Image: Alyssa Swanson, Material exhibition photograph
Alyssa Swanson weaves the influences of her ancestors, family, and mentors into monochromatic abstract objects. Beginning with inexpensive acrylic yarns, bulk fabrics and discarded scraps, she embraces the modest materials used by her great-grandmother, great aunt, grandmother and mother. Yarn, thread, needles and crochet hooks construct alternate ways in which women throughout history have extended their voices. In Material, Swanson reveals how the craft of her matrilineage informs her creative process and narrative.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alyssa Swanson is a multidisciplinary artist working in fibers, painting, and drawing. Swanson grew up on the Western border of Wisconsin, where she fell in love with being active in nature. Swanson was a maker from a young age and choose to pursue a career in the arts despite her fear of the uncertainty and instability it could bring—she’s happy to report that she wouldn’t change that decision for anything in the world.
In 2016 Swanson earned a BA in Art (focused on painting and drawing) from the College of St. Scholastica and an MFA in 2-Dimensional Studies from Bowling Green State University. Central to her work, though not typically visually obvious, is a feminist discourse. Throughout her college career, Swanson paired her study of art with gender theory classes. As a result, Swanson is interested in the expression of the subjugated voices of women and she explores presenting a narrative through abstraction, layering, and repetitive movements.
The Duluth Art Institute's programs and services are made possible in part through the support of the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2018.