Highpoint is proud to present Carolyn Swiszcz's new watercolor monoprints, created by the artist at the Highpoint Editions printmaking studio.
I have lived in the Midwest my entire life and have always appreciated our open spaces- cornfields, prairies, the huge starry night sky. However until recently, I did not realize how important the Midwestern landscape is to my art practice and how I yearn for its expansiveness to find space and stillness within myself.
Born and raised in Minnesota, I grew up on a farm two hours southwest of the twin cities near Springfield (there is one in every state). Although I drew as soon as I could hold a pencil, I was equally interested in economic theories and business models. In 2014 I received my undergraduate degree in business administration with a focus on entrepreneurship from the University of St Thomas.
Early fall 2017, Highpoint participated in the Spark-Y Urban Adventure Race. The event was organized with the help of CitySolve, and was a team building scavenger hunt that took place in Uptown, Minneapolis. At Highpoint, participants screen printed images of plants in our rain gardens. Once their printmaking task was complete, they scrambled off to other participating organizations in the Uptown area.
I took my first printmaking classes as an undergraduate in graphic design. I loved the physical process of intaglio printmaking, and the way that etching and printing a plate transformed and contributed to an image. I was excited when I discovered the co-op at Highpoint: I could continue to explore the medium in a well-equipped studio, and also get to know a supportive community of artists, experts and instructors.
When I first began working at Highpoint, the rule I set for myself was to avoid anything that felt conservative. After four years in an undergraduate program that was centered on traditional figurative painting and drawing, I was ready for a change. Underlying this change was a desire to replace the primacy of skilled mark making and virtuosity that occupies the attention of many artists with a more process-driven approach. My best work has a sense of being built or engineered, so naturally I have become invested in designing things digitally using a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Little Earth is a housing development located in South Minneapolis. It was developed as an affordable housing complex with Native preference and is the first of its kind. Little Earth hosts an after-school teen program that connects teens in their community to learning opportunities both within and outside of the Little Earth community. Teens from this program came to Highpoint three times over the summer for art activities including, learning drypoint and screenprinting techniques.
In fall 2016, Highpoint was excited to participate in Venture Academy’s Shadowing program. This program pairs students with organizations in the community who have a mission that aligns with the students’ career goals. This program is especially exciting because it puts the students in charge of defining their career goals early on, researching local organizations to see what is already happening in their neighborhoods, and helping them make connections to these organizations to gain real-world experience and find out more about themselves and their futures.
Highpoint had the pleasure of working with Centro Tyrone Guzman through their Raîces program in the summer of 2017. Centro Tyrone Guzman’s mission is to build a vibrant, diverse and inclusive Latino community that belongs and contributes to the social and economic vitality of Minnesota. A small group of students ages 12-16 came to learn how to make relief prints. They were full of enthusiasm and learned quickly. Highpoint’s teaching artists challenged students to make two-colored prints, use blend rolls, and print enough to use as gifts or even sell. It was a pleasure to work with this organization and its students and we hope we can continue this partnership next summer! Click here to learn more about Centro Tyrone Guzman: www.centromn.org
I first became interested in sculpture some 25 years ago. After a time, I became frustrated with the lengthy clay to wax to bronze process. Consequently, I switched to woodcarving, a process in which I’m fully involved that moves along at a faster pace. During this time, I also became interested in old film cameras, negatives, and working in a darkroom.
My studio practice is an important contrast to my contemporary life, in which my daily rhythm is continuously interrupted by the immediate demands of digital interactions. When managing tasks on my computer or phone, my movements are tracked, quantified, and monetized within predefined symbols and layouts.