Christopher Olszewski



From June 5 through July 24, 2015, I drove from Savannah, Georgia to Sheridan, Wyoming (spending one month at the Jentel Foundation Visiting Artist Program) and returning to Savannah.

Building on my previous “Vision Quests”, I designed a new car-skin for 2015. Running with the Devil is based on the names of places I visited like Devil’s Tower, Hell’s Half Acre, Devil’s Bathtub and Devil’s Canyon. The devil theme had me curious about the landscape and exhilarated about what I would find there. The Project is a mobile message board which acts as a “soft” monument  to connect Time, Place, Identity and Space of my journey.

My work is based on “AUTOMOBILE SKINS”. I am painting images on vinyl automobile covers and covering my 2005 Pontiac Montana. The vinyl is manipulated while on the vehicle and replaced as needed with a fresh skin. The collection of skins will construct an exhibition based on the experience gained from traveling to Wyoming.

The color scheme for this project is red and white. I am half Native American and Polish American. My skin color has always been not quite red and yet not white enough. The vehicle is an avatar of the crossroads of my cultural assimilation.

While traveling, I collaborated with universities, colleges, people in WalMart parking lots, tribal colleges, Native peoples, and visit museums, battlegrounds, ceremonial sites and research Native American art collections. I produced photographs, videos, collage and watercolor drawings while developing collaborative works, sight specific and time based pieces. Each location has an art piece dedicated to the historical context and address the importance of healing, remembering and forgiving. I encourage the vehicle to be decorated by each individual with whom I come into contact. At the beginning of the trek, the vehicle was a blank canvas and each mark, sticker, dent and repair is a testament to the rich cultural dialog of the journey.

This project is the convergence of years of dedicated research into multicultural identity and the positioning of Native American artists in a contemporary context. It is also a means of transitioning my theories about cultural identity into a tangible body of work.

Please look at images from Summer 2014 and No Place for the Weak.

Thank you.

Images of participants interacting with Automobile Skin:

RWTD-2015 Skin on Display

15 x 24 feet


Fully Decorated RWTD-2015 Skin

Jentel Foundation Banner, Wyoming

Running with the Devil-Vision Quest 2015

“Heads I Win - Tails You Lose Skin”

Performance at The University of Wyoming

15 x 24 feet