Susan Swartz explores the landscape through potent color and richly layered abstract paintings. With her evocation of coastal splendor and mountain drama, Swartz follows in the tradition of the great German painters 19th century Romantic sage Caspar David Friedrich, and 20th century icon Gerhard Richter. She is inspired by the intersection of art, nature and spirituality.
Swartz’s distinctive style has been recognized with solo exhibitions at the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg, Austria in 2014; the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. in 2011; the Springville Museum of Art in Springville, Utah in 2010; and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2008. Her works are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; the Springville Museum of Art; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts; and the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 2005, Swartz was published in the Gibbs Smith collectors book Painters of the Wasatch Mountains alongside Wasatch Mountain School artists Maynard Dixon, Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. The same year she was honored by the Harvard Divinity School for a career that continues to blend artistry and faith. Swartz was the Official Olympic Environmental Artist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. In 2008, she was honored with the Independent Publisher Book Award for her hardcover book Natural Revelations.
The underlying energy and tension to Swartz’s work hints of her complex relationship with the natural world. Her decade long struggle with mercury poisoning and Lyme disease transformed her as an artist and as a citizen. She now works from a place of impassioned reverence for the earth, and of fierce determination to inform and educate. Partnering with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Louie Psihoyos and Dr. Jane Goodall on a number of their environmental campaigns, Swartz also supports the vision and production of documentary films that seek to shed light on social and environmental injustice. Films touched by her include Academy Award-winners and nominees, as well as Sundance Film Festival award winners.
Swartz serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Divinity School, a member of Women Moving Millions, and is the cofounder of the charity-based Christian Center of Park City. She is on the board of the Utah Film Center and a founder of the documentary film organization Impact Partners.
Swartz paints from studios in Park City, Utah and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.