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

ART, FILM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE UNITE DURING SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2020

cuadernosdefilosofia.comOver the past two decades, Susan Swartz’ work as an artist, philanthropist and documentary film producer has focused on changing the way people see the world around them. By shedding light on important issues such as the fragility of the natural world and social injustice, Susan hopes to shift thinking, inspire change and provide a message of hope.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comThe intersection of art and film is a natural connection for Susan. Susan is a founder of the documentary film organization , the Oscar and Emmy award winning production group renowned for igniting change through storytelling on pressing social issues. Investing with Impact Partners and directly, Susan has been involved with a long line of important environmental and social justice films.

Her decade-long battle with Lyme Disease and mercury poisoning transformed her as an artist and altered her life focus. These two environmentally-borne illnesses slowly paralyzed Susan until she was unable to hold a paint brush. Her struggle with Lyme Disease resulted in the pivotal, award-winning film Under Our Skin in 2008, which uncovers a natural world out of balance and a medical establishment that put profits before patients. As an Executive Producer of Mercury Rising, a companion short film to the Sundance hit and 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove, that tracked the secret butchering of dolphins in a rural Japanese beach community, The Cove: Mercury Rising explores the dangers of mercury contamination as it affects society and the global environment.  Susan has also sought to recognize the achievement of other women artists through the film !Women Art Revolutioncuadernosdefilosofia.com in 2010, where she served as an Executive Producer. The film reveals how the feminist art movement fused free speech and politics into work that radically changed the art and culture of our time. It was selected by MoMA as one of the best documentaries of 2011. Susan has partnered on a number of campaigns and films with environmental crusaders such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Louie Psihoyos and Dr. Jane Goodall, that seek to shed light on social and environmental injustice.

L-R: Environmental crusader Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Susan and Louie Psihoyos, Director of  The Cove .

L-R: Environmental crusader Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Susan and Louie Psihoyos, Director of The Cove.

During her recovery from chronic disease, Susan’s art changed as dramatically as her lifestyle and outlook. She left the comforts of realism for increasingly abstract painting, working from a place of impassioned reverence for the earth, and a fierce determination to inform and educate about nature’s fragility.

cuadernosdefilosofia.com“While my illnesses wreaked tremendous havoc on body and spirit, they also shook me out of my comfort level as an artist,” she says. “The art I am now creating is more impassioned, more profound, more achingly full of desire than anything I have created in the past.”

In the midst of her illness, Susan spent an entire year completing  Serenade of Lilies  (Acrylic on linen, 72x72” 2006). The abstract approach reveals a departure from the familiar, as she fought for the strength to paint.

In the midst of her illness, Susan spent an entire year completing Serenade of Lilies cuadernosdefilosofia.com(Acrylic on linen, 72x72” 2006). The abstract approach reveals a departure from the familiar, as she fought for the strength to paint.

Susan serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and passionately supports its "Women, Art and Social Change" initiative. By bringing to light remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best women artists working today, the Museum directly addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art in the U.S. and abroad, thus securing great women artists a place of honor in the history of art. Susan is a co-founder of charity-based which is now the largest center for social welfare and the largest food bank in the state of Utah. She became involved with the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) in 2005, when she was invited to become the School's artist-in-residence, exploring the intersection of spirituality and art. Her involvement continued over the years through service on the HDS Dean's Council. In 2012, Susan established the Susan Shallcross Swartz Endowment for Christian Studies which funds new professorships and supports fellowships and programming in the classroom and in the field around world religions.

Susan addressing the students and faculty at Harvard Divinity School.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSusan addressing the students and faculty at Harvard Divinity School.

Artists seek universal truths and help to form a community that responds to these truths and not to rhetoric. Susan’s canvases of the natural world remind us how we are all connected, dependent on each other and responsible for the stewardship of the natural world. Susan’s art, film and philanthropy provides a message of hope and highlights our interdependence as citizens in a global community.

"I’m often described as an environmental artist and that is an honor, but it is not a political stance for me. I seek to pay tribute to nature by painting the world as it is meant to be so that we are inspired to protect it and take care of it. I also have a dedication to support documentary filmmakers who are equally driven to tell their stories and share their message for the benefit of social change."

Susan is pleased to unite her interests in combining artistic expression with activism through the ART AND SOCIAL JUSTICE exhibition, on view at Susan Swartz Studios (260 Main Street, Park City) until February 2, 2020.

