Senior Kami Olson won multiple awards in the Messiah Annual Juried Student Exhibition. Earning Best Photography and Best Junior/Senior for a series of photographs and Best Painting for a self-portrait titled, “Press Seedlings Into Each Crease,” Kami also had the distinction of her painting, “Bury My Root Turned Toes to Share Kisses with Worms,” selected as Best of Show.

Kami Olson is an artist from Lindsborg, Kansas and has spent the last four years developing processes and concepts at Bethany College. Spanning multiple media, but unified in conveying the cyclical nature of life, Kami focuses on skin and its ephemeral and vulnerable existence. Her pieces inspire the idea that the body is grown from soil, or that the flesh is fertile for plant life. Drawn to soft subtle changes in color and light, her work is a response to the human experience and the interactions of the body with nature in a surreal space or state of mind.

“Kami Olson’s painting ‘Bury My Root Turned Toes to Share Kisses With Worms’ explores the connections between human physicality and the elements of nature both in life and in death,” said Nelson Smith, Associate Professor of Art. “Kami has been the kind of art student who is always working and experimenting—a force of nature herself and the best example we could hope to have for our younger students. She is an inspiration to all who interact with her.”

Kami spent a semester studying in Florence, Italy, where she learned new processes such as; Fresco Painting, Etching and had more exposure to live models. Since returning, Kami has served as an Intern at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, as well as an apprentice to Wichita painter, Ernest Vincent Wood III. She has been featured as guest artist at local events, such as Lindsborg’s Halloween Bash “Boo Ha Ha”, multiple Maker’s Street Art Walks, exhibited in the Sandzén Holiday Gift Show, and had a solo show at Connected to fundraise for her semester abroad. She has received awards from the Juried Messiah Exhibitions, such as;  Best of Drawing (2015), Best of Sculpture (2015) Best of Jewelry (2016), Best of Photography (2017, 2018), Best of Painting (2017, 2018), Best Junior/Senior (2018), and Best of Show (2016, 2018).