Olivia Gatewood is a North Carolina native who exudes a vibrant passion for life and its simplistic beauty. Utilizing a multitude of media, Olivia creates abstract compositions of sensual, tactile colorations that epitomize artwork as a profusion of tactual expressions reflective of the beauty she finds in the natural world around her. She successfully manages to translate blank canvases into visual experiences that resonate with brilliance.
Olivia received her BFA with honors from California State University in Turlock, CA. She went on to pursue graduate studies at Hacettepe and Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.
Gaining inspiration from her love of world travel, Olivia lived 14 years between Germany, Turkey, The Netherlands, and Hawaii. She taught art in the American Military Schools in Holland and Turkey, and worked as an illustrator for the US Air Force while in Germany. She has gained inspiration from her underwater adventures as an advanced certified scuba diver and as a downhill skier. Olivia earned her Black Belt in Combat Shotokan, and was the European Division Fighting Grand Champion for two years. Her fighting spirit contributes to her being a seven year breast cancer survivor. Her enormous passion for life and adventure is reflected in her paintings.
Olivia's Paintings have been presented in national exhibits and has won numerous awards. Her work can be found in personal collections as diverse as those of talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, actress and singer, Suzzanne Douglas, the late Dr. John Hope Franklin, Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon, and corporations like Mitsubishi International in Tokyo, Japan, and SAS Institute. Her paintings have been shown on many feature films and nationally syndicated television shows to include "New Jack City," "The Parent 'Hood" and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her work was displayed on the cover of and featured in several issues of the North Carolina Literary Review.
Olivia has one daughter, Camille, and one granddaughter. She has a home studio/gallery in Rougemont, NC where she paints and hosts painting workshops.
"My art reflects my life and my belief in the essential purity of experimental improvisation. I work in various media and techniques to create unusual visual effects. Using an amorphous blend of color, I strive for new images that fit into my sense of the beautiful. These images often suggest biomorphic origins flowing from some subconsciously remembered or dreamed epoch. I utilize surface tensions to attract, refract and reflect light. I work with organic lines, forms and richly textured shapes that glow with color. These elements sometimes become the subject matter of my paintings.
These paintings should be regarded as short stories in vision, full of life, color and expression They are visual mysteries of the universe and cast a magical spell around a world full of romantic interest. My artwork is about stepping outside the boundaries of what people think art is supposed to be. It's about change, growth and the evolution one's self. I paint melodies to stimulate an awareness of the beauty that surrounds us, and to integrate my life as a universal being."
Galleries / Current - Recent Exhibits
Triangle Cultural Arts Gallery
Featured Artist - Olivia Gatewood
Opening Reception March 16, 4-6pm
8320 Litchford Road
Raleigh, NC 27615
North Carolina Central University Art Museum
"Connected: African American Female Artists and North Carolina"
Opening Reception February 10, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
February 10, 2019- April 19, 2019
North Carolina Central University Art Museum
580 East Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27707
28th Annual Founding Members Invitational Exhibition
African American Atelier, Inc.
January 20 -
200 North Davie Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
The Annual Black History: Artists' Perspectives
Hayti Heritage Center
February 1 - April 14, 2019
804 Old Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27701
Garner Performing Arts Center
Jan 16, 2019 - Feb 26, 2019
742 West Garner Road
North Carolina to Honor African American Artists, Musicians During Black History Month Reception on ThursdayRaleigh
Feb 13, 2019In celebration of Black History Month, Governor Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper will honor African American musicians and artists from North Carolina at a reception at the Executive Mansion beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14.
“Black History Month is a time to reflect on the deep contributions made by African Americans to the life and culture of our state and our nation,” said Gov. Cooper. “This year, we will recognize African American artists, musicians, and writers with ties to North Carolina whose work has enriched our lives and expanded our understanding.”
Gov. Cooper has proclaimed February as Black History Month in North Carolina.
The event is hosted by the N.C. African American Heritage Commission and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Attendees will include Susi H. Hamilton, Secretary, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, Chair, N.C. African American Heritage Commission; and Tracey Burns, Asst. Secretary for Diversity and Cultural Inclusion, DNCR.
The event is open to credentialed media and will take place at the Executive Mansion, located at 200 N. Blount St. in Raleigh.
