Arleen Olshan—Master Leather Crafter

Arleen Olshan holds a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in painting from combined studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts). Over 40 years ago, she apprenticed in custom sandal making in Greenwich Village. She has continued the tradition of hand-sewn, custom-made leather accessories throughout these years.

Traveling from New York to California and back to Philadelphia, her first concession was in a craft store on School House Lane in Germantown, during the heyday of the old Bandbox Movie Theater. She went on to have a shop in Wanamaker’s (King of Prussia), participated in Art Jam, Sedgewick’s ALMA Crafts Gallery, and Chestnut Hill’s Fine Arts Festivals. Arleen also sells her art, photography and leather goods throughout the feminist and women’s music festival circuit.

Arleen recently retired, devoting herself full-time to painting and custom leather craft. In the past two years, she sold at Michigan Women’s Music Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, East Falls Art by the River, In Liquid Shows at the Crane Building and the Kimmel Center’s Summer Solstice.