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Live Live Colorfully

Olivia Reckert Art

A Chattanooga staple, Olivia Reckert’s iconic art can be found throughout the city. From window murals on Frazier to her distinctive aesthetics at Regan’s, Whiskey Cowgirl, and Hart & Hive, Reckert breathes life through art with every surface she touches. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her work in window displays at Locals Only and Boxcar General Store. Reckert’s signature bright colors and whimsical brush strokes literally stopped me in my tracks. 

I had the opportunity to briefly meet Olivia at Sleepyhead Coffee’s annual birthday bash and soon discovered that her art was a reflection of her personality–vibrant and bold. With a smile that lights up any room and an iconic sense of style, Olivia, like her work, makes a lasting impression. So, when we sat down for our interview on a Friday morning at Stone Cup, what was once admiration for her work quickly grew into deep admiration for the artist herself. 

Olivia’s love for art began at a young age and she told me that she would often find herself painting inside of her closet. She recalled taking a pair of black mittens, pressing them on the wall of her closet, and seeing the dye from the mittens transfer to the wall. At six years old, Reckert had created her first mural. While her mother was not happy about it at the time, her grandfather, who was also an artist, advocated on her behalf and convinced her mother to let her explore. Now, Olivia credits her mother with being one of her biggest supporters and recalls that she even purchased professional paint for her while she was in elementary school.

Reckert moved to Chattanooga from New York during the pandemic and her first opportunity in town was a mural at River City Apparel. Living, working, and going to school in New York quickly taught her the art of hearing “no" and pressing on despite the setbacks and soon Olivia found her work appearing in the windows of stores on Broadway.

As she transitioned to life in Chattanooga, Olivia began approaching small businesses about creating window art for store fronts, which ultimately led to painting murals inside of stores as well. With a keen understanding of marketing, particularly in regards to social media, Reckert was intentional about creating art that was unique to each location, while also creating an aesthetic that people wanted to photograph and be photographed with, in turn increasing the popularity of the business and creating a sense of brand recognition for her work. 

From shoes and vintage suitcases, to hats and handbags, anything and everything is a canvas awaiting Reckert's touch. Olivia gave us a glimpse into her next business venture: Wet Leather, which will allow her to expand her work to creating custom art on leather jackets and more. No matter the canvas, one thing is abundantly clear: Reckert’s work encourages us all to live life a little more colorfully. 

Learn more about Olivia’s work at oliviareckert.com and visit her studio at Clear Story Arts.

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