Feature Articles

March 2014

City Art Gallery in Columbia, SC, Features Works by Jan Swanson

City Art Gallery in Columbia, SC, will present Interpretations: New Work, featuring works by Jan Swanson, on view from Mar. 6 - 30, 2014. A reception will be held on Mar. 6, from 5-8pm.

Swanson is a native of Asheville, NC, and graduate of Clemson University. She became interested in art and the business of art while owning The Bus Stop Gallery located on Millwood Avenue in Columbia for several years. Swanson became familiar with many artists in the Southeast during her tenure as Gallery Director of Bus Stop and also began her journey as a bonefide artist herself. The Gallery business is time consuming and counter productive to an artist’s own work so the end of the Bus Stop era came about following four years of successful exhibitions.

Swanson claims the niche of a self-taught artist working in oils. While the artist has no official degree in art, she has taken drawing and painting classes at the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, Anderson Ranch, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts and Penland School of Arts & Crafts thus bolstering her self-taught status to one with cumulative skills garnered from artists and teachers along her journey and discovery of the making of art.

Swanson is represented by Camellia Art Gallery in Hilton Head Island, SC, and also sells work out of Slate interiors in Charlotte, NC. This is her first gallery affiliated exhibition in Columbia since the close of Bus Stop. Her inclusion in exhibitions at Gallery 80808 in Columbia has been with a group of artist friends and set the scene for this exhibit. Swanson’s painting, “Barney in the Shadows,” was the first place winner in the Mixed Media Division at the 2013 South Carolina State Fair.

Swanson’s work shows her ability to own her style not merely emulate others around her. She has carefully developed a palette and composition skills that reflect in all of her work regardless of subject matter. The diversity of subject matter increases interest and offers the viewer constant musings of what and why. Swanson does not rest with her pursuit giving the art aficionados an appetite for more of her work.

Swanson comments, “My paintings are developed from things I see or remember from childhood. Many times what I start with doesn’t look remotely like what I end up with, but the layers that develop are appealing to me. My paintings usually are of things that aren’t quite right (like me). Sometimes the spots fall off of a dress or the shutters fall off a house or the flowers fall out of a vase or a string of pearls falls apart. I don’t know why I do this, but I guess it comes from way back somewhere!”

Recent exhibitions include: Uptown Girls Show 2012 and 2011 at Gallery 80808; Hemlocks Studio Show 2009 and 2012 at Gallery 80808; and Paul Sloan Pool House Gallery Show, Dec. 2013.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, contact Wendyth Wells, Gallery Director, at 803/252-3613 or visit (www.cityartonline.com).


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