TRAIL SIGNS
1708 Gallery
exhibition catalogue
preface

Having known the artist and the woman for more than a dozen years doesn't make me suited for this task of writing on the drawings of Amie Oliver. Not being writer or critic (but friend) leaves me susceptible to some sort of brotherly endorsement, rather than a collection of words which offer a deep and reasoned understanding of her efforts. Having stated that, allow me this: I admire Amie - Amie the artist and the woman. We shared the hall between our studios for fourteen years. The woman listened to me whine all the time and the artist offered me direction and support often on a daily basis.

What motivates each artist is theres alone to understand, guard and develop. I do not have to respond to all of Amie's work to respect her need to make it.

Her devotion to memory... that is "in memory of," all that has gone before and all that slips away each day is real. Do I know more than this about Amie? I know details. Isn't the cliche that the truth is in the details? One is that Amie willfully chose the artists' life, when having had the other choice - the artist life being an honest one of living without. This in itself need not be mentioned except for the fact that the decision was made in the hope of clarity.

Clarity offered through a connection to the urgency and truth of the universal ideal. In this day and age it appears that only a fool makes such a choice. Do such details qualitatively effect the art, yes; if you do not separate the art and the artist life. At some time, Amie Oliver took a stand, which she chooses to renew each day.

Of the work itself, intuit for yourself what it means. If I can be of assistance, I urge you to study the washes. The atmospheres, which surround the figures and exist on their own, in the alchemy of these mists, the bread and water you are seeking may exist.

Don Crow
August 2001

Don Crow is a professional artist who has been teaching at the Virginia Commonwealth University Design College in Qatar since 2001. He is a former recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art Fellowship for Individual Artists and a recipient of the RIchmond Magazine Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts.