Her current body of work For Future Generations: A plastic pollution study of Lake Erie (2016-20) was created from 3 years of beach clean ups at the Erie Basin Marina. While creating the body of work Oltmer began a community beach clean up program called #PlasticFreeBuffalo to enthuse and educate members of the community on fresh water plastic pollution, civic duty and art as activism. In January 2020 she exhibited For Future Generations at The CEPA Gallery in Buffalo NY.
Her hometown has had an enormous impact on her career as an environmental advocate and artist. IBM which was founded in Endicott NY, reported a spill of 4,100 gallons of the solvent TCA (1,1,1-trichloroethane, also known as methyl chloroform). This known spill resulted in the contamination of Endicott’s freshwater aquifer. Over the years the contaminants migrated into neighborhoods, schools and business in the area. She grew up hearing about town halls and the constant fight locals endured against IBM & the closing of buildings and areas due to unsafe situations. To this day Endicott NY remains as an active class 2 Superfund site listed by the EPA, as the hazardous waste constitutes a significant threat to the public health and environment.
Alexis Oltmer is a conceptual artist creating in Buffalo, NY. Her work is focused on the Capitalocene and intersectional environmentalism. She researches injustice and behavioral patterns such as consumption culture created by the industrial revolution to create bodies of work which advocate for people and planet over profit.
Creatively, Oltmers work is influenced by assemblage, found objects, typology and chance. Projects she creates heavily rely on repetition, research, and guidelines regarding how subjects are photographed over a period of time to create a story.
She believes art is a vehicle to provoke, inspire and empower individuals to advocate for positive social change both locally and nationally.
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS/ CEPA GALLERY/JANUARY 2020
THE CHILDREN OF SAN JOSE / CEPA GALLERY / MARCH 2015
BUFFALO LIST 10 / The Burchfield Penny / AUG - SEP 2014 DO YOU KNOW WE ARE RULED / CEPA GALLERY / MAY 2014
GRASSHOPPER / RUSTBELT BOOKS / JUNE 2013
MEMBER SHOW/ CEPA GALLERY/ JANUARY 2019
MEMBER SHOW / THE BIG ORBIT GALLERY / OCTOBER 2018
MEMBER SHOW / HALLWALLS / AUGUST 2017
MEMBER SHOW / CEPA GALLERY / JANUARY 2016
MEMBER SHOW / HALLWALLS / AUGUST 2016
MEMBER SHOW / CEPA GALLERY / JANUARY 2015
MEMBER SHOW / CEPA GALLERY / JANUARY 2013
MEMBER SHOW / THE BIG ORBIT GALLERY / OCTOBER 2013
MEMBER SHOW / HALLWALLS/ AUGUST 2013
GLOBAL WARMING ART PROJECT GRANT FUNDING/ ASI WNY/ JANUARY 2020
OSSEROFF MEMORIAL PURCHASE PRIZE / CEPA GALLERY & ROSWELL PARK CANCER / SEPTEMBER 2017