Olivia Valentine

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Artist Statement


My work as an artist is focused on the construction of edges and interstitial spaces. This line of inquiry began through my investigations into the space of the textile edge. Beginning with early examples of openwork embroidery, I traced the transition of lace structures from the center a cloth to its edge. This research resulted in a series of works named after one of the earliest needle laces edges, Punto in Aria, or Stitches in Air. Stemming from these textile constructions, I have since expanded the frame of my work to address the edges within architecture and the larger landscape.


I use the window as a literal and metaphorical threshold between interior and exterior space in several of my studio projects, including Guest Room at the Drake. Lace is often used as an edging, defining the boundaries between the private body and the public world. Windows similarly mediate between interior domestic space and the exterior public world. By constructing windows and exterior views using the techniques of fabric edging, and placing them in interior spaces, I am negotiating an expansion of the threshold between interior and exterior.


In 2012-13 I was a Fulbright Fellow in Turkey, researching the traditional headscarf edging called Oya. This research resulted in two studio projects – one urban and one rural. In Panorama, I used the urban landscape of the city of Izmir as material to create an architectural scale strand of Oya, installed between the interior and exterior spaces of the commercial arcades and alleyways off of Istiklal Caddesi in Istanbul. Later, in Yürüyüş Oyası (Walking Oya), I continued my expansion of the scale of oya in the region of Cappadocia, where the boundaries between landscape and architecture are blurred, and the ground and its edges are constantly changing due to erosion of the soft, volcanic terrain. I used my body as a means of creating Oya for the landscape, resulting in a series of documented walks.


My most recent projects have been the result of collaborations, both in close proximity and across distance. In Dailies, with Holly Murkerson, we corresponded solely with cellphone cameras across multiple time zones over six months, until we were reunited in Chicago to take our final photograph together. The visual synchronicity of sharing our lives with each other across distance became the focus of our work, now compiled into book form.

Metropoliz Future Forest is a collaborative landscape intervention on the edges of the Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz (MAAM), an informal immigrant community and art space in an abandoned salami factory on the periphery of Rome. Working with Firat Erdim and the design collaborative COMMONSTUDIO, we created a large-scale drawing that perforated the existing concrete to make a garden and community piazza. Pattern Disruptions, my series of watercolor drawings based on floor tiles patterns found in Rome became the plan for this large scale drawing and garden. Rather than importing new vegetation for this urban garden and forest, in this project we are also collaborating with the existing ecologies that already occupy the site – the grasses, trees, flowers and weeds that have arisen spontaneously in the decades after the closing of the factory.  By creating a series of perforations and cuts in the existing concrete, we are helping the seeds of these species take root and continue to transform these spaces over the coming decades.





2008 – 2010 MFA, Studio Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

1999 – 2002 BFA, Photography, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.

1997 – 1999 Cooper Union, Irwin S. Channin School of Architecture, New York, NY. 

Solo Exhibitions


Panorama, PASAJist, Istanbul, Turkey.


1:1, Happy Collaborationists Exhibition Space, Chicago, IL.


Olivia Valentine: Inside Out/ Outside In, Storefront Installation, Art Here, Art Now,
Hyde Park Art and Culture Alliance, Chicago, IL.


Objects and Obsessions, Red Eye Gallery, Providence, RI.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015 Satellites/Cinque Mostre, with Firat Erdim, American Academy in Rome, Italy.

2014 Anywhere but Now, Wilton House Museum, Richmond, VA.

2014 Intersections, Atrium Gallery, Ronal Regan Building, Washington, DC.

2014 Fellowship Exhibition, with Jaydan Moore, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA.

2013 Eminent Domain A, Maquis Projects, İzmir, Turkey.

2013 Rijswijk Textile Biennial 2013, Rijswijk Museum, The Netherlands.

2013 Doily Free Zone, Palazzo del Broletto, Pavia, Italy.

2013 BORDERS, Staycation Museum, Berlin, Germany.

2013 16th International Open, Womanmade Gallery, Chicago, IL.

2013 Fleeting, Indi Go Gallery, Champaign, IL.

2013  Interwoven, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA.

2012 Second City, with Firat Erdim, Flash Atölye, Karşıyaka, İzmir, Turkey.

2012 FIBERS, Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, Madison, Georgia.

2012  Cotton: Global Threads, in collaboration with Anne Wilson and Libby O’Brian, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK.

2011 – 2013 Love Lace, International Lace Award Exhibition, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia.

2011 Kite!, The Barn Gallery, Lenox, MA.

2011 Peregrine Papers, MDW Fair, Chicago, IL.

2011 Local Industry, in collaboration with Anne Wilson and Libby O’Brian, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN.

2010 Something’s Not Quite Right Here, Fair Folks & A Goat, New York, NY.

2010 Ground Floor, Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago IL.

2010 Materials of the City, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago IL.

2010 20/21, The Barn Gallery, Lenox, MA.

2010 MFA Thesis Exhibition, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago IL.

2010 Emerging Illinois Artists, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL.

2010 Anne Wilson: Wind/Rewind/Weave, in collaboration with Anne Wilson and Libby O’Brian, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN.

