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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.

The 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.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comDuring 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 (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"cuadernosdefilosofia.com 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.

Susan addressing the students and faculty at Harvard Divinity School.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comArtists 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.

Her 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.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comIn 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 featured at Melides Art, Portugal

Sandy Bowen, Geralyn Dreyfous, Miguel Carvalho, Susan Swartz, and Walter Smerling pictured at the Art Pavilion at Melides Art.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSandy Bowen, Geralyn Dreyfous, Miguel Carvalho, Susan Swartz, and Walter Smerling pictured at the Art Pavilion at Melides Art.

Portugal is having a moment.  Since 2014 the country has been flourishing. It transcended tough economic times and now enjoys booming tourism, a recent cultural and culinary renaissance and an attractive political climate, drawing visitors there from around the world.  

cuadernosdefilosofia.comWith that vibrant setting as the backdrop, a visionary leader in Portugal's art/cultural ecosystem, Miguel Carvalho, has helped to fuel the nation's creative shift with his bold passion to bring together the best of art, architecture and design. The destination is Melides, one of the most beautiful places in Portugal where he's transforming a remote former eucalyptus farm over an hour from Lisbon into an artistic epicenter for art and design devotees called Melides Art. 

From its website cuadernosdefilosofia.com, it's accurately described as a place “where art meets nature, a place where you can experience the powerful alchemy of art and nature in the wildly beautiful, utterly inspiring and glorious surroundings of the Alentejo coastal region. Set amidst a contemporary art park, thus providing a truly unique lifestyle concept, this residential project and art community is designed to be an innovative, creative, and international platform for some of the world’s most talented living modern artists.”

Artist Susan Swartz was honored to be invited as one of five exhibiting visual artists to participate in the groundbreaking kick off of the new Melides Art Pavilion designed by James Waterworth, SOHO House's former European Design Director.  The exclusive invite only launch took place on May 18 to coincide with Lisbon's prestigious annual contemporary Art Fair, ARCO 2019 which took place May 15 - 19. ARCO boasts an interesting mix of Portuguese and international artists drawing leaders in the European art world, writers, photographers and critics there to take part.

Melides Art held a progressive opening encompassing several successive events in one robust evening. It started with a sunset gathering at the new Art Pavilion to see the sculptures of Brooklyn artist Aaron King and a triptych by Susan Swartz entitled Natural Flux 101, 102 and 103.  

The crowd then made their way to Studio 6 for dinner and a chance to preview more works by Aaron King and artists Johannes Vanderbeek, Anabela Soares and Stephen G. Rhodes. After dinner the group was treated to a live art installation performance by artist Tony Cassanelli and the soulful gospel collective choir of Mozambique Khanimambo led by Selma Uamusse who urged the crowd to consider helping the flood victims of Mozambique.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comThe choir ensemble then led the crowd in a singing procession into Studio 4 to enjoy the installation of 40 original paintings by Susan Swartz and a concert by world class pianist Joao Ventura who performed the original music composition of Susan's art installation video Preserving Grace on a baby grand while the video was projected onto a 30 foot outdoor screen under the nearly full moon..

cuadernosdefilosofia.comPortugal's beloved singer Jon Luz then surprised the crowd with a private concert at the end of the evening. All who were there gathered around the piano in delight to hear Luz accompanied by Joao Ventura collaboratively spark their creative magic. It was an ethereal experience and a beautiful moment in time set against the stunning landscape of Susan Swartz’s exhibition. 

cuadernosdefilosofia.comWe are pleased to share highlights of Susan's exhibition and her epic week in Portugal.

Read more about the bustling community at Melides Art in the , , and in the forthcoming edition of .

Susan Swartz Russia Exhibition to Open November 28, 2017

The Ludwig Museum at The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

cuadernosdefilosofia.comThe Ludwig Museum at The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Susan Swartz announces a solo exhibition at The Ludwig Museum at The State Russian Museum (Marble Palace) in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

The exhibition opens on Tuesday November 28th, 2017 and will be on view through January 28, 2018.  This will be the latest iteration of Swartz’s Personal Pathcuadernosdefilosofia.com exhibition following very successful shows in Budapest, Koblenz, and Salzburg. 

Personal Path at The Ludwig Museum at the Russian Museum will feature many of Swartz’s newer paintings including those from her Contemplation, Nature Revisited, and Irregular Mistcuadernosdefilosofia.com series.   Also on view will be her dramatic moving art video.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comEsteemed Russian art critic Alexander Borovsky will write the text for the exhibition catalog.  In addition to his notable writings on the Hermitage, Borovsky has established himself as an expert on 20th century art.  He is a jury member for numerous award competitions including Innovatsia, the Sergey Kuryokhin Prize, Ars Fennica, and the Kandinsky Prize.

