olgaistefan

About Me and this Blog

self-portrait

Pierre Leroux describes what I would like this blog to be – the intersection among the different aspects of human knowledge and creativity.

“Poetry is the mysterious wing that glides at will in the whole world of the soul, in that infinite sphere, one part of which is colors, another sounds, another movements, another judgments, and so forth, all vibrating simultaneously, according to certain laws, so that a vibration in one region communicates itself to another region. The privilege of art is to feel and express these relationships, which are deeply hidden in the very unity of life. From these harmonic vibrations of the diverse regions of the soul an accord results, and this accord is life; and when this accord is expressed, it constitutes art. And it so happens that when this accord is expressed, it is a symbol, and the form of its expression is rhythm, which itself partakes of the symbol: that is why art is the expression of life, the reverberation of life, life itself. Poetry, which chooses for its instrument the word and creates with words the symbol and the rhythm, is an accord, as is music, as is painting, as are all the other arts: so that the fundamental principle of all art is the same, and all the arts get fused into art, all the poetries into poetry. “

-Pierre Leroux, “De la poésie de notre epoque”, 1831

Baudelaire was influenced by this socialist philosopher when he wrote his famous poem, Correspondences:

Nature is a temple where living pillars
Let sometimes emerge confused words;
Man crosses it through forests of symbols
Which watch him with intimate eyes.

Like those deep echoes that meet from afar
In a dark and profound harmony,
As vast as night and clarity,
So perfumes, colors, tones answer each other.

There are perfumes fresh as children’s flesh,
Soft as oboes, green as meadows,
And others, corrupted, rich, triumphant,

Possessing the diffusion of infinite things,
Like amber, musk, incense and aromatic resin,
Chanting the ecstasies of spirit and senses.

About me:

I am a freelance curator, writer, and lecturer originally from Chicago.  Since 2009, I have been living in Zurich, Switzerland with my husband and two sons. Before this, from 2005-2008, I was the executive director of the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, and the executive director of Around the Coyote Arts Festival from 1998-2003. From 2003-2005, when I took time off to be with my first child, I freelanced as the grant writer for Woman Made Gallery. I’ve curated several exhibitions, including Just Another Brick in the Wall: Models for Artistic Production in Romania, Drawn Together, Return of the Yellow Peril, Fire It Up: Ceramic as Material in Contemporary Sculpture, For a Limited Time Only at the Highland Park Art Center, featuring ephemeral installations, Palpable Disequilibrium: Contemporary Art in Romania at Sonnenschein Gallery at Barat College and LIPAGallery in Chicago, Resurrection at Yello Gallery and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern ArtPlease Print, April is the Cruelest Month, and many others at ATC Space, the former gallery of Around The Coyote. I have also served as juror for several festivals, shows, and granting agencies.  I contribute to ArtReview, Art in America, Flash Art, Sculpture Magazine, Artslant, Artmargins, and TurnOnArt.

In the press:

Arts Districts – Chicago Business
A New Animal – Chicago Reader
A Leaner Coyote – Chicago Reader
Shooting the Breeze – Chicago Sun-Times
Around The Coyote – Inside Publications
Arts Professional’s Story – Chicago Artists’ Resource
Professional  Artist Seminar – Artists House
Artists House Panel Discussion
U of C Student Newspaper
Conversation about Prompt Magazine – Bad At Sports
ATC Fall Arts Festival – Artscope
ATC Winter Arts Festival – Artscope
Review of Resurrection  – Artscope
Conversation about the public art controversy – Bad At Sports
Conversation about arts journalism – Bad at Sports
Interview with Dan and Lia Perjovschi in conjunction with Palpable Disequilibrium: Contemporary Art in Romania, FNewsMagazine 2003
About the CAC and me – Time Out Chicago
ArtSlant
Columbia Chronicle
Review of Around the Coyote exhibition
Press for For A Limited Time OnlyArtslant
Press for a Limited Time Only – Highland Park Press
Chicago Artists’ Coalition – Wikipedia
Lonesome Coyote – Chicago Reader
New ED Begins at ATC – Inside Publications
Around The Coyote, a brief review
About Around the Coyote – Inside Publications 2001
Around The Coyote Debuts Winter Arts Festival – Artscope
Artists say Cut – Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun Times
Artstyle Chicago
Artfacts.net
Adapting the Borders: Director’s Vision takes fest deeper into the community… – Chicago Tribune

As Juror, I made selections for the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild National Art Premiere: Elmhurst Artists’ Guild and the Evanston Arts Council.

  1. Olga,
    So good to hear from and about you.
    Your blog is wonderful.
    Looking forward to keeping tabs on your whereabouts.

  2. Crocko,

    Everything is sooooo interesting…And the picture of the bloggeress blogging at her laptop is sooooo beautiful

  3. Olga –
    The blog looks great and is already full of fabulous info and insight. Keep up the great work – I look forward to reading often (just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself to blog constantly …)

  4. Olga,
    Thank you for sharing! I’ll look forward to visiting regularly…

  5. This looks great- thanks for detailing with such eloquence the interest in cultural connections and the poetry. I am another adherent to your mission, thanks for clarifying so succinctly. I’m glad I can follow your explorations of Zurich, and look forward to meeting you in March. Take care.

    I’ll ignore the pressure to write as well on my own blog, but take this one as inspiration. Best to you, stay warm. ~Jess Witte

  6. Olga,
    I love your blog and miss you terribly. Can’t wait to visit. Tell Oliver and Lucas I say “hello”.

  7. Olga, I feel deeply impressed by your words, philosphical ideas about arts, literature, even music – corresponding to each other – how they influence human life, touching us, lifting us up to cultural spheres.
    Thanks for the inspiration to reread Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal and get to know Pierre Leroux. Looking forward to more writings from you – maybe an essay, even a whole book!? Sure the blog will be a big success!
    What a pity Hamburg is so far away from Chicago – love, Oma Wiebke

  8. Hi and thanks for finding me- we’re linked up now. Maybe I will run into you sometime in a gallery in Switzerland. Will be moving this fall near Geneva :)

  9. Olga, I am impressed. Came here from absolutearts.com forum (I’ve seen your comment)and wow!

  10. I like your blog and I find a real privilege to navigate in a such a delightful unique world you could re-create.
    Thanks !

  11. Found you because of the interview with Perjo – I’ll definitely stick around!
    Cheers,

  12. Congratulations from Israel. Happy to see art and culture anytime .
    Thanks

  13. Hello there Ms. Olga,

    I am an IB student who is researching information about Tristan Tzara and his contribution to the Dada movement. Specifically, I am aiming to write a research investigation about his work, The Gas Heart. I hope that you have some information on the subject, and can get back to me soon.

    Thanks, (and awesome blog :)
    Sarah

  14. Hey there.
    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!

  15. Cool info on About Me and this Blog | Correspondences.

    .
    It is without doubt one of the most useful that Ive come across in a
    long time.

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