Curtis Olson


Artist Statement

I am interested in creating powerful objects that live in the real (non-digital) world with weight and age.

My artworks embody multiple dualities that challenge the relationship between perception and actuality. They appear geometrically precise, yet a closer look reveals them to be made up of raw, unapologetically imperfect manual etchings, marks and gouges. They have a deliberate timelessness, feeling as if they could be significant ancient artifacts and yet modern at the same time.

These works are not abstractions, but instead are born from a world of ideas representing a myriad of influences and interests swirling in my over active brain. Ideas ranging from platonic geometry to aerial drone surveying and sensing. Global warming and depleting natural resources to Egyptian and Greek architectural proportioning. Buddhist philosophy to ancient archaeological objects (from the antikythera device to ancient pottery vessels),  And cartography and modern architectural aesthetics are just a few of the ideas informing these works.

I often incorporate geometry into my work, but it’s the circle that I return to most for its pure form and meaning. It can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself. The circle is a diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite; the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds. Describing both material and non-material realities, the circle appears in all aspects of our lives; from the orbits and shape of suns, planets and moons, to the cells composed of molecules composed of atoms that make us and everything around us.

Colors:  I often use color for it’s symbolic meaning. I’m attracted to both natural and decidedly non-natural saturated vibrating colors.

I love to be outdoors and nature provides a never ending inspiration for colors. I look to the sky, rocks, dirt, grasses and flowers on my hikes, bikes and skis.

For contrasting color combinations, inspiration comes from almost anywhere I look: Japanese animation, sports team jerseys, color field paintings of the 1940's and 1950's and T-shirt designs of the 1970’s.

Process and Media: My process is very labor intensive. I cut  in lines and create texture before applying wet paints to achieve a fresco effect to a micro-fine cement mixture on a wood panel. After drying and sanding, I etch, paint, dye, ink and repeat until achieving a satisfying design.



Curtis Olson is an artist living in Park City, Utah. In other incarnations he has worked as a writer, a designer, and an award winning architect whose wide-ranging projects span seven countries and combine cutting-edge design with environmentally sensitive planning and materials. Since turning full time to his art career, his work has shown both nationally and internationally and he has been awarded artist residencies and fellowships. He was awarded the individual Artist Fellowship by the Wyoming Arts Council. Olson’s art is held in many corporate and private collections, and in the permanent collections of the University of Wyoming Art Museum, the Nicolaysen Art Museum, and the Museum of Santa Barbara.

Curtis received an Architecture degree from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. He has studied graphic design and fine arts at the University of Maryland – College Park and at the University of California - Berkeley.



Born:   Missoula, Montana

Selected Art Fair Exhibitions:

2014   Miami Art Week – Miami Project   Miami, FL
2012   Miami Art Week - AQUA    Miami Beach, FL
2012   AAFNYC   New York, NY
2008  Art Expo    Las Vegas, NV

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2018 “Curtis Olson – New Works”   J GO Gallery   Park City, Utah
2017 “Curtis Olson”     J GO Gallery   Park City, Utah
2016   “Curtis Olson – New Work”    J GO Gallery   Park City, Utah
2015   “SubText”                                J GO Gallery   Park City, Utah
2014   “Mandalas"                             J GO Gallery   Park City, UT
2013   “Knowledge Objects”             J GO Gallery   Park City, UT
2012   “Mapping Sentinels”               J GO Gallery   Park City, UT
2011    “Curtis Olson – New Work”    Kimball Art Center  Park City, UT
2010   “Catastrophe”                         Phoenix Gallery      Park City, UT
2009  "Curtis Olson – New Work”     Terra       Teton Village, Wyoming
2009  “Horizons, Totems and Artifacts”       Phoenix Gallery      Park City, UT
2008  “Fields and Streams of Sub-consciousness”    Diehl Gallery  Jackson, WY
2008  “Faults, Sins and Dirt”             Phoenix Gallery      Park City, UT
2007  “Earth & Sky”                           Phoenix Gallery      Park City, UT
2007  "Land Slice"                             Sundance Resort   Sundance, UT
2006  “Art + Film” Jackson Hole Film Festival    Meyer-Milagros Gallery  Jackson, WY
2005   “Terra Incognita”                    Walker Fine Art      Denver, Colorado
2004   “Curtis Olson: New Work”      Phoenix Gallery      Park City, UT
2004   "Curtis Olson"                         Deloney-Newkirk Fine Art   Santa Fe, New Mexico
2004  " Curtis Olson - New Work"      Dill and Spowse Gallery   Ketchum, ID
2004  "Private Devotionals”               Muse Gallery of Fine Art    Jackson, WY
2003   "Introducing Curtis Olson"      Tercera Gallery      San Francisco, California
2003    “Land Memories”                   Chrome Gallery      Jackson, Wyoming
2002     “Landscape Memories”         Down Home           Jackson, WY
2001     “Myths, Martyrs and Memories, part duex” Down Home  Jackson, WY
2001     “Myths, Martyrs and Memories”   Betty Rock       Jackson, WY

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2016   Statewide Annual Competition & Exhibition   Rio Grande Gallery   Salt Lake City, UT
2012 - 16 WinterSol Group Art Celebration               J GO Gallery   Park City, Utah
2012   88th Annual Spring Salon      Springville Museum of Art    Springville, UT
2010   Statewide Annual Competition & Exhibition   Rio Grande Gallery   Salt Lake City, UT
2007   "Range of Expression: A Wyoming Invitational, Ucross Foundation, Big Red Barn Gallery                                                                                     Clearmont, WY
2005    “From Fact to Fiction” Nicolaysen Museum   Casper, WY
2004    Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition                   Cheyenne, WY
2004     ArtWest Gallery        “Fortune Cookie”          Jackson, WY
2002     “Portraits”   bamSPACE                                  Jackson, WY
2002    ArtWest Open Contemporary Art Show          Jackson, WY
2001     ArtWest Gallery “Heart and Soul”                   Jackson, WY

Selected Honors and Awards:

2016       Selected for Utah Statewide Annual Competition & Exhibition
2010       Selected for Utah Statewide Annual Competition & Exhibition
2006      Selected Official Artist for the Jackson Hole Film Festival
2005      Juror’s Award, Wyoming Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition, WY State Museum     Cheyenne, WY
2004      Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship
2004      Purchase Award, Wyoming Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition, WY State Museum Cheyenne, WY
2000     “From the Ground Up….” National Environmental Art Competition Winner

Education and Artist Residences:

2007                Artist Residency                                     Ucross Foundation
2002-2004      Painting Workshops:  Jeremy Morgan   San Francisco Art Institute
1988-1992        Fine Art                                                  University of California at Berkeley
1984                 Architecture Professional Degree         University of North Carolina at
                        (University of Maryland @ College Park – exchange program)
                        Bachelor of Architecture, Minor in Graphic Design


2011      TED X Talk     "Problem Solving: Artfully"                                      Park City, UT
2002     “A Life of Art: Your Options”    National Museum of Wildlife Art  Jackson, WY
2001      “Drawing with Spirit”                J H Art Association Class            Jackson, WY
2000      Advanced Art Class: Environmental Art Installations,  Jackson Hole High School  

Other Work:

2011 - Present      Co-Owner J GO Gallery     Park City, UT
2002 - present    Architect 
2003 - 2005        Art Columnist for “Planet Jackson Hole” Newspaper
1984 - 2002         Architect (Designed numerous projects and supervised construction in    
                            California, New Zealand, Idaho, Beirut Lebanon, Wyoming,  Samoa, Utah, Idaho)  
                            Registered Architect in California and Wyoming

Selected Collections:

Nicolaysen Museum
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Wyoming State Museum

University of Iowa Children's Hospital
Jim Henson Company
Hinkle Charitable Foundation
Mark Burnett Productions
Entertainment Tonight
Fox News