Iviva Olenick

Iviva Olenick

Visual Artist and Arts Educator/ Teaching Artist
Brooklyn, NY, 11230 ivivaolenick@gmail.com, 347-563-6340

TEACHINGAdults and Older Adults

SU-CASA Older Adult Center residencies awarded by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), 2020–2023

  • 2020, Brooklyn Chinese Association, Sunset Park:
    • I helped revive participants’ embroidery and weaving skills through hands-on demonstrations and access to materials, artwork samples I’d made and culturally-specific design books. 
    • Participants wove on cardboard looms, transforming handmade fabrics into pouches, bracelets and necklaces with buttons and fixtures I provided.
    • To make embroideries, I collaborated with participants to draw floral designs on fabric, to which they added Chinese language, embroidering over our marks.
    • To create community within our classes, where participants primarily spoke two different Chinese dialects, therefore not always able to speak with each other or me, we used manual demonstrations, visual supports (design books, photographs on participants’ devices) to communicate.
    • To celebrate the participants’ artistry, in lieu of an in-person culminating event during COVID, I created a digital slide show of their artworks, which I shared with BAC and the Center.
  • 2022, Krakus Senior Center, Greenpoint:
    • I introduced hand weaving on frame looms and embroidery, reviving seniors’ existing skills. 
    • After several weeks, participants chose to focus on embroidering Polish folk motifs. 
    • For our culminating event, we created a public exhibition of participants’ embroideries. 
    • The centerpiece of the exhibit was an embroidered map of Poland. I partnered with the Center’s Program Director to draw the map with folk motifs for each region. Participants and I then worked together to embroider the map.
  • 2023, Pete McGuinness Older Adults Center:
    • Participants revived embroidery, needlepoint and cross-stitch skills. 
    • At first, we focused on embroidering Polish folk art motifs: I brought in printouts and books, and participants selected patterns they liked for me to draw on fabric. I later introduced kimono fabrics, specialty threads from Japan, and conceptual art by contemporary fiber artists from multiple cultural traditions. 
    • Participants chose the techniques (embroidery, cross stitch or needlepoint) and imagery that most spoke to them. In some cases, either participants or I hand drew motifs on fabric; in other cases, participants embroidered on printed fabric or needlepoint kits. 
    • We celebrated participants’ artworks through a culminating public exhibit and reception.

Faculty, SVA, Artist Residencies and TARP (The Artist Residency Program virtual program), NY, NY. 8/2020–Current

  • Provide one-on-one critiques and studio visits for adult, emerging artists via Zoom. Artists range in age from post-college to older adults. 
  • Lead hands-on fiber arts workshops (natural dyeing, embroidery, paper-making, weaving), virtually and in person, contextualizing fiber arts within social practice art, ecology and social histories. 

Faculty, SVA MFA Art Practice, NY, NY.  4/2017–Current

  • Teach Fibers, introducing 1st-year students to hand and digital embroidery, digital print design, weaving, crochet, soft sculpture, natural dyeing, historic, contemporary and community intersections. Classes are in-person and were also virtually or concurrently during COVID.
  • Mentor 2nd- and 3rd-year students, providing guidance as they develop mature bodies of work  
  • Lead individual studio visits, providing feedback on works in progress, and participate in whole community critiques, virtually and in person. 
  • Artists range in age from post-college to older adults. 

Instructor, Center for Book Arts, NY, NY. 2010–Current

  • Create new hands-on workshops for adults at the intersection of book arts and textile arts, including Crafting a Narrative and Embroidered Books
  • Teach appliqué, soft sculpture, painting and drawing on fabric, textual embroidery, methods for binding fabric books
  • Work with students to develop their own projects incorporating new materials and techniques
  • Participate in artist talks for exhibits including Livre d’Artiste d’Aujourd’hui: Interdisciplinary Collaborations (2014), and Opulence: All that Glitters Is Not Gold (2018)
  • Translate in-person workshops into Zoom courses (summer 2020–ongoing), including Woven Words, Embroidery On and Off the Page and Botanical Books


Teaching Artist, Studio in a School, NY, NY. 2021–Current

  • Implemented a 6-week oil pastel self-portrait curriculum with 4th and 5th graders in a public school, scaffolding skills from exploring line and shape to color theory, oil pastel blending and smudging, and representation and identity
  • Several students’ works were selected for inclusion in Studio’s 2023 Young Visions exhibition at Christie’s New York.

