Festival of Lights.
 Swanson, John August

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Title:Festival of Lights
Notes:

To purchase prints, cards, and posters of John August Swanson's works, visit http://www.johnaugustswanson.com

Serigraph 30 ¾” x 24”

Artist’s Notes: It is a dark night with a star-filled sky. Tiny lights are seen on the distant hillsides, gradually becoming figures carrying candles as they come closer to the foreground of the painting.Since 1967, the beginning of my work in art, I began making sketches of marches and processions in many forms and contexts. This image of the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS began developing in the last four years.I thought about liturgical processions I had seen. I remembered walking with groups in candlelight for peace in Central America. The symbol of candles shining in the dark night is powerful to me. Star-filled nights are images that help give me a sense of the place we are in the universe.My original thought was that this would be a procession of children from every city and town. The children would bring light and peace to the world. They would gather from many places, joining an unending procession towards peace and nonviolence for all children of the world.

JOHN AUGUST SWANSON makes his home in Los Angeles, California, where he was born in 1938. He paints in oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media, and is an independent printmaker of limited edition serigraphs, lithographs and etchings.

His art reflects the strong heritage of storytelling he inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father. John Swanson’s narrative is direct and easily understood. He addresses himself to human values, cultural roots, and his quest for self-discovery through visual images. These include Bible stories and social celebrations such as attending the circus, the concert, and the opera. He also tells of everyday existence, of city and country walks, of visits to the library, the train station or the schoolroom. All his parables optimistically embrace life and one’s spiritual transformation.

John Swanson studied with Corita Kent at Immaculate Heart College. His unique style is influenced by the imagery of Islamic and medieval miniatures, Russian iconography, the color of Latin American folk art, and the tradition of Mexican muralists.

His art is in no way "naïve." It is detailed, complex, and elaborate. Unlike many contemporary artists, John Swanson works directly on all phases in producing his original prints. His serigraphs (limited-edition screen prints) have from 40 to 89 colors printed, using transparent and opaque inks creating rich and detailed imagery. For each color printed the artist must draw a stencil on Mylar film. This stencil is transferred to the silk screen for printing the color ink on the serigraph edition. The resulting serigraph is a matrix of richly overlaid colors visually striking and technically masterful.

Mr. Swanson’s art is represented in the permanent collections of many museums, including three museums of the Smithsonian Institution: The National Museum of American History, The National Museum of American Art and The National Air and Space Museum. He is also included in the print collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard University’s Fogg Museum, the Tate Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. His painting THE PROCESSION is one of relatively few works by contemporary artists to be selected for the Vatican Museums’ Collection of Modern Religious Art. In 2008, an extensive collection of John August Swanson’s works were purchased by Emory University’s Candler School of Theology to hang on the walls of their new 76,349 square foot building. He was awarded The Dean’s Medal for his art’s transformative effect on the campus. With over 55 works hung, this is the largest open public display of the artwork of John August Swanson. [from the artist's website]

Date:2000
Artist:Swanson, John August
Object/Function:Print
City/Town:Los Angeles
State:CA
Country:United States

Scripture:Matthew 5:13-20
Hosea 1:2-10
Lectionary links:CAdvt02
CRegn
AEpip05
BDiv
CProp12
General Subject:Light
Peace
Candles
Procession
Culture: Hispanic and/or Latino

Permalink: https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56546
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Copyright Source:www.JohnAugustSwanson.com - copyright 2000 by John August Swanson
Copyright Permission:This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to use and to share the file for non-commercial purposes under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license compatible with this one. For uses other than the above, contact the Divinity Library at divref@vanderbilt.edu.
Attribution:Swanson, John August. Festival of Lights, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56546 [retrieved December 4, 2021]. Original source: www.JohnAugustSwanson.com - copyright 2000 by John August Swanson.
Record Number:56546 Last Updated: 2021-11-09 16:53:43 Record Created: 2018-03-30 15:36:38
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition