Jon Swindler is faculty in the Printmaking and Book Arts at the Lamar Dodd School of Art and also serves as Associate Director for Technology, Space and Community for the School, which includes coordinating undergraduate advising, overseeing the advising office and meeting regularly with new and current art majors. He holds a BFA in studio art and art education from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas and an MFA at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Over the last several years he has exhibited his work in numerous solo, competitive and invitational exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Jon has also performed visiting artist workshops and lectures at various institutions, including: The Art Academy of Cincinnati, HDK School of Design and Craft in Steneby Sweden and the Society of Northern Alberta Print Artists in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
An essential by-product of my creative activity is an abundance of printed remnants, or visual leftovers. Accumulated failures, incidents and accidents (on paper) acquire involuntary visual connotations. Surfaces possessing this quality are continually re-printed or recycled, creating unforeseen visual phenomena and fluctuating conceptual circumstances.
The natural condition of all printmaking processes is that of degradation, and it has traditionally been the printmaker’s job to control this trait (as long as possible). Within my studio practice I have sought to embrace this tendency rather than fight against it. It is in this and the other inherent qualities of the medium, namely, the mediation and accumulation of marks, as well as the transferal/reversal of information that provides both technical challenges and visual novelty.
Disparate sources for imagery and ideas yield disparate content. However, through my manipulation, that is my formal and material reaction, the disparate coalesces. Artmaking promotes shape shifting, thus enabling the freedom to flow between various disciplines, concepts and materials. Through art/printmaking, I always discover some new truth or narrative. Intuitive formal decisions impart or create meaning. I feel my role is that of a facilitator within a constant collaboration with the inanimate elements of print media. For me, printmaking is more than materials; it is a way of viewing the world. As a resident of a multi-layered world in which little is as it seems and information is coded (even when it’s not), printmaking is my decoder ring.
In the studio, the act of making (for me) is a contradictory one, at once highly systematic, yet randomized. Everything derived out of my creative production is considered relevant and nothing superfluous. The plates and prints I generate are regarded as components, not images. These components are combined to create naturally contrasting states of visual information; transitions of technique, mark, color and content that is born out of un-edited studio activity. Out of this process I seek to develop artworks, which feel by contrast calculated, intentional and well crafted.