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Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Karyn Olivier did not start out wanting to be an artist. It wasn’t until the age of 30, after a career as a retail manager at Urban Outfitters and Bloomingdale’s, that while working for artist J. Morgan Puett, she had her ‘a-ha’ moment. According to Olivier: “I watched this designer who really was the quintessential artist — living art at every moment. It was incredible to witness. I realized through watching her every day that life didn’t have to be compartmentalized — all of it can be imbued with art. A month later I quit my job, started a little business and began taking ceramics classes with the purpose of getting enough credits to go to graduate school”.
Ceramics classes led to graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where Olivier explored and experimented with large scale installations. Olivier is now known as a large-scale installation artist whose work manipulates ordinary spaces and ordinary objects. In the current exhibition, her work dominates the LUAG Main Gallery in the form of a brick wall imbedded with scraps of clothing, and a car cover stuffed with shoes.