Sonja Olson’s work challenges the viewer on multiple levels. She uses vivid colors and images reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s silk screens, but while Warhol was interested in celebrity and glamour, Sonja is investigating social issues such as the environment and consumerism.
Using text as well as Pop aspects of simple images, she draws attention to the sharp divide between American cultural aspirations and reality. In addition, Sonja rethinks the traditional still life and aims to engage the viewer through the format of the series or repeated image in order to re-contextualize her subject matter.
Series work allows her to comment on the repetitiveness of consumer culture as well as explore image influences more thoroughly than she could through a single painting. Her aesthetic strategies of repetition and the reproduction of images draw attention to the interconnection among her chosen images.
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about the artist
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sonja Olson grew up surrounded by the wide-open spaces and big skies of the Canadian prairies. Artistic expression has always been key to Sonja’s experience of the world. She discovered the potter’s wheel early on, and after graduation from high school began to study pottery seriously. At the University of Manitoba Sonja majored in ceramics and photography, and went on to work as a professional photographer and potter. After achieving a Bachelor of Art Education in 1983, Sonja became an Art Teacher and has taught art in both Winnipeg, Manitoba and Victoria, BC.
In 2003 she took a painting course from Victoria, BC artist Brian Simon’s and has never looked back. She fell in love with the medium and so far her journeys into artistic creation, in acrylic on canvas, have progressed from exquisite earth-toned adventures in architectural landscapes, through to new brighter, bolder series work and Pop art. Sonja always welcomes artistic challenges and is now exploring new styles and media, including abstract and collage.
1983, Bachelor of Art Education, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- 2010, Phantom Gallery—Bay Center, Victoria, BC
- 2010, Contemporary Art Network—580 8th Ave. 5th Floor, New York
- 2009, Phantom Gallery—Bay Center, Victoria, BC
- 2008, Kensington Fine Art Gallery—Calgary, Alberta
- 2007, “Serious Pop”!—The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- 2007, “Creating Musical Space in Your Home”—Church & State Wines’ Brentwood Villa
- 2005, View Royal Artists and Gardens Tour—Victoria, BC
- Florence Biennale—invitation—Florence, Italy
- “Look” Victoria 2009, The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- “Look” Victoria 2008, The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- “Sooke Fine Arts Show” 2007 - juried exhibition—Sooke Fine Arts Society
- “Look” Victoria 2007, The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- “Fine Arts Unlimited” Show — juried exhibition — Sooke Region Museum, Sooke, BC
- “artSpacific 2006”—juried exhibition—Delta Arts Council, Delta, BC
- “Look” Victoria 2006, The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- 2005, “Fine Arts 2005”—juried exhibition—Sooke Region Museum, Sooke, BC
- “Look” Victoria 2005, The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- Laguna Coast Gallery—Laguna Beach, California
- Art Mode Gallery—Calgary, Alberta
- 2006 Victoria 2006 - Honourable Mention, The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- 2005, “Look Victoria 2005” - Herbert Siebner Award - Best in Show, The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
- 2008, de Hoog & Kierulf Architects, Victoria, BC, Canada
- Several private collections in Canada, USA and worldwide
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Art Sales and Rental
1240 Moss Street
Victoria, BC V8V 4P1
Artists’ Haven Fine Art Gallery
2757 East Oakridge Park Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33306
Contemporary Art Network
580 8th Ave. 5th Floor
New York, New York 10018
Cheryl Hazen Gallery
35 North Moore Street
New York, New York, 10013
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