Meet Olivia Holdsworth (CFA’20)

Who is Olivia?

Olivia Sayer Holdsworth (CFA’20) is an artist from Maine, the eldest in a large family that breeds miniature poodles as companions for elderly people and those with autism. She’s a printmaking major with a minor in art history, so it’s no surprise that her favorite topic is history. Her hobbies include listening to podcasts, cooking, watching TED talks online, and, of course, making art.

Finding power through printmaking

Olivia explores different art-making techniques, including watercolor and pencil. But her passion is for printmaking. Her pieces address her bisexuality and the struggles she faces with endometriosis and ankylosing spondylitis. She hopes to educate the world on the chronic illnesses she faces and the difficulties they cause—having constant pain, dealing with intimate surgeries, and living with the threat of infertility.

“I hope to help those dealing with chronic illnesses see that they are not alone.”

The freedom to explore BU

At first, Olivia was interested in painting and archaeology. But that quickly changed when she discovered BU’s flexible art program, which allows students to explore other fields, tools, and techniques.

Olivia notes that she could not have come to BU without a scholarship; because of her high medical bills, her parents would have found it almost impossible to pay the full cost of college for her and her siblings. And she’s grateful for her work-study program in the Print Shop, which makes it easier to pay for her printmaking materials.

What’s next?

The artist hopes to continue her studies in printmaking. But her aspirations go way beyond graduate school. Olivia will be looking for jobs in art museums as an educator, conservator, or a curator. She also hopes to write and illustrate children’s books.

“Thank you so much for donating and giving artists like me the ability to hone our craft and share our ideas and messages with the world.”

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