Sunday, August 9, 2009

Artist of the Month (August): Olivia Sherif

Sunday, August 9, 2009 1
This is the first post for our new "Artist of the Month" series! Each month, get to know a local artist by reading our interview with him or her. We'll also include images of each artist's work. Here's August's artist of the month, Olivia Sherif.

Olivia Sherif is an artist living in Florence, Alabama. Check out a series of her drawings on display at Rivertown Coffee Company up until August 31st.

Tell us a little about yourself (name, affiliations, etc.).
Well, my name is Olivia. Affiliations? I suppose they can be, working at Rivertown, a University of North Alabama alumni, and creator of Alabamaolives (handmade goods side project). And of course, I am affiliated with all artists in the Shoals area in some strange way or another (because we're all in this together).

What materials do you commonly use in your art?
Most of my works are drawn, using charcoal, and also incorporating yarn, and fabric of sorts. I also paint, using acrylic, but I would love to learn more about oil paints.

Describe your artistic style and/or approach.
I love finding people in their natural element, doing something that you would find them doing on an everyday basis. I also take pictures as a starting point, then work from that. So therefore, it's starts as a moment and gets translated into hours of labor and the outcome is timeless. I also shop at local thrift stores for fabric, which also inspires me in so many ways.

What influences your art?
I LOVE love love Chuck Close, he's one of my absolute favorite fine artists of our day - the scale he works in, his subject matter, and everything. Besides an actual person, I think just everyday life influences me. All my work has to do with my life, and what is around me all the time. I don't seek it out, it just happens. I just do with feels right, and inspiration usually comes by surprise.

What do you want the viewer to take away from your art?
I want them to get a feeling for each person that I draw, I want them to come away feeling like they know each subject a little bit. I also want people to be inspired to create themselves and know that they can create something that reflects who they are and what they love. I love people and fabrics, so my work reflects that.

What do you do when you're not making art?

Well, when I'm not making art, I'm either making coffee or crocheting or sewing. Basically, everything I do is with my hands. It's pretty much the only thing I'm good at, so I run with it. I also like to take long walks along the beach.

How can someone contact you if they are interested in purchasing art from you?

They can either visit me at Rivertown, or e-mail me at
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