In my studio work, I use restrictive metal armatures and sterile bathroom tiling as points of conceptual departure to examine the internalized habits of women. My work physically manifests the damage of gender inequality, repeatedly imprinted on the subconscious of all genders.
As a jewelry maker, I investigate our dependence on gemstones and precious metals to define and to assign value to jewelry. My jewelry adopts the form of geometric, faceted gemstones but subverts expectations through texture, color, and material.
Recently, I've been exploring my relationship with plastic. It protects our food, holds our water, and pampers us with its convenience and low cost. Occasionally, it converges in small islands in the middle of the ocean. As a maker, I carve, sand, and polish plastic to explore my own guilt and addiction to this material.
Olivia Shih is a Taiwanese and American artist and jewelry designer based in Oakland, California. She holds a BFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts from the California College of the Arts and a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Her artwork often investigates gender issues through wearable sculptures and use of alternative materials. Olivia is also a freelance writer for Art Jewelry Forum.
California College of the Arts / Oakland and SF, CA / 2014 / BFA in Jewelry/Metal Arts
Columbia College, Columbia University / New York, NY / 2011 / BA in Creative Writing
Select Scholarships, Grants, & Awards
Revere Academy New Student Scholarship / 2017
Penland School of Crafts Horn Scholarship / 2016
GIA Scholarship / 2016
SNAG/crafthaus Conference Scholarship / 2016
Art Olympia Finalist / 2015
Windgate Fellowship Nominee / 2015
NICHE Awards Finalist / 2015
Women’s Jewelry Association Grant / 2015
Haystack Workstudy Scholarship / 2015
Select Group Exhibitions
The Body: Adorned/Altered / Baltimore, MD / 2018 / Baltimore Jewelry Center
Alchemy / Gatlinburg, TN / 2017 / Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft
Body of Work: Contemporary Art Jewelry on the Body / Online / 2017 / Google Arts & Culture
Wearable Expressions 7th International Juried Exhibition / LA, CA / 2017 / Palos Verdes Art Center
Art Olympia / Tokyo, Japan / 2017 / Toshima City Hall
LEXICON / Chicago, Illinois / 2016 / Zhou B Art Center
The 6th Annual BMFJ Earring Show / Taipei, Taiwan / 2016 / BMFJ
Moved by Metal: On Beauty as Interaction / Asheville, NC and in Metalsmith / 2015 / Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design + Metalsmith magazine (Exhibition in Print)
California Now: Juried Exhibition of Clay, Glass & Enamel Art / Richmond, CA / 2015 / South and West Galleries at the Richmond Art Center
Emergence: New Thoughts in Craft and Object Making /Rock Hill, SC / 2015 / Lewandowski Student Gallery
Materials: Hard & Soft / Denton, TX / 2015 / Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts
Pearls on the Crown / Nantou, Taiwan / 2015 / National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute
2015 ITAMI International Craft Exhibition / Itami, Japan / 2015 / The Museum of Arts Crafts-ITAMI
Forms of Adornment: Flesh and the Erotic / Atlanta, GA / 2015 / Plaza Gallery, Lamar Dodd School of Art
Feminism Is Dead! / Oakland, CA / 2014 / College Avenue Galleries
California College of the Arts / Oakland, CA / February 2019 - May 2019/ 3B Teaching Assistant
Julia Turner / San Francisco, CA / October 2017 - Present/ Jewelry Production Assistant
California College of the Arts / Oakland, CA / September 2017 - December 2017/ Senior Project Teaching Assistant
Sandra Enterline / San Francisco, CA / March 2015-February 2018 / Jewelry Production Assistant
Art Jewelry Forum / San Francisco, CA / June 2014 - Present / Freelance writer
Velvet da Vinci Gallery / San Francisco, CA / May 2014 - October 2014 / Administrative Intern
Where to Buy
Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.