 

ABOUT SUSAN SWARTZ

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Susan Swartz has been recognized with solo exhibitions at the Museum in Beijing, China in 2018; the in Davis, California in 2018; the in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2017; the in Budapest, Hungary in 2016; the in Koblenz, Germany in 2015; the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg, Austria in 2014; the  in Washington, D.C in 2011; the  in Springville, Utah in 2010; and the  in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2008.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comHer works are in the permanent collections of the ; the ; the ; the  in Lausanne, Switzerland; and in Beijing, China. Her paintings are also on display inside the United States Embassies in New Zealand, Hungary, and Beijing via the program.

In 2005, Susan was published in the Gibbs Smith collectors book . She was the Official Olympic Environmental Artist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSusan paints from studios in Park City and Martha’s Vineyard.

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.

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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 ().

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 

“Women’s Rights in a Man’s World” – Harvard Divinity School Panel Discussion

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSusan was honored to support the Divinity School at Harvard University by sponsoring the February 28th panel about the barriers facing women hoping to work within Shari’a law courts. Titled “,” the panel featured Kholoud Al-Faqih, the first female judge in a Palestinian Shari’a court, as well as several other notable female law leaders.

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Reel Stories: Susan Swartz Applauds Sundance Film Festival

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One of the joys of living in Susan’s hometown of Park City, Utah is experiencing the energy of the annual 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.”

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSundance 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 , 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 , and the boundary-pushing , 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,  received the Cinematography Award.

But perhaps the film Susan is most proud of is cuadernosdefilosofia.com, 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.

Susan Swartz and Jacki Zehner Host the Global Fund For Women in Park City

​Susan Swartz, a founder of the Christian Center of Park City (left) and Jacki Zehner (right), a Park City resident and CEO of Women Moving Millions, hosted a luncheon in Park City last week to highlight the philanthropic work being done by the Global Fund for Women. The keynote speaker was Musimbi Kanyoro (center), the fund's CEO.

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Human Nature: Susan Swartz in the Mayfair Resident

Environmentalist Susan Swartz is known for her passionate commitment to environmental preservation, yet her campaign is not recognized through speeches or petitions, but though her artwork. In recent years, her painting style has captured the attention of both museums and collectors, prompting them to take environmental concerns more seriously. As she freely admits, her canvas has a clear underlying narrative, ‘an urgent plea to notice, respect and preserve our natural environment,’ Susan explains…

Read the entire Human Nature article in The Mayfair Resident and visit Susan’s BREATH OF NATURE exhibit at Belgravia Gallery, 25 Albemarle Street, London W1 until November 24th.

Forward to Susan Swartz Catalogue by Waterkeeper Alliance Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

I have long been fascinated by the powerful connection between art and the environment — both define us as a people. Standing in a riverbed deep within the walls of a canyon or at the helm of a boat contemplating the vastness of our oceans, I try to imagine how an artist chooses color and finds form, and I am humbled. The outer world of nature and the interpretive world of art both insist that we transcend our narrow self-interest and see beyond what is right in front of us. Artists seek universal truths and help us form a community that responds to these truths and not to rhetoric or partisanship. The natural world reminds us how we are all connected, not by geography, but by river tributaries and wind patterns and fault lines. We depend on each other and also depend on the stewardship of the natural world. For it provides our lifeblood: clean air and water. Read More

Susan Swartz and the One World We All Belong To

Just like Susan, Mary Oliver has dedicated most of her career to the environment. The American poet and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize turns towards nature for inspiration and describes the sense of wonder it instills in her. “When it’s over,” she says, “I want to say: all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” (“When Death Comes” from New and Selected Poems (1992).)

This month, the 77-year old Oliver released her newest book of poetry entitled A Thousand Mornings. In a recent interview with NPR’s Rachel Martin, Oliver says her work has become more spiritual over the years — but she feels a great sorrow over humanity’s lack of care for that world. “The woods that I loved as a child are entirely gone. The woods that I loved as a young adult are gone. The woods that most recently I walked in are not gone, but they’re full of bicycle trails,” she says.

All of the pieces in A Thousand Mornings are lovely, but Susan is particularly drawn to these resonant words:

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The Essence of a Breath: Susan Swartz Opening Today at Belgravia Gallery

Susan’s solo exhibitionBREATH OF NATURE, has just opened at London’s Belgravia Gallery. The paintings included in the show mark a turning point in Susan’s artistic vision towards an increasingly abstract—and increasingly urgent yet hopeful — painting style. Perhaps no painting illustrates this change more clearly than the title work Breathless.

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