2010 Materiality, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL.

2010 Pile/Pillar: Firat Erdim and Olivia Valentine, Open House, Chicago, IL.

2008 Mama’s Arts, Geborgen Kamers, the Gaidaro Foundation, The Hague, Holland.

2008 Math and Art, The Barn Gallery, Lenox, MA.

2008 The Dinosaur Show, Barometer Gallery, New York.

2007 YAS Emerging Artists Exhibition, Houghton Gallery, Cooper Union, NY.

2006 Collective Number 9, 94 9th Street Gallery, Brooklyn, 2006.

Permanent Site Specific Projects

2015 Metropoliz Future Forest, Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz (MAAM), Rome, Italy. with Firat Erdim, Kim Karlsrud and Daniel Philips


2015  Interdisciplinary Project Grant, American Academy in Rome, with Firat Erdim, Kim Karlsrud and Daniel Philips

2014 Founding President’s Award, Textile Society of America, Los Angeles, CA. For Paper and Conference Presentation: Needle Lace to Valley Walking: İğne Oyası as Landscape Ornamentation

2012 Brandford/Elliot Award for Excellence in Fiber Art, Presented at the Textile Society of America Symposium, Washington, DC.

2008 – 2010 Incentive Scholarship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2008 – 2010 Institutional Grant, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2008 The World Less Traveled Grant, for research in historic lace in England and Belgium, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2001 T. C. Colley Award, faculty award for an outstanding junior in photography, Rhode Island School of Design.

1997 – 1999 Full Tuition Scholarship, The Cooper Union for Science and Art.

1997 Aldrich Museum Award for Student Photography, Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT.

Residencies and Fellowships

2015 Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, American Academy in Rome, Italy.

2014 Long-Term Visiting Artist, School of Art, Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

2014 Sculpture Space, Utica, NY, Residency and Fellowship.

2014 Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, Rabun Gap, GA.

2014 Post Hope Distinguished Fellowship

2013 – 2014 Fountainhead Fellowship, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

2012 – 2013 Fulbright Fellowship, U.S. Student and Young Professional Award, Installation Art, Turkey. Project Title: Nakış and the Edge: Architecture and Textiles in Anatolia.

2012 – 2013 Babayan Kulture Evi, Ibramhampaşa, Turkey.

2012 I-Park, East Haddam, CT, Full Funded Residency, 2012.

2011 ACRE (Artists Collaborative Residency and Exhibitions), Stuben, WI and Chicago, IL. Stellar Scholarship

2011, 2012 Ragdale, Lake Forest, IL. Fellowship Assistance Award

2010 Ox-Bow Artist Residency, Saugatuck, MI.


2015 Time Warp, Edwin Slipek, Arts and Culture, Style Weekly, January 6, 2015, pg. 21.

2014 State of the Crafts: De renaissance van ambachtelijke techniken, Textiel Plus, Number 229, Autumn 2014, pg. 8.

2014 Jaydan Moore and Olivia Valentine in Conversation with K. L. H. Wells, Journal of Modern Craft Website, August 25, 2014. http://journalofmoderncraft.com/uncategorized/jaydan-moore-and-olivia-valentine-in-conversation-with-k-l-h-wells-2

2014 Alternative Practices, YAF Connection, Volume 12, Issue 4, July 2014.

2012 The Cutting (and Stitching) Edge – Olivia Valentine, Mr X Stitch, October 11, 2012. http://www.mrxstitch.com/2012/10/11/the-cutting-stitching-edge-olivia-valentine/

2012  Eye Exam: Borrowing Time, New City, May 22, 2012 and online at http://art.newcity.com/2012/05/22/eye-exam-borrowing-time/#more-10389

2012 Top Five Weekend Picks, Bad At Sports, May 11, 2012. http://badatsports.com/2012/top-5-weekend-picks-511-513/

2011 Surface Design Journal, Summer 2011.

2010 Fiber Arts, Annual Student Showcase, November 2010.

2010 Textile Forum, Lace and Architecture: Olivia Valentine, September 2010.


2013 Site Lines, SOILEDzine v.4, Windowscrapers, article co-written with Timur Hammond, September 2013.

2013 Rijswijk Textile Biennial 2013, Catalog.

2013 Doily Free Zone, Catalog.

2011 LOVE LACE, Catalog.

2011 Anne Wilson:Wind/Rewind/Weave, Catalog.

2008 Mamas Art’s, Catalog.

Related Professional Experience

2015 Visiting Critic, Rhode Island School of Design European Honors Program, Rome, Italy.

2014 Visiting Artist, Illinois State University, Department of Art, Normal, IL. Seminar: Textiles as Time Based Media

2013-14 Fountainhead Fellow and Adjunct Professor, Department of Craft and Material Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Classes Taught: Beginning Textiles I & II, Fabric Design I & II, Project: Wall, Body, Floor

2012- 2013 Visiting Artist/Researcher, School of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

2012 – 2013 Co-Founder and Co-Director, Flash Atölye, Art Project Space, Karşıyaka, İzmir, Turkey.

2010 – 2012 Digital Imaging Technician, MacLean Visual Resource Center, Flaxman Library, SAIC.

2009 – 2011 Project Lead and Digital Imaging Consultant, Anne Wilson Studio, Evanston, IL, 2009-2011.

2004 – 2008 Department Head, Antique Registration and Photography, Remains Lighting, New York, NY.

2008 Visiting Artist, Sculpture Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

2003 – 2006 Founding Member and Administrator, Collective Number 9, Artists Collective, Brooklyn, NY.

2004 Installation Assistant – “Grind” by Michael Lin PS 1, Queens, NY, February 2004.

2001-2002 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Internship, RISD Museum of Art, Providence, RI.