Blog

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

The Onset of Autumn for Susan Swartz

Fall Study
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Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.
– Albert Camus

The Seasons of the Soul exhibition has finally wrapped up at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. While Susan’s paintings coming down from the museum walls, the leaves are coming down from the aspens and Gambel oak trees surrounding Susan’s studio in Park City.

After a busy summer of painting on the coast, Susan is now back in the mountains, preparing for an upcoming solo exhibition in New York City. Scheduled for December 8-11, the exhibition of paintings will hang at The Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Gallery director, Michael James, is organizing the special exhibition at The Carlyle. “I’ve known Susan Swartz for a decade and seen her work evolve as she was challenged by illness,” he remarked. “Today her paintings are gaining new acclaim as they display a truly dynamic energy and tension that underlies her more complex relationship with the natural environment.”

For more information about the New York City exhibition, visit michaeljamesfineart.com.

Environmental Film Series Supports Susan Swartz NMWA Exhibition

Amethyst Grove
48 x 72

Monthly throughout the exhibition of Susan’s Seasons of the Soul at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), the museum is presenting a documentary film series titled Linking Environment, Healing and Creativity. Already this summer, two important films have screened: The Science of Healing with Dr. Esther Sternberg and A Healthy Baby Girl.

And, still to come are two excellent recent documentaries. Screening on September 12 is The Last Mountain. Hailed as a clarion call to protect the environment and our own health, the film is directed by Bill Haney and focuses on a group of West Virginia citizens and their ongoing battle with Big Coal corporations.

Closing the film series on October 2 is No Impact Man, a film by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein that follows a Manhattan-resident during his yearlong effort to eliminate his impact on the environment. For 12 months he ate vegetarian; bought locally; stopped using elevators, television, cars, buses, and electricity; and brought his wife and two-year-old daughter along for the ride.

Visit NMWA.org to learn more about the film series.

Seasons of the Soul Opens at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

After months of anticipation and years of preparation, Susan’s solo exhibit, seasons of the soul opened in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) on June 17, 2011. The exhibit, which features 13 of Susan’s colorful, oversized canvases, will run through October 2, as part of a celebration in honor of the museum’s 25th anniversary.

Says museum director, Susan Fisher Sterling:  

With a unique resilience, Susan has turned to art as a source of healing, redirecting her struggles into a body of work that serves as a wake-up call for viewers to notice, appreciate and preserve the enduring beauty of nature, which can help or harm mankind, often as a consequence of our own actions.

The exhibition opened with a special launch party, in which Susan was grateful and humbled to be surrounded by so many supporting friends and family members. She says:

I am so honored to join the ranks of the incredible artists who have showed here over the years. While the rest of us may rest on the laurels of progress, [museum founder] Billy Holladay has never forgotten the value of women artists and has never ceased to be their strongest champion. It is to her and to the entire National Museum of Women in the arts that all of us owe a tremendous debt. Thank you, Billy, thank you.

See out the exhibition yourself at NMWA.org!

Upcoming Solo Show at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Petah Coyne
Untitled (#781)

Are you ready for the big news? We’re so excited to tell you that we can’t hold it in any longer: Susan is being honored with a special solo exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C.

In celebration of the museum’s 25th anniversary, Susan will present Seasons of the Soul, a collection of her boldest, riskiest landscape paintings, from June 17 - October 2, 2011. Museum Director, Dr. Susan Fisher Sterling says,

Pulsating with dazzling color, Susan Swartz’s abstract landscapes simultaneously articulate her awe of the natural world and her rallying cry for its preservation…The National Museum of Women in the Arts is delighted to showcase her work in a special exhibition this summer.

Coming off a busy and successful trio of art shows in Florida, the news of this invitation leaves Susan feeling more blessed and grateful than ever. “On my first visit to the museum over 24 years ago, I was blown away by the caliber and diversity of the work on display,” says Susan. “I remember thinking ‘maybe one day my work will be here,’ so it’s an incredible honor, a dream, to have my paintings at such a pioneering institution that has done so much for women artists.”

Remembering Susan Swartz's Solo Exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

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Susan’s recent solo exhibition at the Springville Museum of Art brings to mind her first showing of the Natural Revelations exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) in 2008. Wrote UMFA museum director, David Dee: “While grounded in the real world of nature, Susan Swartz’s work also connects us to the pure energy and devotion to color that have characterized abstract art from the mid twentieth century.”

The UMFA exhibition ran January through April 2008, and the opening reception was a major gala fundraiser dedicated to expanding the museum’s exhibition and acquisitions program. “This was my first museum solo showing,” recalls Susan. “The highlight for me was the success of the opening reception fundraiser. I am glad my work could help create further support for the UMFA.” Then Utah Governor Jon Huntsman gave the opening remarks, while Keith Lockhart, musical director for the Utah Symphony and conductor for the Boston Pops, acted as master of ceremonies. Dean William Graham from the Harvard Divinity School also spoke at the black tie gala.

David Dee sums up the exhibition in the forward to Natural Revelations: “Susan Swartz creates art that expresses her deep love of her craft, or nature, or the spiritual—and inspires us, as viewers, to pause and take stock of our own relationship to the earth, to the divine and to future generations that will inherit the globe we have inhabited.”

Springville Museum of Art Acquires Susan Swartz Painting for Permanent Collection

Amazing Grace 72 x 72

Amazing Grace
72 x 72

Following the success of Susan’s January 2010 solo exhibition at Utah’s oldest museum for the fine arts, the Springville Museum of Art, museum director, Vern Swanson, purchased one of the paintings for its permanent collection. “Amazing Grace” is a large piece—six feet by six feet—done in acrylic on linen. The painting depicts the crimson blaze of a maple forest, basking in the warm complacency of an autumn evening.

“Vern is such an authority in the art world—especially regarding Utah art,” says Susan. “Having a substantial work of mine selected by him to be preserved for posterity in the permanent collection is a huge honor.” Swanson holds a PhD in art history, has published several notable books on art and has acted as museum director since 1980.

“Amazing Grace” will be on display in the permanent collection of the Springville Museum of Art .