Born and raised in New Bedford, MA, Carolyn Swiszcz followed an older brother to the Midwest to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she earned a BFA in printmaking in 1994. In the late 90's she spent three winters in Miami Beach on a now-defunct fellowship funded by Carnival Cruise Lines. Carolyn found inspiration on the side streets of South Beach: faded apartment complexes, stores, signs, and broken pay phones ready to be cleared away by the rapidly-developing cityscape. Twenty years later she hasn’t shaken her love for buildings whose days appear numbered, rendering them with acrylic paint and rudimentary printmaking techniques. Her penchant for experimentation and bliss-following has also led her to create songs, music videos, and animations. She currently publishes a bi-monthly mail order zine, Zebra Cat Zebra.
Carolyn’s work has been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Drawing Center, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery in New York, and Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston. She is a recipient of the Jerome, McKnight, Bush, and Minnesota State Arts Board artist fellowships. She lives in West Saint Paul, MN with her husband (photographer Wilson Webb) and their daughter.
Art-making helps me find mystery and purpose in daily life. After two decades spent mostly making pictures of buildings I remain captivated by everyday architecture, especially small businesses. In these facades I find evocative surface textures, backstories (real and imagined), and the pathos of human endeavor. A good portion of the first-ring suburb where I live is homely, but painting gives me the ability to accept (and even take pleasure from) my surroundings.
I enjoy devising innovative ways to make an image without getting mired in fussiness. The moment of reveal (lifting a print from the press or removing a stencil) is like Christmas morning; it’s the objective I keep in mind as I’m assembling a painting’s parts.