Fernando Olivera was born in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico in 1962. He studied art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes at the Benito Juarez University in Oaxaca. He went on to study lithography with Japanese print-maker Shinzaburo Takeda at the Taller de Artes Rufino Tamayo.
In addition to five solo shows in Mexico, Olivera has participated in group shows in Mexico City, El Salvador, Montana, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Chicago and Philadelphia.
He illustrated the award-winning children's book, The Woman Who Outshone the Sun, based on a Mixtec folk tale, published by Children's Book Press. Olivera's work was included in the 1994 show "Myth & Magic: Oaxaca Past and Present" organized by the Palo Alto Cultural Center. His work was also included in The Tree is Older than You Are, a 1995 collection of Mexican poems and stories published by Simon and Schuster.
Olivera's vision is grounded in the traditional life of Oaxaca and the myths and legends of its people. But his work also reflects his social and political concerns. Much of his recent work is preoccupied with the ongoing Zapatista uprising in Chiapas.