Olek was born Agata Oleksiak in 1978 in Poland. In 2000, she received a BA in Cultural Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, and relocated to New York City, where she is currently based. Olek’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and public spaces worldwide, and featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine,Artforum,TimeOut New York,TIME Magazine,The Wall Street Journal,ARTINFO,The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Village Voice, CNN, ABC News,CBS Newsand NBC News. Olek is the recipient of awards including the Ruth Mellon Award for sculpture in 2004, In Situ Artaq award (France) in 2011, and a grant in 2011 from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for performance in public space. Olek’s residencies have included Sculpture Space in 2005, Instituto Sacatar (Brazil) in 2009 and AAI-LES in 2010. In 2008, Olek was the winner of theApex Art competition, which aired on PBS. In 2010, the artist was commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art for a one-day interactive performance installation. In 2012, Olek was part of the40 Under 40: Craft Futuresexhibition at the Smithsonian, for which her entire crocheted studio apartment was exhibited.