A gallery view of Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand

A gallery view of ‘Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand.’ Image courtesy of the Worcester Art Museum.


Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand

on view at the Worcester Art Museum

October 7, 2020 through February 27, 2021


Works by Shrewsbury artist Susan Swinand, winner of the Sally R. Bishop Prize for Best in Show at the 2019 ArtsWorcester Biennial, are the focus of a new exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum opening on October 7. Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand features 31 paintings and drawings by the artist, representing a variety of mediums and including 14 new works created for this exhibition. Organized in collaboration with ArtsWorcester, the exhibition will remain on view through February 7, 2021.

A virtual talk with the artist will take place on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:00 PM. Links to the free Zoom event can be found on the Museum’s website.

As part of our ongoing partnership with the museum, the winner of the Sally R. Bishop Prize, the top honor in ArtsWorcester’s Biennial, goes on to a solo exhibition at WAM the following year. Additionally, the first 150 artists who submit work for the Biennial receive complimentary memberships to the Museum.

Primarily a painter with a preference for water-based media and abstraction, Swinand has long found the natural world a source of inspiration. Nature Imagined explores the artist’s creative process and her drive to find balance between opposing forces in nature. By allowing the materials to take on a form of their own, she taps into her subconscious to make meaning out of biomorphic shapes and fluid gestures. In so doing, she creates imaginative worlds, full of contradictions, enchantment, and even a little bit of humor. Nature Imagined invites viewers into those worlds with captivating, larger-than-life canvases that reveal the artist’s intrepid experimentation with color, shape, and medium.

A graduate of Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Swinand was a recipient of a Sartain Fellowship, which allowed her to travel and study in Europe. When she returned, she attended the Barnes Foundation for two years, where she studied the Philosophy and Appreciation of Art. A longtime faculty member in the Worcester Art Museum’s studio class program, Swinand’s work has been shown widely throughout central New England for many years. Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand was curated by Erin Corrales-Diaz, WAM’s assistant curator of American Art. 

“Throughout Susan’s long and successful career, spanning a variety of media, her work consistently engages with dichotomies: metamorphosis and stasis, form and formlessness, and organic and manmade. Her embrace of experimentation, such as using traditional materials in radical ways, means there is always something new to discover in her work,” said Matthias Waschek, Jean and Miles McDonough Director of the Worcester Art Museum. “We are proud to partner with ArtsWorcester to showcase Susan Swinand, a longtime member of our WAM family.”

Download an exhibition flyer for Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand here.



High resolution images from Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand can be downloaded here.


Visiting WAM

The Worcester Art Museum, located at 55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA, is open to the public on Wednesdays, 12:00 to 4:00 PM; Thursdays through Sundays, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM; and the third Thursday of every month 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The Museum is open to Members only on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Admission is $18 for adults, $14 for seniors 65+ and for college students with ID. Admission is free for ages 17 and under and for Museum Members. On the first Sunday of each month, admission is free for everyone. Museum parking is free.

As of October 7, 2020, admission is by timed ticket only for all visitors. Reserve or purchase tickets here.


Virtual Artist Talk

Tuesday, November 10 at 6:00 PM | Free event

Erin Corrales-Diaz, assistant curator of American Art, talks with Susan Swinand about her work and creative process.

Register in advance for this event: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYlde6qqz8vE9BE2a3GiAow2XSkLqSqo7zv

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.


The 2019 ArtsWorcester Biennial was organized in partnership with the Worcester Art Museum.