Teaching Artist, BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY. 9/2019–Current

  • Develop multi-week after school art classes for K-12 students. Teaching residencies have included collage, drawing, painting and photography as part of a year-long journalism club for 4th and 5th graders; a 14-week fiber arts and materials exploration with 2nd graders; stop motion animation with 4th and 3rd graders; and mixed media art (drawing, collage, book arts) with K–5 students. 
  • Work closely with BRIC Teaching Artists and in-school faculty to co-develop curriculum and implement residencies.
  • Led Zoom after school workshops for K–2nd and 6th–8th graders incorporating drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, assemblage and mixed media during the pandemic.
  • Participate in collaborative Teaching Artist trainings, continuing to develop a reflective teaching and artistic practice. 

PT Lower School Art Teacher, Hannah Senesh Day School, Brooklyn, NY. 9/2016–Current

  • Develop curriculum and lead hands-on art classes for K–4 students at a Carroll Gardens independent school. Art-making often integrates science, social studies and ELA content, including students writing poems about weaving; researching Lenape artifacts and fabricating mixed media sculptures and textiles in response; planting seeds to grow dye plants, and hand-weaving and dyeing fabric with natural dyes
  • During covid, re-developed art curriculum to accommodate students learning from home on Zoom, and incorporated digital learning apps (Seesaw and Google Classroom)
  • Participate in designing and building social-emotional and DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging) learning through viewing artworks by diverse artists from history and today, discussing what we see, and learning how to describe and compliment one’s own and each other’s art using art-specific vocabulary. 

Teaching Artist, New Museum Community Partnerships, NY, NY.  9/2015–Current

  • Develop inquiry-based exhibition tours and hands-on art making workshops incorporating drawing, painting, collage, assemblage, textile design, spoken word, mixed media sculpture
  • Engage students with wide range of educational backgrounds and prior art experience. Partners include public high schools, LGBTQ youth, homeless adults, older adults and adults with chronic illness, formerly incarcerated adults, special needs children and teens.
  • Write Kids Menus, online lesson plans for families to try art-making at home

Teaching Artist, School Partnerships, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, NY.  8/2014–2023

  • Wrote curricula and led workshops in drawing, painting, color theory, printmaking, collage, weaving, sculpture, assemblage for 14–21 year old students in special needs high school, M79 Horan School 
  • Wrote lesson plans on works in the Museum’s permanent collection as a launching point for hands-on art making, shared with educators and the public on the Studio Museum website.  
  • Created media presentations and other learning tools for in-person instruction
  • During quarantine, translated lesson plans for in-person teaching into instructional videos
  • Led inquiry-based tours at Museum and partner sites for public schools, adults, college students


  • 2023, NYCAIER Roundtable Teaching Artist Fellow, New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, New York, NY
    • Focused on trauma-informed pedagogy through a one-on-one mentorship with Traci Molloy, and focused meetings with experts in the field, including Caitlyn McCain, Education Associate of Public Engagement for the New York City Children’s Theater, and Beth Feldman Brandt of the Bartol Foundation
  • 2023, Winter Workspace AIR, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY
  • 2021, Harlem’s Educational Movements, National Endowment for the Humanities and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY
    • Participated in intensive study of the struggle for equitable schools in Harlem as part of the Civil Rights movement
    • Presented related curriculum I helped develop to colleagues at Hannah Senesh Day School 

