Harold Olejarz received a 2023 Artist Finalist award from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
I began my career as a sculptor. I worked in wood, creating sculptures ranging from abstract waves to figural sculptures inspired by Greek sculpture. I was active in the Soho cooperative gallery movement and exhibited at 14 Sculptors Gallery in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. I also reviewed Soho gallery exhibitions for Arts Magazine during that time.
In the late 1980’s and 90’s I created wearable sculptures and was active as a Performance Artist. I installed myself, as a living sculpture, on streets, in museums and public spaces across the country, performing in numerous festivals, galleries and museums. During this time I received two fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Digital imaging has fascinated me since 1990 when I first explored image manipulation with early digital tools like ColorIt! and early versions of Photoshop. My early digital images included a series of scanned images in which I used my hands and objects as “performers” on a flatbed scanner. These images created a bridge from my performance work to his digital imagery.
I was awarded a public art commission by NJ Transit. For this commission I created two etched glass block windscreens, that are installed at the Pavonia/ Newport Light Rail Station in Jersey City.
Currently, I use my photographs as source material to create circular, collaged images that repeat and rotate slices of photographs. The images suggest mandalas and kaleidoscopes.