Meet the Artist: Jim Olson

Jim Olson Artwork

Some of the pieces available at our SODO location. Image courtesy of Jim Olson.

Jim Olson’s beautifully offbeat pieces on display in our SODO Café are tangible products of his rich imagination. Described as “hammered assemblages” by Narthex Gallery Curator Scott Ward, Jim’s work breathes new life into abandoned objects.

“I create art from salvaged material,” Jim explains. “Weathered wood and hammered metal create a rough, heavily textured style that is the signature feature of my work. Repurposing materials keeps them from ending up in the scrap heap. There was a day when you could freely roam the junkyard and take home whatever caught your eye.”

Now, Jim combs construction sites, millwork and metalwork shops as well as the occasional dumpster for treasures to repurpose into works of art. Hearing his fans describe the pleasure his work brings them fuels his passion and inspires his creativity. While art has not always been his trade, Jim’s inventive imagination and creative spirit came in handy in his former 42-year career as a salesman for a series of Wall Street firms.

“I used a technique called ‘Story Selling,’ which involves weaving a perceived interest of the prospective client around your product or service. Sometimes it worked; sometimes it bored a prospect to tears. The same is true of my art, a bond is created or it isn’t.”

His technique has certainly captured Seattle’s attention. Jim’s work will be on display at our SODO Café through the end of June. He will then show his pieces at The Elliott Bay Book Company in for the entire month of July. You can also find his work at NuBe Green in Capitol Hill.