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Paintings by Heather Swenson '12 Selected for Governor's Office

Two paintings by Heather Swenson, BFA '12, have been selected for exhibition in the Washington D.C. office of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"As visitors from across the country and around the world enter our Washington, DC office, they will be greeted with a visual display that embodies the excellence and creativity of our state and the promise of a new generation of New Yorkers, all of whom are getting a world-class education through our renowned SUNY system," said Governor Cuomo. "I commend these outstanding SUNY students for their hard work and am honored to display their artwork in my office."

A SUNY-wide call for submissions at the request of the governor's office yielded sixty-four works of art, from which eighteen were selected for exhibition.

"I'm pretty excited that [the paintings] got selected because those particular pieces are quite important to me. They were probably the first two paintings that really clicked while I was making them, and since I started painting late in college, there was a lot of value in that for me," Swenson says.

A native of Irondequoit, just north of Rochester, Swenson received the President's Award for Achievement in the School of Art+Design during last May's commencement celebration. She earned a GPA of 4.09 and a degree in interdisciplinary visual arts, with concentrations in printmaking and painting/drawing.

Swenson arrived at Purchase with several high school A.P. credits, allowing her flexibility to take a variety of courses, ranging from bronze casting to photography and sculpture. Her body of work comprises paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptural wall assemblages that examine the border between representation and imagination.

"All of my works relate to one another, and I've enjoyed working between the disciplines," says Swenson. "The printmaking and painting faculty at Purchase have been very encouraging and a huge influence on my work. I really appreciate their insight and critiques."

Ravi Rajan, director of the School of Art+Design, praised Swenson's art for "moving deftly between mediums." He says, "Her work demonstrates keen observation and reverence toward the objects she collects. It reveals itself slowly, offering the viewer a quiet, unmediated experience."

View all of the works selected on the Generation SUNY Facebook page.

Elephant Tree, 2011
Oil on canvas
16 x 20 in.
Courtesy of the artist

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