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K. Michael Olson, Artist & Composer

Artist Statement

I loved coloring as a child. Well, that is until the very first day of school. I gleefully started as soon as my teacher brought out the crayons. I was in a state of mindfulness and transcendence that we strive for as adults. I was lost in the world of colors. That ended abruptly and harshly as soon as the teacher saw my work.

She told me that I was doing it WRONG. I didn't understand. How could coloring be wrong? "One must always color within the lines," I was told. Elation immediately turned to shame. Something magical had turned into a joyless and tedious task. I never particularly cared for coloring after that. 

I went through life hiding my [WRONG] self behind a dull grey veneer until my wonderful wife encouraged me to pursue my passions. I returned to university to study music composition with numerous award-winning and world-class musicians. The experience was transcendent, and I eventually joined the faculty myself. However, it seemed like we were all clinging to a small raft of Western Music tradition in a sea of endless possibilities. I wanted to explore that sea.

For the first time, I wrote an uninhibited work without concern for external approval or academic merit. It broke open the cage my inner self in when I was young. I immediately started painting for the first time since I was that child, and have never stopped.

Find your true voice and paint the world with it.



K. Michael Olson is an experimental visual and sonic artist. His background includes studying music composition with world renowned award-winning composers and Pulitzer Prize winners, being granted multiple patents for his work in three-dimensional graphics, and making flourless chocolate cake for a bunny-slipper-clad astronaut.  He embraces a role as a hybrid, combining his many interests and experiences into new dramatic and exploratory art forms. 


Olson's recent works include private commissions, such as a large-scale painting of the Manhattan skyline, and an abstract painting to be used as the cover for a new wind ensemble work by ASCAP Award-winning composer James M. David.  He currently has several paintings on display at the Workspace Gallery in Manchester, CT. Prior works includes a multi-performance exhibition of his multimedia artwork and live music presented in a 360 degree surround full-dome format at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery in Colorado, a full-length album entitled Seraphima, and multiple fully staged opera scenes.


Olson performs with the Willimantic Orchestra and showcases his artwork at Artist Open Studios of Northeast Connecticut.  He focuses on the creation of musical compositions, imaginative abstract and expressionist oil paintings, and digital multi-media artworks.  He actively accepts commissions for music and art.

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