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writing about work

the fugitive and yet vast moment
the elusive present
the recognition of impermanence

Drawings begin within the geometric construction techniques developed through decades of architecture and motion picture art direction. Unlike those disciplines, forms do not need to make sense.

Paintings are a progression of drawings that feel interesting. Forms evolve as colors define them. Color and the inner narrative shift in response. Moment is expressed in process and ambiguous space enlivens the work.

Photographs record a response in that same present moment. They record presence in the immensity of ordinary daily life.


UCLA Graduate School of Architecture, 1989

Master of Architecture

Graduation with Honors


UCLA College of Fine Arts Design

BA, Fine Arts Design

Summa Cum Laude



Decades of work as Motion Picture Art Director and Architect


SLOMA, Eye Deals, 2016, paintings and photographs


SLOMA, Phantom 17, 2019

Southeast Center for Photography, Natural Nude, 2018

SLOMA, Phantom 16, 2018

SLOMA, Phantom 15, 2018

SLOMA, Phantom 13, 2018

ART CENTER MORRO BAY, Brushstrokes, 2018

SLOMA, Phantom 12, 2018

SLOMA, Phantom 11, 2018, Juror

SLOUMC, Beacon Art Show, 2018

SLOMA, Phantom 9, 2018

SLOMA, Phantom 7, 2017

SLOMA, Phantom 5, 2017

SLOMA, Phantom 4, 2017

ART CENTER MORRO BAY, Social Justice, 2017

ART CENTER MORRO BAY, Pushing Boundaries: Exploring Abstraction, 2018

ART CENTER MORRO BAY, On and Off the Wall, 2017

SLOMA, Brushstrokes, 2017

SLOMA, New Visions, 2017

SLOMA, Up Close and Personal, 2016

CITY OF LOS ANGELES, Deep Roots, 2014

SLOMA, Highlights and Shadows, 2013

SLOMA, Photomorphosis ll, 2012


CATAVINOS PASADENA, 1995, Benefit for the Armory Center for the Arts

LACMA, Art Sales and Rental Gallery, 1994


KCET ARTBOUND, Erik Olson: Playing with Light, February 8, 2016

JOURNAL PLUS, SLO Museum, Presents Erik Olson, January 2016

SANTA MARIA TIMES, ADOBE, Erik Olson, exhibit at Museum of Art, January 8, 2016

NEW TIMES, Erik Olson, The Space Between, January 21, 2016

THE TRIBUNE, San Luis Obispo, Erik Olson, Reflects on Light, January 31, 2016

ARTILLERY, Photograph of the Artist, Marnie Weber, July and August 2010

LA WEEKLY, Photograph of the Artist, Lori Tilkin, 1998


FINE ARTS PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS, Conceptual Nominee, 2019

BLACK & WHITE SPIDER AWARDS 2018, Honor of Distinction, 2 Honorable Mentions & 3 Nominations

SLOUMC, Beacon Art Show, Second Place, 2018

ART CENTER MORRO BAY, Pushing Boundaries, Second Place, 2018

BLACK & WHITE SPIDER AWARDS 2017, 2 Honorable Mentions and 1 Nomination

BLACK & WHITE SPIDER AWARDS 2016, Honorable Mention and & Nominations

BLACK & WHITE SPIDER AWARDS 2015, Honorable Mention and 3 Nominations

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