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Eight Years of Artwork on Display at Waldorf’s Art Gallery

Dean Swenson, Waldorf’s Instructor of Art and the artist of the exhibits, gave a brief talk about his artworks to audiences.

By Ying Tzarm

Waldorf’s Art Gallery exhibited the over eight years of artwork by the head of its art department, Professor Dean Swenson, for public viewing from Jan. 15 to Feb. 14.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, Swenson, also Director of the Waldorf Art Gallery, hosted an artist reception where over 20 people were in attendence.

Swensen considers himself an abstract artist. His eight years of artworks include pieces that are non-objective and subjective in watercolor, acrylic media, pencil drawing and college techniques.

Among the attendees was his longtime friend, Helen Rossmiller, from Buffalo Center, Iowa.

“They’ve got a lot of colors,” said Rossmiller. The colors attract me.”

Although Rossmiller prefers realism art, “I enjoy his creativity and the thinking outside of the box.”

Walking around the art gallery and explaining his work, Swenson said that his paintings are motivated and inspired by his art students.

“When I was teaching my painting class one year, we did watercolor and I decided, ‘hey, I am going to do watercolor for a while.’”

Being a gardener, his subject matter were flowers and fish. “A lot of nature,” he said.

All the works that were on display used different bright colors. He claimed they were his happier work. “I went through a period that I did things that are more serious and depressing,” he said. “But I like to do things that people are going to look at and feel better about.”

As he teaches different techniques to his art students, his artwork has evolved. He started drawing on acid free tissue paper, using collage over painting and painting over collage. One of the paintings that stands out among the collection was the painting titled “UFO,” in which Swenson incorporates a collage of book pages.

When asked what techniques he teaches his students, the artist with over 40 years of teaching experience said, “pretty much anything that I know.”

While telling his students that the best way to get better is repetition, he encourages his students “not to be too stressed, and enjoy the process.” Just as Swenson has from the time he was young.