GOCA: Eric Olson’s voyage from sketchbook to canvas

“Hiatus” will be featured at GOCA from April 6 – April 22.

On Thursday, April 6 the Galleries of Contemporary Art at UCCS (GOCA) are proud to present “Hiatus” by Eric M. Olson. This exhibition features newly completed paintings that Olson originally conceived of between 1974 to 1984. These works are heavily influenced by hard edged, shaped canvas paintings of the 1970s and 80s. “Hiatus” will be on view in the GOCA Project Space Gallery from Thursday, April 6 – Saturday, April 22, with an opening reception on Thursday, April 6 from 5-8 p.m., where the community is invited to meet the artist.

The works featured in “Hiatus” were heavily influenced by hard-edged artists, Piet Mondrian and Josef
Albers, and shaped canvas artists – most notably Frank Stella. Between 1974 and 1984, Eric M. Olson
created a series of watercolors that expressed his extension of these pioneering artworks. These
conceptual pieces lay dormant in Olson’s sketchbooks for the better part of 40 years while he pursued a
doctorate at the University of Minnesota, built his career as professor and administrator at the University
of Colorado Colorado Springs, and raised a family.

COVID-19 gave Olson the opportunity to bring his art back to life. He rediscovered his sketchbooks and
found the time to turn those conceptual works into full-sized acrylic canvas-over-plywood backed
paintings. As the full-sized paintings began to emerge, Olson approached titling the pieces by reflecting
upon the times in which they were conceived. He borrows titles of songs from that era that he connected
with and whose essential messages were positive. Through these nostalgic titles, he links family members and friends to specific paintings in the series.

When creating his art pieces, Olson focuses on shape, size and interaction of colors. He does this so the
audience must view each piece more than once. He wants viewers to stand at a distance where the piece
can be fully taken in and they can consider each work’s unique asymmetry and contrasting lines and color planes.

The artist states: “I consider my works successful if one or both of the following occur: 1) viewers generate their own interpretation/stories as to what these shapes might reflect within their unique set of life experiences, and/or 2) they find something visually appealing that brings a moment of enjoyment. There are no wrong interpretations here.”

Join GOCA and the community in celebrating a local UCCS artist on Thursday, April 6.

About Eric M. Olson

Eric M. Olson, Ph.D. is a Professor of Strategic Management and Marketing in the College of Business at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He has been a member of the faculty since 1992 and served in a variety of administrative positions including Department Chair, Associate Dean, and Interim Dean. He is the author of over 50 academic articles that have been cited over 9,500 times in the areas of marketing strategy, new product development, and design management. He has presented research papers on the intersection of design and management at Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, Ecole Superieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales:
Cergy-Pontoise/Paris, Universidad de Navarra – IESE: Barcelona, and the German Design Council: Frankfurt am Main. He is a recipient of numerous recognitions, including the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Member, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, and four-time College of Business Outstanding Faculty Member Award.

He earned a Ph.D. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in 1992, MBA from Portland State University in 1986, and a bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College in 1975 where he majored in History and minored in Art. His 1975 tryptic titled “Integration” was accepted into the American Painters in Paris bi-centennial exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1976. He comes from a multi-generational family of artists and designers.

About the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA)

GOCA is a regional hub of contemporary art, culture, and conversation. Independently producing exhibitions and programs through a collaborative approach with artists of national, international and regional significance, GOCA engages UCCS and the greater community in dialogue around contemporary culture. GOCA is a contemporary arts organization with two galleries – the flagship Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery at the Ent Center for the Arts, a satellite location opened in 2010 in the Plaza of the Rockies building in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs, and the Art WithOut Limits Public Sculpture Program on the grounds of the Ent Center and adjacent Pulpit Rock Open Space. For more information, visit entcenterforthearts.org/goca and gocadigital.org.

About the Ent Center for the Arts

This first-class arts facility, located on the University of Colorado Colorado Springs campus serves the community as a hub for the arts and an inspiration in academics. The vision for the facility was and is to foster a creative environment to house arts that will serve the Pikes Peak region, allowing artists to inspire and amplify one another rather than compete against one another. Art brings together diverse peoples and ideas in ways no other discipline can, and the Ent Center will be a pillar of the arts community within Colorado Springs. Learn more at entcenterforthearts.org.