I have often pondered the trajectory of my life....I have fought to stay out of the asylum for the socially aware while simultaneously stepping away from the path of contentment.
I have chosen multiplicities rather than dichotomies...difficult forks in my path, yet I continue.
Unaware at first of my innate commitment to society, I worked in several capacities before "becoming an artist". I kept my 'art' and my 'work' separate. I had been a foster mother, a mental health counselor, a social worker, and more. Though this road has led me in so many different directions, one thing has remained constant: my commitment to allow myself to be open to the world around me.
"How small is the life of the person who places the hands between his face and the world, seeing naught but the narrow lines of his hands."
I have worked with youth at risk making murals, with underprivileged teens reaching to find their identity, with privileged teens reaching to find their identity, in public schools and private ones, in community centers, and on the streets of Arlington and Washington DC. I have seen first hand how art can enable healing, perpetuate communication and propel individuals to begin to break down barriers and build bridges between one another, between communities, and even between nations. Art can help advocate for those wounded by domination and inequality, injustice and poverty. Art is not only a wonderful educational tool, it also empowers individuals, allowing for a transformative impact on many problems of our time.
Y me dicen: "Tu pueblo,
tu pueblo desdichado,
entre el monte y el rio
con hambre y con dolores,
no quiere luchar solo, te esta esperando, amigo."
Olivos has led travel Art trips abroad. Traveling with students to different locations in the world to study the culture, history, and to engage in a variety of artistic endeavors.
Mural started on September 13, 2001 at Key Elementary,
Arlington VA-a response to the events of September 11th. It was covered by the local newspaper, and appears among many other art works related to"9/11" on the site: whyproject.org. The work was donated to the Pentagon and they in turn have loaned it longterm to Key Elementary School.