MDOCS Storytellers' Institute

Olivia Arthen

a virtual exhibit of work by the 2020 MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Fellows



For the past two years, I’ve been collaging my own Tarot cards, with the idea that eventually I’d have a completed deck. In August of 2019, my aunt, who was a Tarot reader, and my inspiration, died. From there, the project became more than it had been, it became loaded, and harder to think about. This summer, I challenged myself to make progress on the deck again.

The cards are a mixture of things, mostly collaged from the Times Style magazine, calendars, and bits of patterned paper collected by my aunt over a number of years. My imagery is a mix of traditional symbolism associated with Tarot, more contemporary interpretations, and
my own abstractions.


Olivia Arthen is in her final semester at Skidmore. She is a film major, with a specific interest in experimental film and video art. Olivia was raised in earth-centered spirituality and developed a strong connection to the land and to community through this. She is currently working on her senior capstone, I Think You’ll Like it , an experimental short film exploring memory, color, and visual perception.

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