Artist Spolight: Olivia Garzona

Liz Kyle
News Editor

Olivia Garzona, a junior fine arts major, spends most of her days in Fitz Hall. She begins her day how any other person would: waking up, eating breakfast, and preparing for her daily responsibilities.

She then takes her familiar walk down Brown Street to Fitz Hall with the goal of getting her daily fix of art. From printmaking to screenprinting, then painting to photo studio, her usual classes always encourage her to create something new. Then, she ends her day, wakes up the next morning, and does it all over again. It’s a constant cycle of creativity.

Ever since Garzona was a little girl, she always had a passion for art. She remembers when her elementary school received a donated Jackson Pollock painting. Pollock, an American painter known for his “drip” style of painting, inspired the whole school to spend a day painting in his splatter paint style. Her mother, along with other parents, taught the young students how to paint in his style. Garzona noted that this was the most fun art experience she had ever had.

Garzona grew up in an environment that valued the importance of expressing yourself through art. This principle was lead by her parents.

“My parents are creative people, so I’ve always grown up around art,” said Garzona. “I’ve always had it in me.”

Garzona’s father designed dinnerware and dishes. He often traveled the world and was inspired by the different cultures he immersed himself in. Garzona remembers all of the adventurous stories he told her when she was younger.

Garzona’s mother, whom Garzona described as an artsy soul, quit her corporate America job to open a candy store in Larchmont, New York. She deliberately took a risk in order to pursue her true passion outside of the typical business world. Her mother’s action was a turning point in Garzona’s life and it left her inspired.

When Garzona first came to UD, she declared herself a criminal justice major. She excelled in science and was interested in the forensics side of the criminal justice system, so she thought that’s where she belonged. Before she knew it, she found herself sitting in criminal justice classes bored and uninterested. She never thought her passion for art could have the potential to evolve into a long term career.

“I always fought it,” said Garzona. “I didn’t want to be an artist. It was something no one really celebrated. It was just like ‘oh, you’re never going to do anything with it.”
By the time the end of freshman year rolled around, Garzona stopped fighting her artistic side.

She left the criminal justice scene and became a visual arts major, then switched again to a fine arts major the beginning of her sophomore year. She began working on pieces to add to her ever-expanding portfolio. She’s had the opportunity to play around with different materials and creating various forms of art, making her a versatile artist.

“I prefer painting over everything, but drawing is something I’ve always gravitated towards because of the accessibility,” said Garzona. “Printmaking is up there, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet.”

Garzona excelled in the basic art classes, so when she began taking upper level art classes, she wanted to challenge herself with this piece. She has a habit of neglecting hands when she is drawing figures, so instead, she focused all of her energy and attention to them through these paintings. Her most recent painting series features hands. It sounds simple, but each hand is painted with much detail and is surrounded by an array of hues and textures, which is not an easy task.

“When I paint or draw, the hands are the things I usually leave out,” Garzona said. “In the realm of the whole figure it’s the one thing that gets lost.”

In this present moment, she’s learning more about the screenprinting process and sewing techniques by working on a piece that she describes as a mixture of painting, sewing and textile design.

When asked about her artistic style, she said she doesn’t have one yet. She admits that she’s still learning and considers herself a beginner in different artistic techniques. Once she masters it all, she will be able to confidently define her personal artistic style.

She enjoys getting inspiration from smaller artists or anyone with artistic passions she can get her hands on through social media. Her all time favorite artist? Andy Warhol, and yes, she knows it sounds cliche.

Garzona hopes to continue art in the future and she never wants to stop creating. She strives to do something in the fashion world and expand her horizons in new forms.

“I don’t ever want to stop making art, but I don’t want that to be my only option” said Garzona.

Garzona’s work can be found on her Instagram: @livvart

Photos courtesy of Brooke Tinsman

Flyer News: Univ. of Dayton's Student Newspaper