New Online Exhibition-Michelle O’Patick-Ollis: Winter

And the Wheels Were Turning Again, 2019, coffee painting with conte crayon, chalk pastel, and graphite, 30 x 22 inches

Michelle O’Patick-Ollis: Winter

December 10, 2021–January 28, 2022

Artist Online Talk

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 11a.m. Central/12p.m. Eastern



By Krishna, Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design

O’Patick-Ollis received a B.F.A. from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and an M.F.A. from Arizona State University. Both degrees were in Art with a concentration in art education and printmaking. She also earned a M.A.T. in elementary and K-12 Art Education from ETSU. After college, she worked under Harvey Littleton (one of the founders of the studio glass movement) as a printer, learning Vitreography, the process of printing on a glass matrix. She was then hired as the manager of exhibits at Hands On Regional Museum in Johnson City. Since 2010, she has been an art educator for grades 5-6 at Indian Trail Intermediate School in Johnson City.

When not teaching, she is busy creating commissioned portraits and murals for local businesses and homes while somehow still finding time to further develop a strong, personal body of work. Through using coffee as paint and developing mixed media drawings, her current work depicts the challenges of the aging process, primarily influenced by being a caregiver for her mother suffering from Parkinson’s disease and her father, a quadriplegic, with dementia. This exhibition spotlights O’Patick-Ollis’ important visual documentation of her parents at this stage of life, showing reduced motor skills while also sharing moments of playfulness and joy.

Click here to see the exhibition.

“My drawings became a way of cataloging good memories and a way of working through some of the more difficult ones.  The creation of this body of work has been a grieving process for me, a way of dealing with what is already lost and a way of hanging onto what will inevitably disappear…By adding the element of transparency and motion (through the use of semi-translucent media), my work enables the viewer to see the subjects primarily as they once were.  An elderly woman smiles and dances.  An immobile, paralyzed body is presented in motion playing a game of checkers…I was able to depict my parents in a way where they seem to be at peace or joyful, yet upon closer inspection, the viewer is able to see a visual hint to the truth of the situation.”- O’Patick-Ollis

Her work has been shown for over 20 years in solo and group exhibitions in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, Arizona, Texas, Montana, and California. Her work is in collections at The Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC; New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT; Tucson Museum of Art in Tucson, AZ; University of Washington Book Arts and Rare Book Collection in Seattle, WA; Scottsdale Contemporary Museum of Art in Scottsdale, AZ; Gormley Gallery, College of Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore, MD; Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL; North West Art Center in Minot, ND; the B. Carroll Reece Museum, in Johnson City, TN; Ohio University Print Collection in Athens, OH; and Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, AZ among others.

2021 has been a busy year from O’Patick- Ollis, she won the Best in Show at the Kingsport Art Guild’s Appalachian Art show and was awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship in 2D Visual Art from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Learn more about her work at

Join us on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 11a.m. Central/12p.m. Eastern for an online talk with O’Patick-Ollis where we will discuss her work, process, and future plans.