Photographs by Normal Olivio

May 1 - June 4 - BankRI Pitman Street Gallery

The BankRI Galleries present:

BankRI Pitman Street: “Photographs by Norlan Olivo,” May 1 through June 4, 2014. The branch is located at 137 Pitman Street in Providence. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. For more information, contact or call 456-5015, ext 1330.

MEET THE ARTIST – Norlan Olivo

In 2002, ten-year old Norlan Olivo and his family moved from the Bronx, NY to Providence, RI. His mother wanted a new life for herself and her family away from the pressures of a big city. Olivo attended the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (aka the Met) and Roger Williams University, studying to be an engineer. On his path to becoming an engineer, he discovered photography.

“I didn’t really know about art,” Olivo says, “But I found it in Providence.” His high school friends introduced him to AS220, the alternative art space in downtown Providence. He met photographer and AS220 Youth Photo Coordinator Scott Lapham and enrolled in a basic photography class at AS220. He took advantage of all the opportunities AS220 afforded him, taking classes, exhibiting in the galleries, managing the Kennedy Plaza Portrait Project and teaching some of the same courses he himself had taken.

Today, Olivo lives at AS220 and works 25-30 hours a week at the Metcalf Store at the Rhode Island School of Design. He attends the Community College of Rhode Island, taking five classes a semester, and is working towards an associate’s degree in fine arts with an eye towards transferring to RISD or the Massachusetts College of Art. In his spare time, he plays drums in two bands – the Downtown Boys and the What Cheer Brigade.

Olivo is an easy-going, hard-working young man, but it is his photography that both drives and relaxes him. He is a self-described street photographer, taking photographs of the people and scenes around him. His subjects respond to him and are comfortable with the camera. These black-and-white scenes of his band mates and everyday people he meets on the street are candid, unpretentious and exude a sense of calm.

“I just try to document and showcase these moments which are harmonious and relaxing to me, things we might not notice,” Olivo says. “Living alone, going to college,” he continues, “is hard. Photography is the only way I get to relax and breathe.”


The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.


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