About Merrill Swim

           

   


    I am a printmaker and mixed media artist working through the inspirations of my world travels, road trips, biking and live music. My process involves creating a combination of block prints, painting and photography with the use of recycled maps, wood and other mixed media. My images come directly from my time spent traveling, biking, camping, snowboarding and enjoying live music in my "happy places," places I feel should have more awareness and preservation because of their unique landscapes, people or worth to society as a whole. The "bigger picture" of my art is that some places are worth sharing, supporting and keeping available for future generations.

A key element in the preservation of our "happy places" is keeping the entire earth healthy, not just those places dear to our hearts. Recycling is one means to this end. As much as possible, I use recycled materials in creating new art. I currently get all the wood used in my pieces from a Santa Fe friend who has an endless supply of scrap wood (trash) generated by his cabinetry business. I have a large collection of maps from travels starting in my teens that would otherwise be useless, outdated and trash. I save all paper scraps, misprints and old/wierd art generated in my printing studio for collage work. I up-cycle all my old clothing and home fabrics into new clothes, art projects and cleaning supplies for printmaking. The only elements not recycled currently are the ink, paint, and wire hangings, although I would certainly jump at the chance to save anything like this from the landfill. When the ski shop I worked at went out of business, I was able to recycle a lot of the materials they were trashing into walls for my art tent, scrap wood for painting and other miscellaneous supplies, which enabled me to start my mobile art business.
 
My current body of work includes a series of "Bike Somewhere" pieces with recycled maps on recycled wood. I also have a new series inspired by live music at "green" festivals hosted by Planet Bluegrass, Conscience Alliance and others that have inspired how I think of zero impact gatherings and what is possible within a community of like-minded individuals. I am working on a line of up-cycled shirts, jewelry and accessories to compliment my wall art. I capture each "moment" to share with the audience that feeling of freedom that comes with being out there in it and hopefully inspiring others to travel and support live music.
     
    My own travels have included such far reaches of the planet as India, Chile, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands, as well as the places much closer to home in the Southwest. Travel opens the mind to new experiences and cultures while inspiring a sense of adventure and spontaneity in life. Live music can work in the same way, while also fostering community and connectedness.   
    
    I began seriously creating art in Vermont, where I studied printmaking and studio arts at Johnson State College and received my Bachelor's of Fine Arts. For five years after that, I worked mostly with photography, acrylic and collage. In 2010, a group of friends and I founded the Santa Fe Art Co-op in the Design Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This co-op gallery gave us and our 20+ emerging artist members an affordable space to show our work and a community to share ideas.  
    
    In 2011, I purchased an etching press that allows me to create woodcuts, monotypes and other intaglio prints in my home studio. In many ways, traveling is comparable to printmaking. You can make all the plans and preparations for a trip or a print, but until you step off the plane or pull up your paper, you have no idea what it will be like. It is this excitement that draws me to printmaking and leaves me yearning to travel. I spent three months last summer traveling the country and my current body of work reflects that time and the places I visited, as well as local, recreational and cultural inspirations. 

Contact Info: merrillswimsart@gmail.com


Exhibitions

2014        "Recycle Santa Fe Arts Festival," Santa Fe, NM, 

            Recycled, Up-cycled and Bicycle Art


2014        "Art on the Run," Mobile Concert Art, Broomfield and Boulder, CO

            Mixed Media


2014        "Zozobra Art Show," Zozofest, Santa Fe, NM, 

            Mixed Media with Recycled Map


2014        "Classic Cruisin' Portland," Single Piece at The HART Gallery,

            Beaverton, OR, Mixed Media with Recycled Map


2014        "Art in the Park," Thompson Valley Art League Fair,

            Loveland, CO, Mixed Media


2014        "Wow 2014," Juried Group Show, CORE New Art Gallery, Denver, CO, 

            Painting and Mixed Media


2014        "Art on the Run," Mobile Concert Art, Las Vegas, NV, Mixed Media


2013-2014   "Bike Art," Ongoing group show of bicycle related art 

            at Mellow Velo, Santa Fe, NM, Prints and Mixed Media


2013        "Hippy Blanket Art Show," Telluride Bluegrass Music Festival

            Telluride, CO, Mixed Media

                    

2012        "Pushpin Clothespin," Pop-Up Art Show by Santa Fe

            Art Institute, ArtSee, After Hours Alliance, Cut +

            Paster Society, MIX Santa Fe hosted by Lucky Bean 

            Cafe at Sanbusco Market Center, Woodblock and 

            Linoleum Prints 


2012        "There's No Beer at the Mall," Holiday Art Show at 

            Second Street Brewery at the Railyard, Santa Fe, NM

            Prints and Mixed Media


2012        "Prints, Paintings and Collage," Exhibition and         

            Open House at a Local Body Work Studio and Office,  

            1219 Luisa Street, Suite 3B, Santa Fe, NM, Mixed 

            Media


2012        "Mountain Vistas," Solo Exhibition at Second Street 

            Brewery @The Railyard, Santa Fe, NM, New Prints, 

            Paintings and Mixed Media


2010-2012   Ongoing Group Show, Santa Fe Art Co-op, Santa Fe,     

            NM, Mixed Media and Prints


2006-2012   "Prints," Art at The Alchemist Brewery, Waterbury, 

            VT,  Monoprint and Monotype


2011        Reporter/ A.H.A. Progressive Arts Festival, Art

            Vendor, Railyard Park, Santa Fe, NM, Mixed Media

            and Woodblock Prints


2011        "Travel Reflections," Solo Exhibition at 2nd Street

            Brewery, Santa Fe, NM, Mixed Media, Photography and 

            Woodblock Prints


2006-2011   "Prints," Art at Piecasso Pizzeria, Stowe, VT,

            Monotypes, Monoprints and Block Prints