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 am exploring digital image making outside of the rectangular frame. 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.

There is a kaleidoscopic, puzzle-like aspect to my images that make them engaging. The images are not the rectangular image one expects from a traditional photograph; they are circular, composed of slices of photographs that are repeated and rotated. Repetition of colors and forms encourages viewers to focus on the relationships of the objects to itself and the other objects in the image.  The images are about differences and similarities, repetition and patterns. Rather than experience a field of vision, viewers are brought into a vortex of shapes, colors, objects, flora and fauna. The images evoke pinwheels, kaleidoscopes, mandalas and ammonites. They encourage viewers to delight in the repetition and patterns revealed in the constructed image.

In addition to numerous grants and awards Harold Olejarz received a 2023 Artist Finalist award from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  

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