North Carolinians being honored on Thursday include:
• Fantasia Barrino (Mecklenburg County, NC) | R & B singer and Broadway performer
• Pastor Shirley Caesar (Wake County, NC) | Renowned gospel artist
• Maestro William Henry Curry (Durham County, NC) | Conductor and arts advocate
• Carroll Dashiell (Pitt County, NC) | Jazz musician, composer, conductor and jazz educator
• Patrick “9th Wonder” Douthit (Durham County) | Rapper, producer and educator
• Roberta Flack (Buncombe County, NC) | Grammy Award-winning R & B artist
• Rhiannon Giddens (Guilford County, NC) | Grammy Award-winning vocalist and musician
• Dick Knight (Lenoir County, NC) | Musician and educator
• Bill Myers (Wilson County, NC) | Musician, bandleader and educator
• Sister Lena Mae Perry (Johnston County, NC) | Traditional gospel singer, member of the Branchettes
• Larry Reni Thomas (Orange County, NC) | Radio host, jazz writer and jazz scholar
• Joe Thompson—posthumous (Alamance County, NC) | Fiddler and old-time musician
• Mary D. Williams (Durham County, NC) | Singer, educator and scholar of Civil Rights-era songs
• Ernie Barnes—posthumous (born in Durham County, NC) | Acclaimed painter
• Endia Beale (Forsyth County, NC) | Award-winning photographer and Director, Diggs Gallery at WSSU
• Dare Coulter (Wake County, NC) | Muralist, sculptor and illustrator
• Dr. Linda Dallas (Wake County, NC) | Watercolor artist and food illustrator
• Olivia Gatewood (Durham County, NC) | Visual artist
• Vandorn Hinnant (Guilford County, NC) | Visual Artist, educator and poet
• Beverly McIver (Guilford County, NC) | Visual artist
• Antoine Williams (Mecklenburg County, NC) | Mixed-media artist and educator
Craft & Folk Traditions
• Jerome Bias (Alamance County, NC) | Craftsman and foodways preservationist
• Sharon Bryant (Craven County, NC) | Heritage practitioner critical to preserving ancestral African American music and dance traditions, specifically the Jonkonnu tradition
• Kisha Kinard (Pender County, NC) | Craftswoman renowned for preserving the Gullah-Geechee tradition of sweetgrass basketry
• Ben Watford (Craven County, NC) | Potter, storyteller and educator
• Congresswoman Alma Adams (Mecklenburg County, NC) | Arts advocate
• Simona Atkins Allen (Forsyth County, NC) | Founder, Delta Arts Center
• Phyllis Coley (Wake County, NC) | Arts supporter
• Patrick and Dr. Judy Diamond (Mecklenburg County, NC) | Art collectors
Film & Television
• Shirlette Ammons (Durham County, NC) | Television producer, writer, musician and poet
• Natalie Bullock-Brown (Wake County, NC) | Filmmaker
• Lana Garland (Durham County, NC) | Documentarian, filmmaker and producer
• Deborah Holt-Noel (Wake County, NC) | Producer and host, UNC-TV
• Samm Art Williams (Forsyth County, NC) | Executive producer, “Martin” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
• Kevin Wilson, Jr. (Durham County, NC) | Academy Award-nominated director, “My Nephew Emmett”
• Dasan Ahanu (Christopher Massenburg) (Durham County, NC) | Poet
• Gerald Barrax (Wake County, NC) | Poet and professor
• Jaki Shelton Green (Alamance County, NC) | Poet, writer and educator; 9th NC Poet Laureate
• Dr. Zelda Lockhart (Durham County, NC) | Writer and educator
• Lenard Moore (Onslow County, NC) | Writer, educator, poet and renowned haikuist
• Debra Austin (Forsyth County, NC) | Ballerina, Ballet Master, Carolina Ballet
• Baba Chuck Davis—posthumous (Durham County, NC) | Dancer, choreographer and dance preservationist
• Tommy DeFrantz (Durham County, NC) | Dancer, choreographer and dance scholar
• Cara Hagan Gelber (Watauga County, NC) | Choreographer and educator
• Mel Tomlinson (Mecklenburg County, NC) | Renowned dancer, choreographer and educator will be honored posthumously
• Wesley “Dr. Zulu” Williams (Guilford County, NC) | Breakdancer
• Jackie Alexander (Forsyth County, NC) | Director and playwright, Creative Director, NC Black Repertory Company
• Howard Craft (Durham County, NC) | Award-winning playwright
• JaMeeka Holloway Burrell (Durham County, NC) | Playwright and director
• Leon Hamlin and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin (Forsyth County, NC) | National Black Theatre Festival
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