Works by Shrewsbury artist Susan Swinand, winner of the Sally R. Bishop Prize for Best in Show at the 2019 ArtsWorcester Biennial, are the focus of a new exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum. “Nature Imagined” by Susan Swinand features 31 paintings and drawings by the artist, representing a variety of mediums and including 14 new works created for this exhibition. Organized in collaboration with ArtsWorcester, the exhibition will remain on view through February 7, 2021.
A virtual talk with the artist will take place on Tuesday, November 10 at 6pm. Links to the free Zoom event can be found on the Museum’s website, worcesterart.org.
Primarily a painter with a preference for water-based media and abstraction, Swinand has long found the natural world a source of inspiration. “Nature Imagined” explores the artist’s creative process and her drive to find balance between opposing forces in nature. By allowing the materials to take on a form of their own, she taps into her subconscious to make meaning out of biomorphic shapes and fluid gestures. In so doing, she creates imaginative worlds, full of contradictions, enchantment, and even a little bit of humor. “Nature Imagined” invites viewers into those worlds with captivating, larger-than-life canvases that reveal the artist’s intrepid experimentation with color, shape, and medium.
A graduate of Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Swinand was a recipient of a Sartain Fellowship, which allowed her to travel and study in Europe. When she returned, she attended the Barnes Foundation for two years, where she studied the Philosophy and Appreciation of Art. A longtime faculty member in the Worcester Art Museum’s studio class program, Swinand’s work has been shown widely throughout central New England for many years.
“Nature Imagined” by Susan Swinand was curated by Erin Corrales-Diaz, WAM’s assistant curator of American Art. The exhibition furthers the Museum’s commitment to presenting local artists while connecting to one of the main contemporary art organizations in the region, ArtsWorcester. The first 150 artists who submitted works to the 2019 ArtsWorcester Biennial received a Worcester Art Museum membership, regardless of whether or not their work was accepted for exhibition.
“Throughout Susan’s long and successful career, spanning a variety of media, her work consistently engages with dichotomies: metamorphosis and stasis, form and formlessness, and organic and manmade. Her embrace of experimentation, such as using traditional materials in radical ways, means there is always something new to discover in her work” said Matthias Waschek, Jean and Miles McDonough Director of the Worcester Art Museum. “We are proud to partner with ArtsWorcester to showcase Susan Swinand, a longtime member of our WAM family.”
“ArtsWorcester and WAM have long sought a way to further their missions together,” said ArtsWorcester Executive Director Juliet Feibel. “This opportunity—unlike any other in the area–will significantly advance the career of a regional artist and exhibit entirely new artwork at the Museum.”
About the Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum creates transformative programs and exhibitions, drawing on its exceptional collection of art. Dating from 3,000 BCE to the present, these works provide the foundation for a focus on audience engagement, connecting visitors of all ages and abilities with inspiring art and demonstrating its enduring relevance to daily life.
Creative initiatives— including pioneering collaborative programs with local schools, fresh approaches to exhibition design and in-gallery teaching, and a long history of studio class instruction—offer opportunities for diverse audiences to experience art and learn both from and with artists.