Part of the Russian Museum, the Ludwig Museum in St Petersburg is comprised of artwork donated by the German collectors Irene and Peter Ludwig.  The museum’s collection contains important works of American pop-art and German neo-expressionism.

Additional information about Personal Pathcuadernosdefilosofia.com at The Ludwig Museum in St Petersburg will be forthcoming.

The Opening of the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSusan at the museum opening.

Photo credit: Drew Altizer

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSusan Swartz Studios is proud to support the opening of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis. 

Since its founding in the early 1960s, UC Davis Department of Art has been one of the preeminent MFA programs in the United States.  It was established to cultivate an environment of creativity and experimentation while remaining true to the fundamental properties of materials.  Today, the Manetti Shrem Museum advances its mission through its dedication to education, interdisciplinary experimentation, and community engagement.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comDirector and Curator Rachel Teagle describes the Museum as being “ ‘Art Wide Open,’ meaning that we want to show a broad range of art, from art that inspires great beauty to art that engages the critical issues of our time.”  With its renown art faculty, the diversity of its collections, and its anticipated exhibitions, the Museum will solidify the University’s reputation in the art world.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comThe Manetti Shrem Museum of Art will exhibit Swartz’s work in the fall of 2017.  This exhibition will be the most extensive US show of Swartz’s work in the past six years.  Susan Swartz is thrilled to be one of the inaugural artists at the forefront of this innovative and venerable institution.  Additional information will be forthcoming.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comSusan and Jim Swartz attended the Museum’s opening on November 13th.  Photos from the event can be found .

 

"Personal Path" at the Ludwig Museum, Budapest

Susan Swartz’s highly anticipated solo exhibition Personal Path opened at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary on Friday, December 9th, 2016; a large crowd of collectors, politicians, museum directors, and art enthusiasts were in attendance.  More than 100 paintings across nine rooms are on display. The show was met with much acclaim.  Walter Smerling, the Director of the Foundation of Art and Culture in Bonn, Germany declared, “There’s never been a show like this.”  Personal Path is on display at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest through January 29th, 2017.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comThe opening ceremony included speeches by exhibition curator Professor Doctor Dieter Ronte; Ambassador Colleen Bell; Ludwig Museum Director Julia Fabenyi; Juergen Grossman, Honorary President of the Foundation of Arts and Culture, Bonn; Minister of Culture Zoltan Bolag; and the artist herself.  The speakers spoke highly of Swartz’s work, focusing on the emotion of her pieces and her technique.

cuadernosdefilosofia.comThe monochrome paintings featured in the exhibition are comprised of intricate layers of colors that belie a complexity of artistry.  Exhibition curator Professor Doctor Dieter Ronte elaborates on Swartz’s technique: “The question regarding the options inherent in a single colour is not answered with an expression of monochrome simplicity nor with painterly, self-referential theories, but with a rich abundance of colour.”  The success of a monochrome painting is not dependent on a singular hue, but rather on the skillful manipulation of multiple colors, a masterful technique that distinguishes Swartz’s paintings. 

These new monochrome paintings represent a shift in Swartz’s approach to light.  The artist now uses light as an aesthetic reflection of what is observed, resulting in paintings with a dimensionality that creates an aura around each piece.  Light does not take on form in the painting; rather, it is free and expansive – the way Swartz sees the world.  Swartz does not frame her paintings; instead she extends the color to cover the sides of the canvas, thus creating the illusion that the image is boundless.  The freedom of the painting plays well with Swartz’s use of light.  Curator Dieter Ronte explains, “Light is not introduced for the sake of clarifying the form, nor is it intended to highlight individual characters within the painting.  It grows out of the painting like a film of light and makes every image dynamic.”

Personal Path is an emotional journey for the viewer as well as for the artist.  Swartz’s paintings have always been highly emotional.  They express not only her interpretation of nature, but her relationship with it: there is no distinguishable separation between Swartz and her work.  As Ludwig Museum Director Julia Fabenyi said in her introduction, “Nature is picture, nature is color, nature is oeuvre of Swartz herself.”  For the viewer, simply walking through each exhibition room evokes a different feeling.  For example, the Contemplation Room – in which Swartz’s Contemplation paintings are featured – aspires to create an environment of relaxation and reflection.  The art is to be enjoyed and appreciated for what it is – an emotional exploration of our surroundings. 

cuadernosdefilosofia.comThe Ludwig Museum in Budapest displays modern and contemporary art, primarily with a focus on Eastern and Central European, including Hungarian art from the 60s to the present.  Its permanent collection – donated to the museum by Peter and Irene Ludwig – houses notable American pop artists including Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol.

Swartz’s paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, Germany; Kollegienkirche in Salzburg, Austria; the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City; and the Springville Museum in Springville, Utah.

Susan Swartz was the Official Olympic Environmental Artist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.  Her work is in numerous national and international collections.  Swartz paints from studios in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and Park City, Utah, where she also exhibits her work at her eponymous gallery.