Artist Lindsay Olson Weaves Together Art and Science

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Local artist Lindsay Olson installed her “Manufactured River” show at the Oak Park Public Library’s second floor Art Gallery on Sunday, November 2.

A collection of tapestries that are as beautiful as they are at first perplexing, Olson’s works are an expression of her fascination with “the science and engineering required to turn sewage into clean water.”

An unlikely topic for art, yet it makes sense once Olson starts explaining her background. Originally an impressionistic plain air landscapist, Olson painted on rivers and lakes, editing out the gritty, man made details of landscape. Then she visited the Sepa water treatment station and learned about the importance of water reclamation to public health and was determined to study and share the topic through her art, moving from the “idealized to the real story of water.”

Her tapestries are meant to draw a connection between the waste maker and the waste cleaners. To close the distance between the art and the viewer, she chooses materials like textiles that are such a common part of human’s everyday life.

Denim and canvas suggest the hard work of the field. Primary colors, too, form a subconscious connection between the viewer and the art, showing that the bacterial chains she’s depicting are elemental to our everyday life. Olson hopes that calling attention to them by making them into art will elevate them to their rightful place.

Experience the statement itself at her show, which runs through November 29.

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