Colorado artist Claire Swinford used her undergraduate studies at Whitworth University as a convenient excuse to sketch her way through the collections of art museums from Strasbourg to Paris to Nice. Working as an alt-news journalist, she interviewed painter Brett Andrus in 2012 and subsequently received training in oil, mixed media and gouache as part of his atelier. As a narrative figure painter, she takes inspiration from Giovanni Segantini, Frederic Leighton, A.C. Wyeth and Lucian Freud. Her current bodies of work explore, respectively, feminist world-building and the folkloric concept of liminality through the trope of blankets and textiles; and deconstruction of the concept of a shared past through the nostalgic visual cues of Kodachrome slide decks popularized in mid-20th-century America.
Swinford was one of four 2015 Artists in Residence at the Machine Shop in Colorado Springs and was named 2016 Rising Star by the Pikes Peak Arts Council. She was also the 2016 Creative Industry recipient of the Mayor of Colorado Springs’ Young Leader Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Kreuser Gallery, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and S.P.Q.R. Gallery, with additional works at the Modbo Gallery and Ivywild School. Swinford co-led the creation of the participatory sculpture installation UNITY COS in June 2016, and collaborated with painter Brett Andrus on the creation and curation of The Sci-Fi Show, an immersive exhibit involving 40 visual, literary and performing artists responding to the themes of classic works of science fiction, at S.P.Q.R. in September 2018. Curatorial credits include the public art program ArtSpot, the Atrium Gallery at First Congregational Church (ongoing). Her works are collected internationally.