Artist Statement

Jane Olin.jpg

My photographs always begin with a question or some curiosity that arises within me. In more than thirty years, I have rarely photographed the external world for its own sake, but for the ways in which it helps to reveal subconscious processes and evoke meaning. I generally focus on a single subject in a related series of images, which allows me to hone in on the heart of what I am after. I also have a contemplative awareness practice that is of central importance to me, and which guides and enhances my working methods and my output.

As an artist who has always liked to experiment, I find that pushing the boundaries of what is possible with both camera and darkroom techniques motivates my best work. I photograph with film and sometimes use a pinhole or Holga camera for making images. I love the darkroom process and take advantage of every tool and technique at my disposal. Playing with exposure, focus, and a wide variety of photographic chemicals, I embrace creative accidents, and willingly abandon rules of darkroom procedure, with the intention of expressing a distinctive vision by whatever method seems right. I sometimes print my gelatin silver pieces digitally, but only after darkroom work is completed.

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Selected Exhibitions

• Cabrillo College Gallery, Out of the Dark Alternative Process Photography, Invitational Exhibition, March-April 2019, Beverly Rayner curator
• Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA, 2018 International Juried Exhibition, November-December 2018,
Eve Schillo juror 
• Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA, Salon Jane: The Ethereal Zone, six artists exhibition, September-November
• The Print Center, 92nd Annual International Competition, online, Katherine Ware juror, May 2018 
• Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, Beyond My Reasonable Self, solo exhibition, November 2017-February
• Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA, 2017 International Juried Exhibition, November- December 2017,
Philip Brookman juror 
• Pen + Brush, New York, NY, King Woman, October-December, 2017, Mashonda Tifrere curator 
• Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA, 2017 Members Juried Exhibition, July-September 2017, Jurors: Elizabeth Corden and Jan Potts
• Viewpoint Gallery, Sacramento, CA, On the Edge of Chance, June-July 2017 
• Art Intersection, Gilbert, AZ, Independent Presence Invitational Exhibition, January-February 2017 
• Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA, 2016 International Juried Exhibition, Linde B. Lehtinen juror 
• West End Celebration, Sand City, CA, Independent Presence Invitational Exhibition, August 2016 
• A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, Pinhole, July-August 2016, Amanda Smith juror 
• National Association of Women Artists, Pittsburgh, PA, In-Visible, March-May 2016, John Carson juror 
• Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA, Jane Olin + Elizabeth Opalenik: On the Edge of Chance, January-
February 2016 
• Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, Through the Lens of Four, July-September 2015 
• Green Chalk Contemporary Gallery, Monterey, CA, Independent Presence, June-August, 2015 
• Art Intersection, Gilbert, AZ, Light Sensitive, March-April 2015, Robert Hirsch juror  
• Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA, 2015 International Juried ExhibitionA Portfolio Competition, January-
February 2015, Douglas Marshall juror 
• Online exhibition, New York Center for Photographic Art, Wandering Curves, 2015, Debra Klomp Ching juror 
• The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery, New York, NY, National Association of Women Artists Annual Exhibition,
October 2014
• Agora Gallery, New York, NY, Illumination: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography, April-May, 2014  
• Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ, National Association of Women Artists invitational, 125 Years: A Celebration of
the National Association of Women Artists
, April 2014, Jeffrey Weschler juror 
• Studio 17, Gallery Photographica, San Francisco, CA, San Francisco International Photography Exhibition, July
2013, Jim Casper juror 
• Online exhibition, Women in Photography International, Out of Focus, 2013, Cat Jimenez juror  
• Photo Center NW, Seattle, WA, Equivalents: 17th Annual Photo Competition, August-September 2012, W. M. Hunt
• Tag Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 2012 California Open Exhibition, August 2012, Meg Linton juror 
• National Association of Women Artists Gallery, New York, NY, Open Small Works, February 2012 
• Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA, National Association of Women Artists, From a Different Point of
March-May 2012, Eric Shiner juror  
• Online exhibition, Paris, France, International Fine Art Photography Competition: Grand Prix de la Découverte,
• Wellington B. Gray Gallery, School of Art and Design, Greenville, NC, 7th Annual Photographic Image Biennial
, January-February 2011, Keith Carter juror 
• France-Amériques Association, Paris, France, Alliance of Women Artists, February-March 2010 
• Pen & Brush Gallery, New York, NY, 2008 Juried Photography Exhibition, May 2008, Roy DeCarava juror 
• The Camera Club of New York, NY, National Juried Exhibition 2008, April-June 2008, Larry Fink juror 
• Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD, Art on Paper, March-April 2008 
• Mills Pond House Gallery, Smithtown Township Art Council, St. James, NY, Annual Winners Showcase Exhibition,
September-November 2007 
• Mills Pond House Gallery, Smithtown Township Art Council, St. James, NY, 28th Annual Juried Photography
, March-May 2007, Josephine Sacabo juror 
• Espace Châtelet-Victoria, Paris, France, Alliance of Women Artists, May 2006  
• The Camera Club of New York, NY, National Juried Photo Competition, October-November 2003,
Joyce Tenneson juror 
• Galleria Tondinelli, Rome, Italy, Alliance of Woman of Women Artists, March-April 2005 
• Lisa Coscino Gallery, Pacific Grove, CA, Quiet Sound, solo exhibition, 2003 
• Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA, Biennial Exhibition, 2003, Cathy Kimball, juror  
• Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA, Meta 4 Group Exhibition, Los Gatos, CA, 2002 
• Salon d’Automne, Paris, France, International Juried Exhibition, 2000, 2001, 2003 


