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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

Over 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 Revolution 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.

“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.

Susan 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 

Reel Stories: Susan Swartz Applauds Sundance Film Festival

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cuadernosdefilosofia.comOne 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.”

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 , 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, cuadernosdefilosofia.com 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.

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

Forward to Susan Swartz Belgravia Catalogue by Oceanic Preservation Society's Louie Psihoyos

cuadernosdefilosofia.comAs an artist, Susan spent years painting the grandeur and serenity of the natural world. When she became desperately ill with environmentally-bred diseases, Susan saw the fragility of nature. So too for me. As a photographer for National Geographic I was able to catalogue the beauty of our planet for two decades. As a diver for that same period of time, I was able to bear witness to its degradation.

It is from this perspective that I, along with a close group of like-minded activists, formed the  (OPS). Nobody could have predicted the success of our first endeavor, the Academy Awardâ winning film The Cove, but there was never any question of its importance. Susan saw the truth in our story right away, and became a champion of OPS and a supporter of our films.

Read More

Ethel at Martha's Vineyard Film Festival

New Englanders, get ready to meet the Kennedys as you’ve never seen them before. Susan is pleased to announce a screening of the documentary at The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival on Monday, July 30, 2012.

Supported by Susan, Ethel is the personal story of Ethel Kennedy, told by the people that know her best: her family. Directed by her Emmy-Award winning daughter, Rory Kennedy, the film features candid interviews with Ethel and seven of her children. The film is a personal portrait of Ethel’s political awakening, the life she shared with Robert F. Kennedy, and the years following his death when she raised their eleven children on her own.

Ethel offers a rare and very personal glimpse into a public life,” says Susan. “It is an intimate, funny and deeply moving film and I so honored to support it.” Want to join Susan at the screening? .

Martha, meet Ethel!

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 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 in 2013.

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

Susan Swartz and Lyme Disease: Staying Under Our Skin

May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and June is often the month when infected ticks are most prevalent in much of the United States. This past May offered Susan an opportunity to reflect on a very important film for which she her husband, Jim, served as executive producers over four years ago.

Under Our Skin premiered in May 2008 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, and has racked up over 90,000 ratings on Netflix to date. A few weeks ago, Dr. Phil even  (video below), using several minutes of footage from Under Our Skin.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comEspecially since Susan herself has long struggled with chronic Lyme disease, she feels more strongly than ever that thanks to this film, the tide is turning and more people, press, physicians and policymakers are becoming fully aware and educated.

Resources

  • Join the
  • See other documentary films Susan has supported.

Impact Partners Film "Midway"

As a painter, Susan understands the power of an image and the impact of filmcuadernosdefilosofia.com. Through , the philanthropic venture film organization Susan and her husband Jim helped to found, they are supporting Midway, a film by Chris Jordon about the albatrosses on the Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.