DISCOVERIES: Olympia Stone, “Elizabeth King” (4/6)

Olympia Stone-01Olympia Stone grew up in a house where the artworks outnumbered the family-members several hundred to one. Her father was Allan Stone, the Upper East Side gallerist whose talent for discovering talent changed the contemporary artworld as he had serial success knighting new art stars from 60s through 2006 (the year of his tragically premature death). When Olympia got older, she became more and more curious about who made these larger-than-life (some were 15-feet tall!) former roommates, and so she founded Floating Stone, a production company dedicated to making films that permit the public the kind of intimate access to art that she grew up cherishing. Her first three documentaries have been racking up audience awards and critical acclaim on the festival circuit in addition to airing on PBS, proving that she too has inherited her father’s talent for discovery, albeit in her own medium. Having known Olympia since we both played kiddie tennis together, I couldn’t be happier for her—all these years later, I still can’t wait to see what she’ll serve up next!
~Victoria C. Rowan, Ideasmyth Creatrix-in-Chief


This is an artist whose absolutely uncanny work I also grew up with in my family house, but I had never met her. When I was working on “Curious Worlds,” David Beck suggested I interview her about his work. I did, in her amazing studio in Richmond, VA, filled with antique dolls and mannequins and glass eyeballs…and tools, work benches—just an incredible space that used to be an old department store. I was blown away by everything about her—her incredible intelligence, her warmth, her singular artistic vision. I knew that I wanted to make a film about her right after that interview, and was thrilled when she agreed. Due to her husband’s health, we were on hiatus last year and I wasn’t sure if the film would go forward, but he is back in good health—thank goodness—and we have begun filming again. I am also especially excited to be making a film about a female artist, and to explore some of the issues that are unique to women in the art world.

See more of Olympia Stone’s Featured Creative posts on our Ideablog

OSheadshot2~~~Olympia Stone is an award-winning independent producer, director and editor of documentary films. Her intimate portrait of the artist James Grashow, The Cardboard Bernini, details his exhilarating quest to create an intricately detailed cardboard version of the Trevi fountain, which he intends to abandon to the elements. Broadcast nationwide on PBS in 2013-14, the film also won Best Documentary at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival 2013, and was an official selection at Sebastopol, Santa Fe and 18 other festivals. Her first independent film, The Collector: Allan Stone’s Life in Art (2007), chronicles the obsessive collecting of her father, a New York art world gallerist whose habits and prescient scouting shaped his life and the lives of many in his artfully cluttered orbit.

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