Cole Swanson is an artist and educator based in Toronto, Canada. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and throughout international venues in Brazil, China, India, Italy, Taiwan, and the USA. He is a two-time national fellowship winner through the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (2007, 2014) for his research on miniature painting and fresco techniques in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Under the supervision of modern Indian artist and professor Nathulal Verma, Swanson studied techniques for the manufacture and use of mineral pigments and handmade supports.
At the heart of recent work is a cross-disciplinary exploration of materials and their sociocultural 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 broad material practice using sound, installation, painting, and sculpture to explore interspecies relationships.
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 sessional postings for the Faculty of Art, Ontario College of Art and Design University (Toronto), and full-time positions as Professor and Program Coordinator for the Art Foundation and Visual and Digital Arts programs at Humber College (Toronto). He has been invited to lecture at several academic 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), and Sheridan College (Oakville, Canada).
Swanson has received support from public agencies including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.
Image credit: Jamie McMillan, 2017