Blog

The news of artist, environmental activist, documentary film producer and philanthropist Susan Swartz.

Sundance Film Festival Utah Women's Leadership Celebration

Sundance Institute and Zions Bank have joined forces to recognize women leaders in the arts.  This year’s award celebration fell at the end of the Sundance Film Festival, which hosted discussions and events surrounding the roles of women in the arts, particularly the film industry.  The award holds significant weight, occurring at a time when women in the film and television industries are trying to raise awareness and shift paradigms of gender norms.

The event celebrated women onscreen, behind the independent lens, and local role models.  As an involved member of the documentary film community and an artist, Susan’s award reads as follows:

For her leadership in the arts, we recognize Susan Swartz, an internationally acclaimed visual artist who explores nature through potent colors and richly layered abstract paintings. Inspired by the intersection of art, nature and spirituality, her distinctive style has earned her a place in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Springville Museum of Art.  Susan was the Official Olympic Environmental Artist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and is published in the Gibbs Smith collectors book Painters of the Wasatch Mountains.  She is a member of the Deans Council of the Harvard Divinity School and a Founder of the Christian Center of Park City and Impact Partners, producing many award winning documentary films.  

The award was presented at the Sundance Film Festival Utah Women’s Leadership Celebration, a luncheon and private film event honoring female leaders in the arts.  The luncheon included a presentation by Geena Davis, Academy Award-winning actress and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media.

At the end of the celebration, Zions Bank presented Geena Davis with a Susan Swartz original painting in recognition of all the hard work she has done for women in media and the arts.  In Susan’s words the painting, Crimson Fog, “symbolizes Geena’s exuberance for life and activist endeavors.  The red color of the painting represents Geena and the strength and capabilities that women hold.”

Susan is honored to have participated in this celebration and to have been able to help Zions Bank recognize Geena for her impact on women in the arts.  Geena, Susan, and the women in attendance have been and will continue to be trailblazers for women in the arts and media.

Susan Swartz "The Most Interesting Lecture You'll Ever Attend"

Susan has long been an impassioned defender of human rights. Over the past decade, she and her husband, Jim, have helped produce important films that seek to shed light on injustice, like Born Into Brothels, which won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary and Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Susan has also brought her own strong voice to conversations like the panel on “Women’s Rights in a Man’s World” held earlier this year at Harvard University. And now Susan is bring the humans rights conversation to her hometown of Park City, Utah.

On December 4, Susan is honored to be teaming up with the Harvard Divinity School and the Christian Center of Park City to host a lecture by Hauwa Ibrahim based on her new book Practicing Shariah Law.

Hauwa Ibrahim.jpg

Hauwa Ibrahim is a senior partner at Aries Law Firm. Working with a team devoted to human rights for women in Nigeria, she has won a number of precedent-setting cases before Islamic Shariah courts. Ibrahim has been a Visiting Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law and Stonehill College, a World Fellow at Yale University, a Radcliffe fellow, and a fellow at both the Human Rights Program and the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard University. 

The European Parliament presented Ibrahim with its 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which honors efforts on behalf of human rights and freedoms. Ibrahim has earned an LLB and a master's in international law and diplomacy from the University of Jos in Nigeria; a BL for legal practice from Nigeria Law School; and a master of laws degree in international studies at American University's Washington College of Law. In addition, she has been awarded three honorary doctorates, as well as the Cavaliere Award, the Highest Human Rights Award from the Italian Government. She is also featured in an upcoming film entitled Three Judges (see the trailer ›).

Susan invites the community to come hear "one of the most interesting lectures you’ll ever attend".

Details

Where: The Egyptian Theatre 
328 Main Street, Park City, UT 84060 

Cost: FREE and open to the Public 
Seating on a first come, first served basis 
Suggested Donation $15 

Reel Stories: Susan Swartz Applauds Sundance Film Festival

sundance_0.jpg

One of the joys of living in Susan’s hometown of Park City, Utah is experiencing the energy of the annual Sundance Film Festival here each January. “For me, watching these films is like going to graduate school, ” explains Susan, “learning about important subjects that I often never even knew existed before.”

Sundance is especially meaningful to Susan, because of her intimate involvement as a producer in several films about pressing social issues. Both Susan and her husband Jim are founding members of Impact Partners, an organization that pairs independent filmmakers and investors. Over the past years, Impact Partners has produced many Sundance premieres. And 2013 was no exception.

