She holds an MFA from Vermont College, a BA in Psychology, and a BFA in painting from George Mason University.
The founder, and one time owner of a gallery in Washington D.C., Olivos currently exhibits widely nationally and internationally. She has beeen included in the 2003-06 Editions of Marquis's Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who of American Artist (2006-07).
Her paintings have been featured in several publications including on the cover of Coming Home by J. Pizarro, and on the cover of the CD, Octaves Beyond Silence featuring Eve Ensler and Indigo Girls, a CD made to benefit women survivors of violence in Rwanda, Bosnia & Afghanistan, and a book of Latino Poetry (2007).
She has been involved in the local art community with various projects varying from working with youth at risk to teaching at the Smithsonian Institution Resident Associates Program, leading workshops in the community, to painting backdrops for scenery for Teatro de La Luna. Claudia Olivos currently teaches at The Art League School in Alexandria, and is faculty at the Art Institute of Washington. She regularly donates the use of her work for causes she believes in such as Alianza Latina in New York , and NHLi.
Claudia resides in Arlington, Virginia with her son Julian and her partner/husband, painter Sergio Olivos . She is a full time artist, working with drawing, painting and collage/assemblage.
Born in Washington D.C. to Chilean parents, Claudia Olivos was raised in Chile where she attended a private Catholic school, and was witness to the political upheaval of the Allende-Pinochet years. Her family returned to the USA when she was 13 years old. In doing her MFA studies, Claudia concentrated on the art of the Surrealists and on the literary genre of Magic Realism. She formulated a thesis to show that Magic Realism, like Surrealism, is a postmodern genre founded in literature and leading to the visual, and that is serves as a language to convey feelings of repression and oppression in a manner which is obvious yet sublime.
Claudia Olivos has also used her studies to investigate the role of the artist within her/his community, and how the arts make a difference by allowing the artist to form a dialogue with the community regarding socio/political issues.
It is her belief that to be a successful artist, we can't live, breathe and think only art. Art is found in the life that surrounds us...visit not only the art museum-but also the Planetarium...the zoo, a play. Read, travel...fresh experiences, diversity in that which touches our soul will lead not only to great ideas for creating art, but help us grow
Claudia Olivos has worked professionally as a social worker, counselor for individuals with mental health issues, artist in residence, officer on a cruise ship, daycare worker, bartender, community artist, gallery founder and director, special events coordinator and is a mother. All of which have supported and influenced her constant evolution as an artist.
Another artist who has worked in similar type of program is Claudia Olivos, a full-time artist and educator ...
"I introduce the women to the work of Joseph Cornell, Robert Raushenberg and Frida Kahlo. We talk about conceptual art, emotions, hopes, dreams, nightmares and reality. Often times the work is a crucifixion of sorts . . . of the past," explained Olivos.
She adds that art is a way for the women to express feelings they might not have words for.
"Imagery, objects . . . they become letters and words for their experiences. The sharing of trauma is often painful, but yet wonderful and healing"