For artist and art therapist Kristen Olsen, everything in life revolves around transformation and growth. From her earliest years to the present day, Olsen's left her mark on the world around her.
"I always gravitated toward creating—painting and drawing and, really, everything," she says. Growing up in a household that encouraged the arts, the catharsis that comes with creation has long been a guiding light in her life. So when it came time to hone her studies and fashion a career out of her interests, she knew right where to start. "I thought about everything I love," Olsen says. "I love art and I've been doing it my whole life; it's really been my own therapy. I love to travel and I love to help people."
Following undergraduate work, she enrolled at Ursuline College to pursue a degree in art therapy and counseling. And by keeping an eye out for great opportunities, she's combined her loves into an expansive career.
Artful Expeditions is her private art-therapy practice. She brings groups together to explore life via art in places as varied as Paris and Chagrin Falls. And The O Gallery, 2101 Richmond Road in Beachwood, is now essentially Olsen's homebase for a variety of projects. There, she represents more than 20 local artists and showcases some of Cleveland's finest art. — Eric Sandy