Multimedia artist Charlee Swanson was raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. He began drawing as a child, using the insides of flattened cereal boxes.

"One of my early memories is of being thrown out of kindergarten for arguing with the teacher about how to draw an alligator," Swanson has said. As a dyslexic, he found writing a challenge, and even then, art provided the means to express the ideas he was revolving in his mind.

Swanson’s professional and creative life has had many facets: fatherhood, conventional employment, entrepreneurship, and community projects. Of particular meaning for him has been his work providing young people with venues in which to explore and express their creative potential. In all of these ages and stages, Swanson has used visual arts to express his own vision.

His materials range from broken glass, barbed wire, steel, wood panels, and paper to found objects; the flotsam and jetsam of the modern industrial world.

Social and political issues are at the heart of Swanson’s work.

Dangerous Sex, a sculpture series from 1996, was an urgent call to young people coming of age in the era of AIDS to be aware of the risks inherent in the choices they make.

Swanson’s Info-Art panels, mixed media on wood panels, combine text and iconic imagery to comment on the expansion of the prison-industrial complex.

The American Flag series, created in response to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, explores patriotism, defiance, and a nation’s

pain through the image of the flag, using the symbol-laden materials of barbed wire and shattered glass.

The American Landscape Post-9/11 Signature series, 2002, responds to the political and social climate as we faced the prospect of war.

Swanson’s goals are two-fold: to develop as an artist and to use his creativity to make a difference in the world.

   Artist Statement   Biography   Resume    Gallery    Performance Art