Cole Swanson is an artist, educator, and curator based in Toronto. He holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph and an MA in Art History from the University of Toronto. Swanson has exhibited his works in solo and group exhibitions in international venues including those in the USA, Brazil, Italy, China, Taiwan, and India. He is a two-time national fellowship winner through the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (2007, 2014) for his research on miniature paintings and Jaipur school fresco techniques in Rajasthan. Under the supervision of Dr. Nathulal Verma, a renowned Indian painter and scholar, Swanson studied traditional preparation of pigments and supports pertinent to continued practices in regional Rajasthani painting.
At the heart of recent work is a posthumanist exploration of materials and their social, cultural, and biological histories. Embedded within art media and commonplace resources are complex relations between nature and culture, humans and other agents, consumers and the consumed. Swanson has engaged in a cross disciplinary practice using sound, installation, painting, and sculpture to explore interspecies relationships as they relate to complex coevolutionary systems.
Swanson has performed many professional roles within the arts and has held positions in curatorial work, museum and gallery administration, and post-secondary education. His teaching practice includes part-time faculty posts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, and he is currently Professor/Program Coordinator for Art Foundation, Humber College. He has appeared as a guest lecturer at institutions including the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design (Jaipur, India), the University of Rajasthan (Jaipur, India), Chung Li University (Taipei, Taiwan), the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada), the University of Guelph (Guelph, Canada), Sheridan College (Oakville, Canada), and a number of public and private institutions.
Swanson has received support from several public agencies including the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.
Image credit: Jamie McMillan, 2017