Interview with Art House Artist: Olena Marshall

Les Femmes Folles


Originally published on May 20, 2016


Olena Marshall shares with LFF about her One Rabbit project, and ANEW, her collaboration with artist Itala Langmar on examining the legacies of women who made significant contributions as artists and style icons, and much more…

Where are you from? How did you get into creative work and what is your impetus for creating?

I live in Evanston, just outside Chicago with my two children who are twelve and fourteen. It was the end of my fifteen-year marriage that led me to making art. A few months into my divorce in May of 2010, I was looking for “a place to be” on the nights that my children spent with their father. An abstract painting course at the Evanston Art Center offered a refuge and an expression to the dormant need to be around art and artists.

Olena Marshall:  One Rabbit  (24x50), oil on canvas

Olena Marshall: One Rabbit (24x50), oil on canvas

Tell me about your current/upcoming show/exhibit/book/project and why it’s important to you. What do you hope people get out of your work?

Last summer I met artist Rebecca George who taught my painting class at the School of the Art Institute of ChicagoHer paintings and drawings depicting animals were intimate and expressive but devoid of kitsch and sentimentality, and pointed me to an entirely new way of seeing animals through fine art. I continued studying oil painting with Rebecca at the Art House, a school for emerging artists that she founded, and undertook a series of large-scale paintings of my daughter’s rabbit, Bean. The idea behind my One Rabbit project is to amplify the image of a small animal so a viewer is compelled to still and see the animal’s emotional states and agency, beyond the surface cuteness. Read more...

Posted on July 27, 2016 .