Professor Arranges Feasts for the Eyes

Waldorf professor Dean Swenson introduces students and Iowa residents to visual feasts for the eyes as director of the Waldorf Art Gallery.

Swenson makes arrangements for artists to exhibit at the gallery and then conducts a reception and an artist’s talk.

“Visitors to the gallery have an opportunity to see art being done by working artists, and study the form and content of their work,” he said. “The artist talk event also gives the students, and community, the chance to listen to the artist speak about their creative process, and the media and techniques they use during this process.”

During 2014, the gallery featured several exhibits and one of the most notable was the first exhibition of the year. It featured Brian Frink, who was Swenson’s painting professor and mentor during graduate school.

“He shows his paintings extensively, and has his work in many galleries and private collections. I was thrilled when he was able to find time in his very full exhibition schedule to have a show at Waldorf.”

Swenson said he truly delights in his job. “I especially enjoy meeting and working with the different artists while planning and hanging their exhibitions. It is always interesting to see their work and discover what motivates them, which in turn inspires me.”

As an artist himself, Swenson won a merit award for his work, “The UFO,” in the Area Show:44 held at the Art Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in Mason City, Iowa, in September. He is working on some paintings to enter in the Iowa Artists’ 2015 Show this spring.

He began teaching at Waldorf College in fall 2012 and currently is teaching design, drawing and painting.

Swenson, who grew up in Waseca County, Minn., taught 33 years for the North Iowa Community School District in Buffalo Center, Iowa. During this time, and after, he taught 15 years for the North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, Iowa, as an adjunct instructor.

Swenson has a bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and a master’s degree in painting from Mankato State University.

Beginning today, the Waldorf Art Gallery will be displaying artwork created by Joan Webster-Vore, a graduate of the University of Iowa and award-winning artist. An artist reception will be held Jan. 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with an artist talk at 6:30 p.m. The show, titled “Passing By,” will incorporate mixed media installations, including hanging pieces, drawings and paintings. To view some of Webster-Vore’s art, visit www.joanwebstervore.com.

Author: Claire Stewart

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