|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following biography has been provided by Scott Switzer, the artist.|
Scott Switzer was born in Billings, Montana in 1960 and has devoted himself
full time to painting since 1981. He received his formal art education in
Los Angeles, California from Otis Parsons School of Design, but readily
admits that his mentoring under various prominent artists, fellowship with
contemporaries, and personal study of art history, added to his own
individual victories and failures throughout the 20-year duration of his
creative pursuit are the greater contributors to his work.
In the early years of his career Scott took pleasure in living and painting
the majestic beauty found close to his birth place, enriching himself and
his work through travels to distant places including the Canadian Rockies,
Mexico, Western and Far Eastern Russian, China, and Italy. The camaraderie
Scott enjoys with the individuals he encounters has been and continues to
be a common thread throughout his travels and a constant source of
Even in China where free discourse was restricted, Scott secretly engaged
in dialogue with the students and their accomplished professors at the
Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. Behind closed doors he purchased works on
paper, which remain a treasured part of his personal collection.
In a small Mexican fishing village, which Scott visited on several occasions, he introduced a gifted young family man to canvas and paint. This afforded the young man a welcome respite from the unending task of providing a meager living for himself and his small brood. Scott sparked a fast fellowship with this man's whole extended community requiring him to humbly receive their gifts of food and hospitality. For Scott the passion and simplicity of these poor but joyous people proved contagious spilling over into his paintings and way of life.
Scott's solitary exploration of the Hermitage and The Russian Museum in
Saint Petersburg allowed him to see in life masterpieces previously admired
only in his vast library of art books. This experience was enhanced by
spending time with an extended family, who so generously invited Scott to
share their small cottage outside the city and in keeping with the Russian
tradition of hospitality, dined on local delicacies and debated good-naturedly.
A chord was touched deep within Scott on another trip to Russia, five time
zones away from Saint Petersburg, in Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka
Peninsula in far eastern Russia. Amid severe poverty and hardship Scott met
with a group of five accomplished artists, sharing a common unspoken
language, which overrode the many extreme difficulties and cultural
At a conference for the reconciliation of the white Russians and the
indigenous people of that area, Scott met a man who was a spiritual leader
of the Koryak people, relatives of the North American Inuit people. He was
an academy trained artist and though they didnt even speak the same
language, Scott had opportunity to purchase a large amount of paint and
supplies for this man and journey with him 600 miles north of Petropavlovsk
to spend time painting together in his village, Asoryo. There the song deep
inside Scott that began back in Petropavlovsk, culminated as he danced and
drummed in union with the Koryak people in the full native regalia they
dressed him in. The unspoken spirit of these and other experiences and
relationships enrich Scott with a depth and awareness that he expresses not
in words but in his paintings.
In January of 2000 Scott and his wife, Shelley, with four of their children in tow, set out on prolonged sojourn. They moved to Alaska, to a remote Russian village, Nikolaevsk, about 28 miles from Homer. Using the signature colors for which he is known Scott captured the folkloric scenes of day-to-day village life in Nikolaevsk for almost two years.
Recently the Switzers, joined by their eldest son and a newly adopted baby,
moved closer to Homer, a celebrated destination, located at the end of the
Kenai Peninsula on Kachemak Bay and known for it's fishing, bears, glaciers, and mountains. Scott is usually found close to his new home absorbing and depicting these and his many other discoveries and adventures in this land called America's last frontier.
Ever thirsty for the inspiration of a new quest, Scott is preparing for another trip abroad this spring (2002). The desire for insight into his heritage, both ancestral and spiritual, is beckoning him to visit Switzerland and then Israel and promising new works that, as always, explode with the intensity of his person and surroundings, and reflect that depth found only through knowing others and being known.
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