Jane Olin has lived and worked as a photographer in California’s Monterey Bay area for over twenty-five years. She brought her full attention to photography after creating a successful business with her husband and raising her children. Living at the epicenter for the West Coast photography movement, she learned the skills of straight photography and the tenets of the historic Group f/64 from the assistants and students of Ansel Adams. She participated in workshops with prestigious photographers including Ruth Bernhard, John Sexton, Joyce Tenneson, Brian Taylor, Martha Casanave, Holly Roberts, and Christopher James, which enriched and broadened her perspective.  

Olin’s childhood years were spent in Steilacoom, a tranquil village overlooking Puget Sound in Washington State. Her introduction to photography came in high school where she fell in love with the darkroom experience. To her regret she did not pursue an arts education and it was many years before she rediscovered her passion for photography. During the interval she traveled widely for business. Japan, of all countries she visited, had the most profound impact, and its aesthetics and its Zen Buddhism resonated deeply with her. The cultural emphasis on beauty found in nature, and in simplicity, in the imperfect, the transient, and the values of grace and subtlety suited her own. She maintains a mindfulness practice today, and present moment awareness is imbedded in her photographic process. 

Although some of Olin’s early work was influenced by straight photography, she has developed a distinctly personal vision. Her photographs originate from internal questioning and personal experience, and rely often on intuition. She works in series of related images, a method that allows for extended explorations of her subject.

An adventurer, Olin continues to push conventional boundaries in both the camera and the darkroom. In two earlier bodies of work, Greta and Thirteen Crows, her ingenious handling of the pinhole camera and darkroom enlarger challenged traditional expectations of focus and exposure, to enhance mystery and tension in her images. Her first series of abstractions, Site Sight Unseen, came about due to an unfixed print mistakenly abandoned in the darkroom sink. When rediscovered, its unexpected beauty prompted a new way of working, in which process rather than a preconceived idea took precedence. Pushing the boundaries of analog photography, Olin purposely pours, sprays, and drips chemicals onto her exposed gelatin silver paper, manipulating and closely monitoring changing effects with an alchemist’s attention to detail. These one of a kind silver gelatin images are enlarged and printed using the digital process. Olin continues to innovate in this vein, experimenting with new subjects and approaches and processing images with her distinctive progression of steps, as in her recent series Intimate Conversation.

Jane Olin has actively exhibited her photography for many years, and is the recipient of numerous jurors’ awards, including a first place from Roy DeCarava in the Juried Photography Exhibition at Pen and Brush Gallery in New York. Her series Site Sight Unseen was featured in a two-person exhibition at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA in January 2016. In 2018, the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA hosted Beyond My Reasonable Self a solo exhibition featuring the series Site Sight Unseen and Intimate Conversation. Also in 2018, new work from Intimate Conversation was highlighted in The Ethereal Zone at the Monterey Museum of Art in Monterey, CA, which included the work of the five other member artists of Salon Jane, the photography collective Olin founded.


• Julia Margaret Cameron Award, 2018, finalist in Nature Category
• Gold Award in Fine Art Category, 2017 Tokyo International Foto Award (TIFA)
• Honorable Mention, New York Center for Photographic Art International Competition, New York, NY, 2015, Debra Klomp Ching, Juror
• Honorable Mention, Diffusion: The Matter of Light, Portland, OR, 2014, Katherine Ware, Juror
• Juror Award, Women In Photography International, Los Angeles, CA, 2013, Cat Jimenez, Juror
• Gold Medal Award, San Francisco International Photography Exhibition, San Francisco, CA, 2013
• Jurors Award of Merit, International Fine Art Photography Competition: Grand Prix de la Découverte, Paris, France, 2012
• Marion de Sola Mendez Memorial Award, National Association of Women Artists, New York, NY, 2009
• First Place, 2008 Juried Photography Exhibition, Pen and Brush Gallery, New York, NY, 2008, Roy DeCarava, Juror
• Second Place, Small Works, National Association of Women Artists, New York, NY, 2008
• Honorable Mention, National Juried Exhibition 2008, Camera Club of New York, NY, Larry Fink, Juror
• First Place, 28th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition, Smithtown Township Art Council, St. James, NY, 2007, Josephine Sacabo, Juror
• Second Place, National Juried Photo Competition, Camera Club of New York, NY, 2003, Joyce Tenneson, Juror
• Award of Excellence, “Best of Photography Annual,” Photographer’s Forum Magazine, 2002
• Best of Show For Foreign Artists, Third International Women’s Photography Festival, Smolensk, Russia, 1994 


• Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
• Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
• Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
• Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA
• Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (Montage Health), Monterey, CA
• Women in Photography International Archive, Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT