December Exhibit: Adam Swart, “Full Circle, Full Squares”
Excited to return to the city of his birth for this exhibition at the baby grand Gallery, New Jersey-based artist Adam Swart knew at a young age that making art was not an option for him, it was a necessity. Having had a highly influential and inspirational art teacher in high school, Adam went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, concentrating in Painting and Printmaking, from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. In his senior year, Adam earned Honors, Departmental Honors, and Honors for the Senior Thesis Exhibition, as well as the Jesse Solomon Memorial Award, given to Skidmore College’s most outstanding painting student, as determined by faculty members of the Departments of Studio Art and Art History.
Following his graduation from Skidmore College, Adam Swart began his work in the field of art education, initiating the first visual arts program at a progressive urban charter school and working as a painting instructor for people with severe developmental disabilities. Swart had his first solo exhibition in 2001 in Philadelphia.
Shortly after the above-mentioned exhibition in Philadelphia, Swart left behind all things familiar to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Nepal. There, he lived and taught for two and a half years in a village in Nepal’s western hills. Upon completion of his Peace Corps service, Adam spent time travelling through various countries in Southeast Asia. His years in Asia left an indelible impression on him and he retains a very strong connection with Nepal and the region as a whole, having returned to serve as Visiting Faculty at Kathmandu University’s School of Arts in 2010 and, in 2014, to lead a summer travel program in Vietnam for high school students.
Adam returned to Nepal as recently as October-November 2015, six months after devastating twin earthquakes shook the country (April 25 and May 12, 2015). In response, Swart created a series of paintings, AfTeRsHoCkS, as a fundraising initiative. The 98 small, watercolor and mixed media works on paper that he made in this series, selling for $101 each, raised nearly $10,000 for Save the Children’s relief efforts in some of the districts worst hit by the earthquakes.
Adam Swart’s extraordinary experiences in Nepal and the surrounding countries continue to inform and inspire his artwork to this day. He holds a Master’s degree in Art and Art Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, has professional curatorial experience, and is a published art historian, specializing in the traditional and contemporary arts of the Newar communities of the Kathmandu Valley. Swart has taught art and art history to all grade levels from early childhood through the graduate level and beyond, and is currently serving as the Art Gallery Education Coordinator of Montclair State University’s Art Galleries. Adam Swart has exhibited in both national and international venues and his work is in private collections on four continents.