Angela Swan is a sculptor, photographer, and community-builder. She did not study art until she was 36 and from there developed a robust exhibition practice in Chicagoland. Angela’s dedication and productive art practice at UWM led faculty to nominate her for the Advanced Opportunity Program. She is grateful to have been awarded this generous two-year fellowship.
The foundation of my community art practice is being in relationship with elders. For two years, I have lived alongside them as a Student Artist in Residence. I am a whiz at adapting artmaking to include everyone, no matter one’s physical or cognitive abilities. Together, we build collaborative art upon individual artistic expressions. We celebrate the art we make through monthly exhibitions and art openings. Each of these gatherings provide an experience of being in community.
My neighbors appreciate my youth and enthusiasm and I relish their adoration. As a teaching assistant, I learned half of all UWM students report feeling anxious or depressed. I believe it’s possible to alleviate stress and loneliness through intergenerational relationships. This precious resource is often overlooked. Fortunately, it is waiting for us in our very own backyard.