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Genie Swanstrom: 2012 Emerging Artist

Author: Susan Regan
Issue: March, 2012, Page 78
Genie Swanstrom


CERAMICS

What is your art background?
I originally pursued psychology and art together as double majors at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, but dropped the art degree. I later got a Master’s degree in Cross-Cultural Studies. In my studies of various cultures and in my travels, I was impressed by the universal human desire to express oneself in art. I have spent the last 18 years pursuing art through workshops and classes from internationally known artists in the field.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by nature, by its raw beauty, its power, creativity and poetic spirituality. Some of my pieces express the power and movement of the elements—wind, earth, water and fire—while others may reflect the serene simplicity of a stand of bamboo. To this end, I built a home studio that overlooks my garden for inspiration on a daily basis.

What is your most significant art-related achievement?
My greatest achievement is that I now know the medium well enough to envision a project, create the glazes and get the results that I want. It has taken years of hard work to get to this level of expertise.

What do you love most about your medium?
Clay is a very challenging yet versatile medium. It responds to every touch and tool instantly. I love carving into clay and making images appear out of nothing. The challenge is getting clay to make shapes that are totally unnatural; it’s almost like magic when you take a lump of clay and create a beautiful vessel.

What’s on the horizon?
Because I create ceramic pieces and also paint in oils, I have some large mixed-media projects in mind. I am also planning a trip to China this year to experience the scenery, culture and art. I would like to visit some ceramic studios in China and see firsthand how they create their work. And, February 25-26 I am participating in ASU’s 11th-Annual Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour.

Photos - Clock-wise from top left: Arroyo of Dreams, stoneware, 12" in diameter and 2"D • Relational, porcelain, 13"H x 7"W x 7"D • Dreamweaver, porcelain, 12" in diameter and 4"D • Night Flight, terra-cotta majolica, 11"H x 10"W x 6"D

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