Once in a while we are treated to something unexpected that reminds us of the power of human creativity and passion. A Personal Path at the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg is one of those rare treats and the announcement of the exhibition’s extension through fully half of the world-famous Salzburg Festival is a magnificent icing on the cake.
The 19-piece exhibition of Susan Swartz’s work at this historic religious landmark in Salzburg, Austria opened on May 30 and has garnered international acclaim – with prominent German and Austrian publications lauding its splendor. Now set to close on August 5, the exhibition will remain open as the Salzburg Festival, a renowned annual celebration of classical music, opera and theatre gets underway.
This is truly a feat of cooperative effort, planning and careful execution. With the Foundation for Art and Culture in Bonn, Germany leading the charge, the launch of the exhibition and its subsequent extension are a reality thanks to the support of The Salzburg Foundation, The Salzburg Festival, the Roman Catholic Chaplaincy of Salzburg, the University of Salzburg and the staff of the Kollegienkirche itself. With so many cooks in the kitchen, any number of issues could have stifled or stalled this fantastic project and yet, it has come together seamlessly in only six months time.
The Salzburg Festival will bring music lovers from the world over to the city from July 18 through August 31. Many of them will visit the Kollegienkirche during their stay, as it is the site of a number of official Festival events. Upon entering the church they will see Bright Sunny Day to their right and Creation 4 to their left. The vivid colors and energy of these two pieces warm the hall.
Venturing further into the body of the church, visitors will encounter Landscape of Resonances 004 followed by Landscape of Resonances 012, two pieces of similar textures with very different characters. Traveling around the space, Festivalgoers will find Layered Light, Heaven, and Whisper of Spring II, three pieces that invoke entirely different moods, among a dozen others.
Perhaps some viewers will wonder at the disparate feelings emanating from each piece – how could one artist create such extraordinarily different works? How could one person find the inspiration for all of these? These are logical questions, to be sure. The church itself begs anyone who walks across its threshold to rest awhile, basking in its peace and light. In the same way, Susan’s paintings ask viewers to spend time, to sit or stand with them and ask questions, aloud and internally.
For two full weeks, the Salzburg Festival and A Personal Path will intersect, creating a wondrous opportunity for music lovers to find a painting at the Kollegienkirche that matches the intensity of the orchestral, vocal, operatic or theatrical performances they have come to enjoy.