Cultural exchange is the balm for today’s tense political climate, and art is the universal language that can initiate the dialogue. In today’s tense political climate, the most important thing to support is cultural exchange. Art, as US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman affirms, “transcends us all. It transcends borders, boundaries.” Susan Swartz’s exhibition “Personal Path,” which opened Tuesday, November 28th at the State Russian Museum, transcends boundaries, creating a dialogue between the United States and Russia. For the first time in five years an American artist is exhibiting work at a Russian museum.
Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy, former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder, and US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman spoke at the opening of “Personal Path.” In their respective speeches, each official discussed the importance of art in maintaining relationships and encouraging conversation between countries.
In his opening remarks, former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder said: “Art is something people understand. Art and culture can help build friends…today’s exhibition is one of the steps to a stable and peaceful world because artists understand people and unite us. Susan shows us how fragile nature is and how beautiful it is and how we need to take care of it [sic]. She shows us how it is important to be creative. Through her painting she makes the world a better place…she helps us to understand there are more things that unite us instead of separate us.”
Susan Swartz brings color and the feeling of Spring to St. Petersburg, Russia, encouraging dialogue and ensuring that cultural exchanges continue. With “Personal Path” Susan Swartz has become an international symbol for unity.