Friends with Money: Iviva Olenick

Work by Iviva Olenick. Image provided by the artist.

Work by Iviva Olenick. Image provided by the artist.

Name: Iviva Olenick

Aka: Director, Stitched Stories, Fabled Fiber (artist, textile designer, teacher, weaver)

Hometown: East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY

Current Neighborhood: Boerum Hill

Favorite thing about your neighborhood:

The Invisible Dog Art Center is the perfect spot for live performances, artist studios and exhibits. South Brooklyn Running Club makes race training bearable and even fun.

What did you get funded for?

Native/Immigrant City: Brooklyn in Soft Sculpture
What’s that all about?

I’m crafting a portrait of Brooklyn as home amidst the push and pull of gentrification, development, displacement, change. Culling interviews with friends and acquaintances and my childhood memories, I make handheld fabric sculptures and accompanying stop motion animations of embroidered interview transcriptions. I will offer adult-child soft sculpture workshops and a culminating exhibit.

What else do you have coming up?

I am about to teach weaving and fiber arts to students at the Horan School through the Studio Museum in Harlem. I will be at liberty to announce other exciting news soon.

What’s inspiring you right now?

Brooklyn and New York never cease to inspire me. Patterned fabrics on strangers on the subway, re-learning to crochet via YouTube, running over the Brooklyn Bridge like it’s my first time…

Anything that you’re totally over?

Rising rents; grossly disproportionate wealth and accompanying gaps in health and education; links between race, socioeconomic status and access to critical resources; poverty; chronic racism

When you’re not making art you’re…

Eating, sleeping, running, designing textiles for hotel bedding (I guess that’s art, too), at an opening or performance, with family, teaching

Iviva Olenick is a Brooklyn-born and based artist, textile designer, teacher, professional hand weaver, embroiderer, amateur runner and unofficial marathon coach. She teaches art to NYC public school children through Kindershule, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Studio Museum in Harlem. And she teaches adults through Pratt CCPS. Muriel Guepin Gallery represents my artwork in NYC. Her additional exhibition venues include the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Center for Book Arts, NYC; Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY; and Salisbury University, Maryland.

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