Artist Carolyn Swiszcz has a knack for capturing on canvas the quirks of a given place and people, and for teasing revealing details from the drabbest edifices of contemporary American life.

Using an ingenious amalgam of painting and printmaking techniques, she draws her subject matter from the unremarkable structures that populate every town: a superette, an aging strip mall, a mom & pop motel on the outskirts of town, an unlovely corporate headquarters. Swiszcz’s distinctively streamlined, vivid candy-colored renderings of these everyday locales prompt the viewer to see the telling particulars hiding in plain sight among the humble, mass-produced trappings of the urban landscape.
— Susannah Schouweiler, writing for MinnPost

Artist Statement

Novelist Edward St. Aubyn said that in his writing he reimagines his own experience “in such a way that makes it more vivid, more interesting, and more saturated with meaning.” I'm trying not only to seek meaning in the world around me, but to actively create that meaning. Experience inspires painting, and then the painting becomes a lens that I use to transform day-to-day living. I reject the idea that one needs to wait for a designated situation or location to feel inspired; creativity is a path to finding moments of beauty with more frequency and intensity. 

My subjects are chosen intuitively from places I visit, both nearby and far-flung. What they have in common is usually a loneliness, a touch of humor, and (hopefully) some grace. 

There is a similar tension in the way I work, employing equal amounts of control and surprise. Trace monotype, masking tape, linoleum prints, and rubber stamps are some of the techniques I use in my paintings. 

I consider painting my primary discipline but I also make videos, animations, books, and songs, using whatever medium seems best for the story I want to tell. 

Bio / CV

Born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Carolyn Swiszcz moved to Minnesota to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she earned a BFA in 1994. In the late 90’s she spent three winters in Miami Beach on a fellowship from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Time spent among Miami Beach's faded apartment buildings inspired Swiszcz to take an interest in buildings and public spaces. Swiszcz’s work has been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Drawing Center, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery in New York, Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston, and The Corcoran Gallery of Art. She is a recipient of the Jerome, McKnight, and Bush artist fellowships. She lives in West Saint Paul, MN with her husband (photographer Wilson Webb) and their daughter.