Born in Texas, Irene Hardwicke Olivieri was deeply influenced by her travels in Central and South America. She studied art in Mexico and received her BFA from the University of Texas, Austin. While attending New York University she worked as a gardener and lecturer at the Cloisters. Soon after she worked at the New York Botanical Garden making drawings of neo tropical palms.
She currently lives off grid in a solar powered house in the high desert of central Oregon sharing the land with badgers, bobcats, bushy tailed woodrats, black tailed jackrabbits, Jerusalem crickets, ravens, western fence lizards, pygmy horned toads, mountain lions, mule deer and magpies, many of which find themselves in her paintings.
Many of her intricately detailed, idiosyncratic paintings are executed on rising bowls and old wooden doors. She creates ink drawing/collages made from maps as well as bone mosaics (nude figures she calls “Paleo Girls”) created from bones recovered from her dissection of owl pellets found in the wild.
Her artwork is included in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, where she was the subject of a solo exhibition in 2004.