastal Community Foundation’s 2015 Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year.
To celebrate the occasion, a reception will be at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, where Olah will display new works in an exhibit titled “Finding Harbor.”
Olah spoke with the Charleston Scene about the award and her background as a local artist.
Q: How long have you been an artist in Charleston?
A: I moved to Charleston in 2003 with a station wagon full of fabric, art supplies, a cat and a surfboard.
Prequel to that day: I grew up in Lititz, Pennsylvania, a tiny historic town in Amish and Mennonite quilting country.
I learned to appreciate quilts and began sewing and collecting fabric as a young girl. I went to art school in Baltimore (Maryland Institute College of Art) where I studied painting, printmaking and fiber art.
The day after graduation in 1999, I moved to New York City...
Coastal Isles Magazine
Paskevich, Michael. The Art of Found Objects. Coastal Isles February 28, 2013
Karin Olah is on the phone, not from Charleston where her fiber art collages first drew notice but from a small town in Colorado where she's on working sabbatical with her husband, a solar power expert, their newborn daughter and a dog named Joby. She's just back from a family trek along mountain streams that could provide further inspiration, however she's gently adamant that Charleston remains home and the source of her artistic illumination. Olah became an emerging Charleston artist as she refined a process she calls "fabric-collage-paintings," often employing "retired" fabrics to highlight her paintings. She's won awards, been the source of magazine profiles and has been showing her singular works throughout the South including Charleston's Corrigan Gallery. She's preparing for an upcoming show in Pennsylvania and continues to work on new abstracts and fiber/painted pairings while tending to an expanding family out West. She sounds focused and content, and while Olah remains uncertain about when she'll return to Charleston, she maintains it's just a matter of time.
Shankland, Darcy. Editors's Picks: Visual Arts, by Charleston Magazine's Editor-in-chief Charleston Magzine August 2011
This month, mixed-media artist Karin Olah is leaving the Lowcountry for Boulder, Colorado. To say farewell, SCOOP Studios is hosting "Unwound and Bound," showing some 20 of her latest works from August 5 to 27. While all are created using her signature layering of textiles with gouache, acrylic, and graphite, half of the pieces were directly inspired by the plant world. "In this series, I express the petals of magnolia and orchid blossoms with silk and cotton and patchwork imaginary bouquets," she says. In the other half, "I let the organic shapes learned from my first series transform into abstract studies." View the fresh creations during the August 5 opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m.
Charleston City Paper
Jackson Curran, Erica. Fiber artist Karin Olah presents her final Lowcountry show. Olah Says Adios. Charleston City Paper July 27, 2011
Karin Olah has just a few weeks left in her cheerful, fabric-filled studio at the Redux Contemporary Art Center. For the last hour, she's been standing over a canvas topped with layers of fabric shapes, rearranging them until they seem just right. "I just make it up as I go," she says of her art. "It's fun playing with intuition and moving all the shapes around. I've been moving shapes around on this unfinished piece deciding if the highlights are going to be right. It's funny to find highlights on an object that doesn't exist." Since moving to Charleston in 2003, Olah has developed a unique brand of fiber art that combines printmaking, quilt-making, collage-work, and painting. Over the years she's refined her process, creating various series inspired by the shapes and colors of Charleston. At the end of the month, she'll say goodbye to the Holy City to move to Colorado with her husband...
Interview by Anne Trabue Watson-Nelson, April 10, 2015
Spring share artist Karin Olah recently sat down to chat with CSA co-founder Anne Trabue Watson-Nelson. Read on to see what she said about working as an artist, being a full time mom, her time in Colorado, and the daily dance parties she has in her studio!
ATWN: Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
KO: I remember working very hard on a picture of my family and wanting to get the proportion of each family member correct. And I included our cats. And I loved cats so much that I filled in a border with all cats. I was 5 years old. Dad wrote my title on it: "I Like Being a Kid 'Cause It's So Fun" and it was entered in a contest.
[See the painting here]
ATWN: What is your process for creating work?
KO: I work from photographs that I take while on family walks, days at the beach, and even views from favorite playgrounds.
When in my studio, I reference several photos when making one painting. Sometimes using the sunlight or clouds from photo A and the distant coastline from photo B, I can patchwork together my own Southern place and time.
My process begins with...