Olivia Brouwer is an award winning emerging artist from Hamilton, Ontario. In 2016, she graduated from the Art and Art History joint program, specializing in painting and printmaking, at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College Institute of Technology. Since then, her work has been exhibited in a number of shows across Southern Ontario, including the Blackwood Gallery, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, and the Robert Kananaj Gallery in collaboration with Emerging Young Artists. She was a recent recipient of the Centre3 Emerging Artist Residency program and the Artist Residency program at the Cotton Factory in Hamilton, Ontario. She is one of 52 finalists for the Salt Spring National Art Prize now exhibiting in British Columbia, as well as one of 5 finalists for the JRG Emerging Artist Award.
As a partially blind artist, Brouwer explores the idea of blindness through her art, melding organic and geometric abstraction with scenes inspired by natural organisms and spiritual teachings relating to vision from both a metaphorical and literal sense. She translates the concept of blindness into a symbol, using it to examine ideas surrounding belief, meaning, clarity, and sight – both physical and spiritual. Her most recent work explores various encounters with art which activate human senses, enabling an inclusive experience for both visually impaired and sighted viewers.
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.