• 8/9–8/14/2018, Guest Artist, Arts First, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

• 8/2017–11/2018, Artist in Residence, Wyckoff House Museum and Farm, Brooklyn, NY


2023 Brooklyn Arts Fund Grant (BAC), Stitchcraft; Charlene Victor & Ella J. Weiss Cultural Entrepreneur Fund (BAC), Study of Women’s Herbal Medicine

• 2022 Brooklyn Arts Fund Grant (BAC) for Natural Dyeing: Colors for Every BK Mood

• 2021 Brooklyn Arts Fund Grant (BAC) for Brooklyn Textile Farm

2019 Community Arts Fund Grant (BAC) for for Plant(n)ation: Brooklyn As Farm

2019 Puffin Foundation Grant for Crowd-Seeded Textile Farm

2019 Puffin Foundation West Grant for Crowd-Seeded Textile Farm

2018 Community Arts Fund Grant (BAC) for (Im)Migration Lines

2017 Puffin Foundation West Grant for Reap What You Sew in Brooklyn, NY

2017 Megina Shlain Textile Award, Workshop Gallery Artists Foundation, Brooklyn, NY

2015 Community Arts Fund Grant (BAC) for Native/Immigrant City



Threads. Continuum Fine Art and Photography, Greenwood Lake, NY. 2-person exhibit with Melanie Fischer. 

Borders Are Meant to Be Crossed. Center for Book Arts, NY, NY


States of Emergenc(y)e. Society for Domestic Museology. NY, NY


Embroidered Love Notes. Muriel Guepin Gallery, NY, NY


(Im)Migration Lines. Wyckoff House Museum, Brooklyn, NY culmination of 15-month residency


Past and Present. 2-person exhibit. Muriel Guepin Gallery, NY, NY



Earth Mothering. 180 Franklin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY forthcoming

Picturing the Constitution. Old Stone House, Brooklyn, NY forthcoming

Cut Me Up Issue 10: Reconnect launch party. Quimby’s Bookstore, NY, NY 


Acid Garden. Charles Moffett Gallery, NY, NY 

Cats & Dogs. ABC No Rio Gallery in Exile (Chashama), NY, NY

Brooklyn Utopias: Along the Canal. OSH & Washington Park, Brooklyn, NY

Among Friends. Equity Gallery, NY, NY

Thread in Motion. East Village Art View,NY, NY

Atlantic Avenue Art Walk. Belarusian Church, Brooklyn, NY


Altered Grain. Stay Home Gallery, Paris, TN


Americans Looking In. Center for Book Arts, NY, NY

Window Shopping. Kastan Art Space, Greenburg, NY

Making a Way. South Bend Museum of Art, South Bend, IN

Spring Flash. New York Artist Equity Association, NY, NY

Reflections. St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, NY


Race and Revolution: Still Separate—Still Unequal. Penn State, State College, PA and 

August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Politics of Place. Center for Book Arts, NY, NY


Freedom of the Presses. Booklyn, Brooklyn, NY

Race and Revolution: Still Separate—Still Unequal. Pingry School, Basking Ridge, NJ

For Which It Stands. Commissioned to make activist flag. Old Stone House, Brooklyn, NY 

Arts First. Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Opulence. The Center for Book Arts, NY, NY

Nou La – We Reach! Wyckoff House Museum, Brooklyn, NY 

Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism. Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), Atlanta, GA


Intimate Lines. Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ

Race & Revolution: Still Separate – Still Unequal. Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY

Juan Rulfo Cumple Cien/Juan Rulfo Turns 100. AAA3A, Bronx, NY

Reverberation, Inauguration Day. Brooklyn Workshop Gallery, Brooklyn

Readings on Peace for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Queens Museum, Queens, NY


BA Psychology/French Language & Literature, SUNY Binghamton

AAS Textile/Surface Design, Fashion Institute of Technology