Susan and Jim were thrilled to support a total of six films in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, which concluded earlier this week. This year’s films included the compelling sports documentary The Crash Reel, and the boundary-pushing Afternoon Delight, who’s director Jill Soloway nabbed the Sundance Directing Award. What’s more, American Promise, about what it means to be a minority at an exclusive school, won a Special Jury Prize, and the immigration murder mystery, Who Is Dayani Cristal? received the Cinematography Award.

But perhaps the film Susan is most proud of is Pandora’s Promise, which Jim produced. The feature-length documentary explores how and why mankind’s most feared and controversial technological discovery — nuclear power — is now passionately embraced by many of those who once led the charge against it. “It is so powerful to see a documentary that fundamentally changes the way you think about an issue,” marvels Susan.

Impact Partners Film DETROPIA at the Hamptons Film Festival

For those of you who might be on Long Island, Susan suggests attending the special screening of the Impact Partners film DETROPIA, hosted by Alec Baldwin, Saturday, July 21. This is part of a series of special screenings over the summer sponsored by the Hamptons Film Festival at East Hampton's Guild Hall. DETROPIA won the Editing Award at Sundance this year. It will have a limited theatrical release this Fall, and will premier on PBS in 2013.

If you're interested in attending this screening, tickets can be purchased online.

Impact Partners Film Wins at Cannes Film Festival

Transient

An Impact Partners production, Sofia’s Last Ambulance, a film by Bulgarian born Ilian Metev, has won the France 4 Visionary Award at the Cannes Film Festival International Critics’ Week.

In a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve 2 million people, Krassi, Mila and Plamen are unlikely heroes: chain smoking, filled with humor and relentless saving lives against all odds. Yet, the strain of a broken system is taking its toll. How long can they keep on fixing society’s injured until they lose their empathy? “Another major discovery… You feel this film in your gut, like a brick through a windshield” says Indiewire.

Source: http://www.semainedelacritique.com/news/pa...

National Museum of Women in the Arts is 25!

Gentle Morning
36 x 36

Last week Susan joined Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, the Founder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Dr. Susan Fisher Sterling, the Alice West Director of the museum, in celebrating its 25th Anniversary.

At the gala event under the Patronage of Ambassador and Mrs. L’Hélias-Delattre of France, the museum honored Isabel Allende with the Award for Excellence in the Arts. The Chilean American writer’s works of fiction and memoirs pay homage to lives of women, and have sold over 56 million copies worldwide. 

The NMWA is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative contributions. By bringing to light remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best of women artists working today, the museum directly addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art in the U.S. and abroad, thus assuring great women artists a place of honor now and into the future. Susan is a member of the National Advisory Board.

Dr. Sterling was pleased to unveil Gentle Morning, Susan’s painting purchased by the museum following her solo exhibition susan swartz: seasons of the soul in 2011.

Hell and Back Again Academy Award Nomination

In the midst of Sundance 2012, Susan is delighted to report that the Impact Partners film and Sundance 2011 award winner Hell and Back Again has been nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Embedded in Afghanistan, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis reveals the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of a 25-year-old US Marine Sergeant. The film seamlessly transitions from stunning war reportage to an intimate, visceral portrait of one man’s personal struggle at home in North Carolina, where he confronts the physical and emotional difficulties of re-adjusting to civilian life. Contrasting the intensity of the frontline with the unsettling normalcy of home, the film lays bare the true cost of war.

Susan is proud to part of this extraordinary group of filmmakers and supporters with impact.

Susan Swartz Featured in ARTFIX Daily

ARTFIX Daily, one of the web’s most widely read art news publications, recently featured Susan in a substantial article that focused on her upcoming solo exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Earlier in the month, the publication offered a positive review of Susan’s work at Art Sarasota, and now this five-page feature article is incredibly supportive. To quote the article:  

Known as much for her environmental activism and philanthropy, the multi-award winning abstract expressionist painter Susan Swartz displays the boldest, riskiest work of her career to sound an alarm about protecting our planet’s scarce natural resources.
— Artfix Daily

Prelude to Spring
36 x 60

Source: http://www.artfixdaily.com/calendar/detail...

Susan Serves as Executive Producer for the Lauded Documentary, Under Our Skin

In the early 1970's, a mysterious illness was discovered among children living around the town of Lyme, CT. What was first diagnosed as isolated cases of juvenile arthritis, eventually became known as Lyme disease, one of the most misunderstood and controversial illnesses of our time.

Read More