Lisa Olivarez is best known for her expressive, colorful landscapes painted in pastel, oil, and acrylic.  Drawing inspiration from her environment Olivarez translates the inherent beauty and complexity of nature with energetic strokes and kinetic brushwork.  She frequently looks for excuses to use exaggerated color, pushing the image to the brink of abstraction.
Olivarez is particularly inspired by the work and life of late Detroit icon Gilda Snowden who had a strong impact on her while a young art student in Detroit.  She holds a B.F.A. from Wayne State University where she studied formal painting techniques under Robert Wilbert and Tom Parish.  Lisa continues to develop her artistic practices in workshops and has participated in artist residencies in the US and Greece.  Her studio is surrounded by nature and sits just west of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Lisa Olivarez, (b. 1966, USA),

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B.F.A., Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA,  concentration in Painting, 1989

The University of Texas, Brownsville, Texas, USA, Secondary Teaching Certificate, 1992

College for Creative Studies, Detroit MI, USA, 1985-86

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA,  1984-85


Numerous workshops


Artists’ Residencies

To the Garden, Paros Island, Greece, two week residency, 2017

Painted en plein air in pastel and gouache, completed over 20 paintings.

Blueberry View Artists’ Retreat, two week residency, 2015

Painted in studio and en plein air in pastel and oil.  Completed over 15 paintings including six experimental,  4 x 5 foot oils.

The National Parks Service, Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice, Nebraska, USA, two week residency, 2011

Responsibilities included painting daily en plein air and interacting with park visitors, donation of one piece to the park and teaching two workshops on painting en plein air using pastel.

Completed over 15 pieces of art


Selected Art Exhibitions, *indicates solo exhibition


2019 Welcoming the Light, Portage, Michigan, USA

2018 Recent Work, Amy Zane Store and Studio, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA*

2018 Regional Exhibition, Carnegie Center for the Arts, Three Rivers, Michigan, USA

2017 Art on the Avenue Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

2016 In and Out  Cafe Casa Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA*

2016 Landscapes   Amy Zane: store and studio, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA*

2016 Cityscapes  Amy Zane: store and studio, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA*

2015 Small Works   Amy Zane: store and studio, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA*

2014 Recent Work   Amy Zane: store and studio, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA*

2013 Gallery 344 Ltd., Kalamazoo, Michigan

2011-13 Waukeenau Art Walk, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC)

2011, 2012 Painted Sanctuary, Plein Air Artists of West Michigan/ Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

2011 Art Prize  Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA


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