ARTIST STATEMENT

My current body of work is a series of paintings that focus on the figure, the painting process, and color. The connection that humans have with other humans, even if it is a painting of a human, has always entranced me in a way that no other subject matter has. The subject matter of my work is a conversation of flesh verse the figure. My work is categorically figurative but it’s not actually about the figure in the traditional sense. Instead, I paint parts of the figure, or flesh, as opposed to a whole figure. Flesh gives an interesting surface of concave and convex areas to pull into illusionism. However, it is more than just areas of concave and convex space because it is still recognizably human and maintains the connection humans have with others. My work is cropped in on intimate areas of the body. Not many people know the distinguishing features of the bottom of someone else’s foot or what the inside of someone else’s ear looks like. The fact that they are large scale makes it forced, in-your-face intimacy. At the same time, the images are so extremely cropped that there is an ambiguity to what one is looking at; they can be read as a figures, objects, or landscapes. I enjoy this play between the intimate and the ambiguous. 

While I am interested in my figurative subject matter, I am equally obsessed with the process of creating the illusion of space and form on a 2-D surface through the use of color, light, and shadow. I find the process of painting intriguing and compelling. The gestural brush strokes and method of painting are a way of putting my physical presence in to my work. It is a type of self-reflection. Sometimes the marks are planer in order to establish the structure of the figure but at other times the brush marks are expressive of mood. I am interested in building up transparent layers of paint, working with layered colors and washes, and building up the painting gradually. I use raw colors to utilize optical color mixing in my layers of paint. I enjoy the physical aspect of paint’s ability to model the planes and surfaces of skin or flesh. The physical paint yields a materialistic presence that is irregular, unpredictable, and spontaneous. I like not being in complete control of the painting. When I paint I am responding to the paint and having a conversation with the materials. 


Meet Kayla


Kayla Nichol Olive

My name is Kayla and I’ve been creating ever since I can remember with mediums ranging from yarn to paint. When I was young my mom would give me paper and paint and I would be enthralled for hours at a time. I’ve lived in the south east part of the United States my entire life including Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and now South Carolina. I graduated from Carson-Newman University in 2016 with a BA in Art with a double emphasis in Graphic Design and Drawing & Painting with an Art History Minor. If I’d had the time and money to continue adding majors and minors on to my degree I probably would have. I love learning and improving my knowledge and skills in all things. I’ve been thankful to have the opportunity take additional graphic design classes while enrolled at the University of South Carolina for my MFA in Painting.


Current News

Kayla Olive is currently in her second year of Graduate School at the University of South Carolina.


Resume

Education:

2020 -(Expected) MFA in Painting with a minor in Drawing. University of South Carolina (member, NASAD), Columbia, South Carolina.

2016 - BA in Art with a double emphasis in Drawing & Painting and Graphic Design with a minor in Art History (Summa Cum Laude). Carson-Newman University (member, NASAD), Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Record of Exhibitions (*Solo Shows):

2018 - Third Annual Avant Grad Show, Passage Gallery, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2017 - Second Annual Avant Grad Show, Passage Gallery, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2017 - First Year Grad Show, Passage Gallery, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2016 - *The Body Farm, Brainerd Gallery, Bluefield Arts and Culture Center, Bluefield, West Virginia.

2016 - *The Body Farm Senior Thesis Exhibit, Omega Gallery, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2012-2016 - (approximately 20 juried group exhibitions) Student Gallery, Carson Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Professional Experience:                                                                                                              

2018 - Volunteer Manager of the Passage Gallery, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2018 - Graduate Teaching Assistant (Instructor of Record) for ARTS 210 Instruction to Painting Fall 2018, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2018 - Graduate Teaching Assistant (Instructor of Record) for ARTS 210 Introduction to Painting Spring 2018, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2017 - Graduate Instructional Assistant for David Voros' ARTS 210 Introduction to Painting Fall 2017, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2016 - Lead Pottery Instructor, WinShape Camps, Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia.

2015 - Senior Center Art Instructor, Jefferson City Senior Center, Jefferson City,Tennessee.

2015 - Pottery Instructor, WinShape Camps, Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia.

2014 - Art Instructor, Fine Arts Camp, Bluefield College, Bluefield, Virginia.

2013 - Art Instructor, Fine Arts Camp, Bluefield College, Bluefield, Virginia.

Lectures/Public-Speaking Engagements:

2016 - Lecture: The Body Farm. Art History Survey I Class. February 11, 2016. Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2016 - Publication: Kayla Olive's art 'zooms in' on the human body. Kimary Clelland. The Standard Banner. Thursday, January 28, 2016. Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2015 - Lecture: Asian Art at Carson-Newman University, Student Research Day, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee. 

Other Work Experience:

2018 - Skocean Senior Club Leader (Supervisor for Counselors), WinShape Camps, Young Harris College, Young Harris, Georgia.

2017 - Counselor, WinShape Camps, Cohutta Springs, Crandle, Georgia.

2015 - Campus Representative, WinShape Camps, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2015 -  Eagle Guide, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2014-2015 - Freshman Orientation Leader, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2014-2015 - Child Care, Arrowhead Church, Morristown, Tennessee.

2014 - Peer Mentor, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Awards and Recognitions:

2018 - President of Avant Grads Graduate Art Club, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2017 - Awarded Presidential Fellowship, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

2016 - Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2015-2016 - President of Gamma Ray Art Club, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2013-2016 - Student Ambassador, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2012-2016 - Deans List Recipient, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2014 - Invited to become a lifetime member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2013-2014 - Treasurer of Gamma Ray Art Club, Carson-Newman University, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

2013 - Invited to become a lifetime member of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee.

This C/V was updated: September 2018.