Nick Olson poses by one of the portraits he painted on one of the walls at the new Brewed Expressions Cafe. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Nick Olson poses by one of the portraits he painted on one of the walls at the new Brewed Expressions Cafe. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
VAN WERT – Residents who visit the new Brewed Expressions location at 109 W. Main St. will notice paintings of local landmarks on the entry wall of the shop. The paintings are the work of 2016 Van Wert High School graduate Nick Olson, who is currently a fine art major at Columbus College of Art and Design.

So far, Olson has spent nearly 60 hours on the wall which features a portrait of the Brewed Expressions drive-thru, a world map featuring the coffee belt, and a portrait of downtown Van Wert, featuring the new location.

Olson first took pictures of the downtown area and the drive-thru, then he printed them to scale, measured the portraits out on the wall, and spent hours drawing each feature onto the wall.

“I like to focus on detail and quality over just producing a bunch of different pieces,” said Olson.

Olson enjoys working with acrylics, which is the medium he is using for the Brewed Expressions artwork. He works on a painting until he feels like he is finished with it and until he is happy with the details.

Olson prefers to take his time with his artwork but noted that at CCAD the deadline requirements force him to work quickly. He is required to create a lot of pieces in a short period of time.

“Every two or three weeks we have to turn something in,” said Olson. “It was hard for me because they just want you to pump a lot of work out, and it doesn’t give you much time to make everything perfect, but that’s okay because that’s what they want you to get through.”

Olson is enrolled in a four-year program at CCAD, and he hopes that after graduation he can find a job that allows him to express himself.

“I like painting a lot, but I’m pretty versatile,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter where I go, just as long as I’m happy.”

Olson took four years of high school art but said the college art is far different than anything he has experienced.

“At CCAD they want to push you conceptually and not just technically,” said Olson. “They want you to think about who you are as an artist and what you want people to see.”

“I like working with my hands, and I like to be alone and think about what I’m doing,” said Olson of art. “The whole artistic process of creating and envisioning and using my imagination for things is really a lot of fun, but it takes a lot of time to make art.”