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 an eight 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. She was recently honored by Governor Roy Cooper and the NC African American Heritage Commission for her contribution to the arts in NC. 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
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
" Musings of Olivia Gatewood"
Opening Reception November 1, 6-9 pm
November 1 - January 31, 2020
444 South Blount Street, Suite 115
Raleigh, NC 27610
Hayti Heratige Center
"Dance Durham Dance"
804 Old Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27882
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
Dr. Joseph Gatewood Portrait by Olivia Gatewood at H@G
23 September 2020
The next time you visit The House at Gatewood for a delicious southern meal, be sure to see the portrait of Dr. Joseph Gatewood, the previous owner (and revered dentist) of the Gatewood estate who lived at this location for 30 years. Dr. Gatewood's name and many great stories about him and his dedication to the Hillsborough community have been associated with the property ever since and why we kept his name for the restaurant.
The portrait of Dr. Gatewood is in our main dining room above the fireplace, and was painted by local artist Olivia Gatewood, Dr. Gatewood's sister!
Dr. Joseph Gatewood had a special affinity for the dental care of the underprivileged, especially children. He received numerous certifications of acknowledgment for his work with children, including the Department of Health and Human Services for Children and Families, and GlaxoSmithKline.
Artist Olivia Gatewood is a North Carolina native with a vibrant passion for life and simplistic beauty. Her paintings have been presented in national exhibits and have won numerous awards. She was honored by Governor Roy Cooper and the NC African American Heritage Commission for her contribution to the arts in NC. Olivia's amazing work can be found in many personal collections including that of Oprah Winfrey.
North Carolina to Honor African American Artists, Musicians During Black History Month Reception on Thursday Raleigh
Feb 13, 2019 In 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:
• 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
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