OLiVE DTLA’s Artist-in-Residence, Kelcey Fisher

Kelcey, in his studio at OLiVE

We sat down with Kelcey Fisher, the first Artist-in-Residence at OLiVE DTLA, to talk about his first four months in OLiVE’s six-month Artist-in-Residence program, living and working downtown, and his work at OLiVE and elsewhere.

How’s the residency program so far?

Kelcey: This is the first time I’ve done a residency program. After I did the first international collaboration with Ralph Ziman there was nothing but positive feedback. Now we’re not only doing these international collaborations on every floor, but we’re using other spaces throughout the building, collaborating with local artists on those walls and activating the space with events. The staff here is amazing, Loren the building manager has been nothing but the best — I’ve been given almost free reign to pick out walls to work on. It’s really cool, it’s a lot of creative freedom.

Where else can we see your work?

Kelcey: I have pieces all over — especially in Southern California and New York. In Downtown, at Justice Urban Tavern, The Park DTLA, Santa Fe & Seventh in the Arts District, and the Guisados in Echo Park and on Spring. I did a mural in City Hall, in Councilmember Joe Buscaino’s office, and worked with them to do the Misty Copeland mural in San Pedro. My art is also on the labels for Winc’s Funk Zone wine.

What’s coming up next for you?

Kelcey: There’s so much going on. I’m working with an Arts District company called Comunity Made on custom shoes, and I’ll be involved with a lot more murals in that area. I’m planning a big mural on the front of OLiVE in February when this residency ends.

Left to Right: a Ralph Ziman collaboration, a 2014 Venice mural, and a Priscilla Witte collaboration, all on display at OLiVE

How does South Park inspire your work?

Kelcey: I love all of the murals coming up. Even when I first moved in here I was talking to Councilmember Jose Huizar and his staff, and they were so willing to help with permitting or anything else. It’s really cool to have the local community, including the government officials, so supportive of art. That was kind of new for me. The pieces here are bridging the gap between street art and fine art. The murals are really well done. A lot of them aren’t getting tagged — you can tell people really respect the art.

I love this piece right behind OLiVE, the new one by C. Finley. I’m so inspired by it.

I lived in Venice for 5 years, but I’ve always been a city guy so it’s nice to be tapping into this side of town. I throw my headphones in and walk throughout the city, stop into galleries. I love to be surrounded by that energy. That’s really inspiring to me. It’s impossible to tap into every cool spot here, but I do my best to get out there. And then it’s cool to come back to this side of Downtown, where it’s a little quieter and work in a more peaceful setting. I’m always at Cow in the morning designing with a coffee and the avocado toast.

I’m looking a warehouse just outside of downtown. I thought I was going to go right back to the beach after this, but I’m really liking how Silver Lake is right here, I can go to the beach if I want. I like being in the heart of it. Downtown’s got me hooked, I don’t want to leave it.

To learn more about Kelcey and his work, follow him on Instagram.