Vignette: 2018 Hadley Prize Recipient KCJ Szwedzinski

The Community Foundation of Louisville, in partnership with Louisville Visual Art, is pleased to announce that Louisville-based multi-media artist KCJ Szwedzinski is the winner of the sixth annual Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art. The $5,000 award is an opportunity for local artists to enhance their careers through a targeted enrichment experience of their own design.

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Szwedzinki’s submission outlines a series of research trips, “designed to synthesize seemingly disparate bodies of knowledge (and) archival practices for historical information and my personal inherited legacies.” Her intention is to, “broaden my ability to make work that is rooted in my own Judaic heritage, while facilitating engagement of a more universal audience.” Her itinerary is:

·      Seven days in San Francisco to visit the Jewish Contemporary Museum and The Holocaust   Center.

·      Fourteen days in Washington DC and Philadelphia to visit the United Sates Holocaust Memorial Museum and Archives (DC) and to take a six-day course, entitled “The History of Artists’ Books since 1950”, at the Rare Book School (Philadelphia).

·      Three days at the Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne Indiana

"The Klezmer Step | Glass Study" by KCJ Szwedzinski , Enamel on glass, 22x22in, 2018

"The Klezmer Step | Glass Study" by KCJ Szwedzinski, Enamel on glass, 22x22in, 2018

Memory is a central preoccupation of art in the early years of the 21st century. Perhaps it is the turning of the century, or perhaps it is because we can now look further into our immediate past than earlier periods. The last 100 or more years have allowed a continuum of understanding and a voracious appetite for ongoing social narrative that is endlessly fed by digital technology. That continuum is important to Szwedzinski:

“Every time a story is retold it takes on a new life,” she states. “Simultaneously preventing that information from being lost to history while slowly transforming into something new altogether. These mechanisms for transmission slowly shape collective memory across time and ultimately have a huge hand in shaping personal identity. These are the tools and teachers of belief and belonging. My work reflects on belonging, displacement, and the shifting nature of narrative across time and considers the intersection of art, belief, ethics, and atrocity.”

“Printmaking, glassblowing, and kiln forming are the main processes I use in my
work. Although producing very different visual results, print and glass have
historically played a large role in the documentation of history and the passing on
of stories. From the printing press to the spreading of political propaganda,
printmaking has always disseminated information to multiple people. Glass as a
material often goes unacknowledged but plays a huge role in informing our
experience of the world, whether its creating barriers to keep us safely in or to
isolate information and objects within a museum or archive setting. I particularly
find it interesting that glass and printmaking have been silent, but active,
witnesses throughout history and as an artist concerned with legacy, these
processes both present rich and dynamic stories that support the concepts I
choose to work with.”

Szwedzinski will be interning at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma Washington for the months of July and most of August. 

Louisville Visual Art will honor KCJ Szwedzinski on Thursday, June 21, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in their Portland gallery at 1538 Lytle Street, 40203. The reception is free and open to the public.

"Woven Debka and Klezmer Step" by KCJ Szwedzinski , Graphite on stonehenge, 50x38in, 2018

"Woven Debka and Klezmer Step" by KCJ Szwedzinski, Graphite on stonehenge, 50x38in, 2018

Recent exhibitions (2018):

·      Doors: A Collaborative Book Project, University of Louisville, KY

·      Blue Grass Bienniel: A Juried Exhibition of Kentucky Artists, Claypool-Young Art Gallery, Morehead, KY

·      Glass Art Society International Online Student Exhibition

·      Freeze State: Disassociating From the Here and Now, print exchange and exhibition (co-curator),
Louisville, KY (upcoming)

·      It’s Your World: Art About the Future of Community, 1619 Flux: Art + Activism, Louisville, KY (Juried)

·      What’s the Theme?, OPEN Community Arts Center, Louisville, KY (Group Show)

·      OH + 5: Ohio Border 10th Biennial, Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH (Juried)

Hometown: Jacksonville Florida
Education: MFA candidate. University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (expected May 2019); BA cum laude, Art History and Printmaking, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, 2009

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"Coincidence of Opposites I" by KCJ Szwedzinski,  Stonehenge paper, steel, 11x15x9in, 2018

"Coincidence of Opposites I" by KCJ Szwedzinski, Stonehenge paper, steel, 11x15x9in, 2018

"Coincidence of Opposites II" by KCJ Szwedzinski,  Stonehenge paper, steel, 11x15x9in, 2018

"Coincidence of Opposites II" by KCJ Szwedzinski, Stonehenge paper, steel, 11x15x9in, 2018

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.