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Iviva Olenick
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill

ARTIST STATEMENT: I re-contextualize traditional women's handcrafts (weaving, dyeing, embroidery) within our contemporary digital age, translating selfies, tweets and Facebook posts into embroideries and fabric sculptures. As we increasingly rely on technology, I fear a loss of the art of one-on-one, face-to-face, intimate communication. As an antidote, I convey, through stitched drawings, subtle body language, uncomfortable emotion and even awkward positioning of hands, shoulders, jaw line, eyes and eyebrows, compelling a sense of immediacy and intimacy. The texts I embroider are tweet-length poems and stream-of-consciousness musings about the widening gap between intention and behavior online, or what I refer to as "our selfies versus our psyches." My hand-stitched missives are nostalgic mementos mimicking mostly bygone hand-written, snail-mailed letters.

Embroideries are a tangible record of a moment, thought, feeling or event. By contrast, tweets and Instagram pics refresh every second. And while online data may technically exist forever, most online posts leave our personal, social and cultural memories as quickly as they appeared. By embroidering digital ephemera, I question the ways we craft and define identity. I also broach the question of cultural heritage: if so much of our lives are online, and our current forms of media and communication will eventually become obsolete, how will future generations connect with our current era? In the absence of a cultural desire for preservation and an absence of objects to preserve, I craft my own relics.


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Reach Out and Touch Me. IMC Lab & Gallery, NYC.


My Sister’s Doll: Artists Respond to a Christmas Saga. Figureworks Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

TXTED. Salisbury University Gallery, Electronic Gallery & Downtown Campus, Salisbury, MD.

Livre d'Artiste d'Aujourd'hui. Center for Book Arts, NYC and Miami Dade College, Miami, FL.

Stitched: An Invitational Small Works Show. Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY.

5th Annual Bay Ridge SAW (Storefront Art Walk). Bikram Yoga Brooklyn, NY.

Crafting Home. Curated by Iviva Olenick, Jenny Douglas. The Brooklyn Cottage, Brooklyn, NY.

Embroidered/Woven Poetry Bridge. Weaving Hand, Brooklyn, NY.

Be Good for Goodness Sake. Muriel Guepin Gallery, New York, NY.


Face Time: New Portraiture Now. Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

An Object of Beauty: Glass, Metal, Fiber. Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, Chautauqua, NY.

Becoming Ritual. Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

Codex Book Arts Fair. Center for Book Arts, Berkeley, CA.

Word. Mount Vernon Public Library, Mount Vernon, NY.


Word. Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

Art from the Boros. Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC.

Embroidered Tweet/Post-it Note Confessional. DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY.

Tell Me How You Really Feel: Diaristic Tendencies. Center for Book Arts, NYC and Payne Gallery at Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA.

Home is Where the Needle Marks. Pop Tart Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

Craft Spoken Here. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.

Softer Edges: Fiber Artists and the Urban Environment. Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA.

Funny Ha Ha. Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY.


The Balance. Hive at 55, NYC.

The Brooklyn Love Exchange. Iviva Olenick and FiberGraf. Muriel Guepin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

The Brooklyn Love Exchange. DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY.

Mixed Up. TNC Gallery, NYC.

Can’t Hear the Revolution. Kunsthalle Galapagos, Brooklyn, NY.


Golden Blueprints: Grids, Graphs, and Charts. WG Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

Sleeping with Strangers. Iviva Olenick, Robert Gerhardt. SalonCiel, New York, NY.

From the Tongue. Lotus Gallery, NYC.


Visual Vernacular. Muriel Guepin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

Threads: Interweaving Textu[r]al Meaning. Center for Book Arts, NYC.


EmbroiderySlam. 61 Local, Brooklyn, NY. 6/6/13. Poets and musicians performed as an embroidery circle captured select words and phrases in stitch, creating new “found” poems.

Poetry as Play. Weaving Hand, Brooklyn, NY, 12/19/13. Reading of prose-poem-as-play and poetry reading by invited poets with weaving and embroidery exhibition and demonstrations.

Embroidered Tweet/Post-it Note Confessional. DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY 9/29-9/30/12. Installed my embroideries in a tent, setting an intimate tone for collecting strangers’ confessions and wishes via hand-written post-it notes and tweets. I translated confessions into embroideries, adding to on-site installation.


2014 Co-Create Artist Residency at IMC Lab and Gallery, New York, NY

2013 Resident Teaching Artist at Weaving Hand Studio

2013 and 2011 DCA Grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council

2011 BRIC Media Arts Fellowship


Present, The Brooklyn Cottage, Brooklyn, NY.

Design/conceive thematic exhibitions for Prospect Heights, creative incubator in collaboration with Brooklyn Cottage Founder, Jenny Douglas.

• Inaugural exhibit, Crafting Home, 2/28–3/2/14.

Totems and Talismans: Transmuting the Sacred, site-specific indoor and outdoor installations with 3 artists,10/29–11/2/14.

Prain, Leanne. Strange Material: Storytelling through Textiles. Arsenal Pulp Press. 10/2014.

Eler, Alicia. “How Good Must You Be When Everyone Can See.” Hyperallergic. 12/26/2013.

Chronicle Books. The Art of I Love You. 2013.

Davis, Nicole. “A Stitch in Time Saves 140 Characters.” Brooklyn Based. 2/14/2013.

MacDonell, Nancy. “Handsewn Stories.” The New York Times, p. ST3. Sunday, 2/19/ 2012.

MacDonell, Nancy. “Iviva Olenick’s Love Stories.” The Moment, The New York Times Style Magazine. 2/13/12.

Prain, Leanne. Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery. Arsenal Pulp Press. 2011.

Good, Liz. “Sampling: A Showcase of Textiles Focusing on the Stitch.” Fiberarts. Sept/Oct 2008.


BA Psychology/French Language & Literature, SUNY Binghamton

AAS Textile/Surface Design, Fashion Institute of Technology


647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217


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