COCA presents a joint mother-daughter exhibition by Connie Swinson and Sara Swinson in the Millstone Gallery today, January 25, through March 3, 2013.
Both mother and daughter are marvelously expressive artists who also happen to be survivors of serious illnesses. Presented in partnership with the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Arts + Healthcare Program and curated by Sarah Colby, this exhibition highlights their powerful artwork and explores the symbiotic relationship between artistic creation and the healing process. By incorporating both visual and written elements, mother and daughter share their stories of strength and resilience.
Connie Swinson was born in Brooklyn, New York, November 18, 1931. Nomadic by nature, Connie moved frequently, living in many different cities, states and countries. Connie married and had three children: Kyle, born in Mexico City; David, born in South Dakota; and Sara, born in Colorado. Connie's husband joined the Foreign Service, and the family lived many years in Mexico City, where she painted voraciously, and Beirut Lebanon, where the Arab culture intrigued her. Connie also spent time in Stockholm, Sweden, Mallorca, Spain and Seal Beach, California. Connie believes that each place has its own story, and she tells these stories in her work, which is not only a reflection of the environment but also of the emotional state. Now living in St. Louis, Connie continues to strive to find a story, capturing something new wherever she goes. Each place, each situation and each person propels her on her journey to seek perfect color, form and rhythm.
Sara Swinson was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1964 and grew up around the world. Sara enjoyed drawing as a child and learned to honor open creative expression from her mother, but it wasn't until Sara painted what she now calls "Prophetic Self-Portrait" in 1999 that she began to take her own art seriously. Six months after painting the piece, Sara became critically ill and was hospitalized for five months, facing death daily. In the hospital, Sara vowed to paint, write and express her creativity freely if she were able to ive. Sara is both an artist and a writer and holds a Masters in Exegetical Theology. The themes from Sara's writing often emerge in her paintings, which are suffused with spiritual longing. Sara's work is colorful and emotional, conveying a tension between innocence and cynicism, hope and despair - what is and what should be. Through paint, Sara incarnates spirited internal realities, which sometimes translate into intra-psychic self-portraits.