ANDRE' DUMONT SWANCY'S ARTWORKS AND TEACHINGS IN GEORGIA
Andre' Swancy moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the latter part of 1993. He was 58 years old. He had accomplished what most people only dream about or achieved much later in their lives.
Swancy was not well received because of three reasons. His age, he was not a home boy, meaning he was not born in Georgia and was told by most of the major art galleries his art work was to spiritual.
Museums were not interested. The Puppetry Theatre refused to even talk with him.
Doors were shut on him and he was told he could not have done all those things on his resume for his age.
Why do we bring this up? Swancy made more contributions to the State of Georgia than any other state in the history of his career. These things caused him to prove himself and show his talent and be accepted. He was never angry, discouraged and loved people. Retirement with all his energy was out of the question. He was very confident because he had years of experience.
A break came. when Swancy pulled out the senior citizen card. He went to one of the senior citizens job placement centers and when they saw his resume and talked with him they made a phone call to the City offices in Atlanta, told them they had to check out this new man in town name Swancy, they need him, an would agree when they see his credentials. An appointment was set-up and events of several years with the City of Atlanta began.
Swancy went to City Hall for the interview.
Andre' Swancy became employed by the City of Atlanta, Job Title: Arts Technician. Department: Bureau of Cultural Affairs Date: 1994.
Purpose of the job was to develop and teach specific classes at the Art Centers.
From 1994 - 2011
Experience @ Bureau of Cultural Affairs
Visual Arts Coordinator, Muralist, Assistant, Consultant, Assisted Visual Arts, specialist with Art on Loan Program, Art Partners on Location, National Arts Program, Save Outdoor Sculpture Program, Summer Youth Program, PIC Murals Project, Designed and installed Public Art commissions for the Bureau of Cultural Affairs.
At this point in time, there was a difference, Swancy had so many successes and accomplishments he need not fear failure and disappointment. He was always like a duck in water. He swam so elegant in the Georgia muddy waters. One could not help loving him. He artistic abilities stood out and he was extremely kind, gracious, humble and talked constantly on any subject. He share his experiences, to Swancy Art was a form of communication.
From 1994 to 2011 Swancy was involved with the following in Atlanta, Georgia:
Swancy helped here for some events, and programs.
Andre' Swancy assisted with the Jazz festivals in the 1990's. Uncertain at this time which one's. He was everywhere. Other Festivals, also.
CRIM HIGH SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR - Atlanta. GA
ANTHOLOGY OF FORMS - Mural designed by Andre' Swancy Artist on staff of Bureau (See Mural Page) Director of Bureau of Cultural Affairs: Barbara Bowser - Mayor Bill Campbell 1995
Swancy's outdoor tile mural commissioned by the Bureau of Cultural Affairs using images based on African symbols. After the dedication, there was a reception followed by a video "No Dream Deferred" produced by Dr. Camille Cosby. (wife of Bill Cosby). The film profiles student internship Our Daily Bread owners Thelma and Wesley Williams.
Ironic, once again Swancy was involved with a Cosby project. One previous in Kansas City, KS at the Swancy's Montessori School and Atlanta, GA.
ANDRE' SWANCY WORKED AT ATLANTA HARTSFIELD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 1995 - 96
Art & Architecture Concourse E
Andre' Swancy arrived in Atlanta 1993-94, in 1995 he worked on the Art Project at the Airport 1995-96.
In 1996, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport built concourse E. the international concourse, to make way for the Centennial Olympics.
Concourse E was immediately given a distinct personality in large part because of the vast amount of artwork held within.
Each gate has a unique installation by an artist from the southeastern region of the United States.
One of the companies supporting Concourse E making the project a success was the Bureau of Cultural Affairs. Artist were: Sophia Lyman, Edward McNalley, Lamar Renford & ANDRE' SWANCY.
Swancy was an Assistant to Project Administrator David Vogt in Public Art Programs, under the Bureau of Cultural Affairs. They were in - charge of the following programs: One percent was two - fold: A. Preserve existing works B. Add new and exciting work. Art on Loan, Art Partners on Location, Freedom Parkway Bridge Keystone, Municipal Art Projects, National Arts Program, Public Art Master Plan, S.O.S Save Outdoor Sculpture.Summer Youth Program Murals Project and Wall of Respect. After a few years Swancy became ill and was not able to continue.
Swancy's returned in a new position which was to, Assist with Visual Arts, Specialist with Art on Loans Program, Not certain of the order they occurred. but we are doing our best to show Swancy many talents and interest.
Andre' Swancy became an Instructor for a program of the City of Atlanta, Bureau of Cultural Affairs.
Swancy worked with a colony of artist daily to create an extraordinary body of works as ArtSchool Instructor. The program was an arts based Summer employment program developed and coordinated by the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs, consisting of 60 young (ages 14-18) and talented artist from across the city who were trained in the visual, literary and performing arts. (1996) Barbara Bower, Director City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs.
NOW IS THE TIME TO SEE WHO HAS GOTTEN INVOLVED WITH ANDRE' SWANCY'S ARTWORKS.
Go back to the page: Allegro (Myth & Memory) The Altar of Light is an installation Swancy was building during this time. His true baby or brain child. View!
Andre' Swancy was still working for the Bureau of Cultural Affairs. He Goes to various Art Centers as Art Instructor.
SWANCY GOES TO CHASTAIN ART CENTER.
Andre' Swancy was in awe! Chastain Art Center had the most extensive programs and equipment housed in one facility.
The center offered Community Education year round.
Swancy not only taught classes he took classes. Chastain offered classes in: Drawing and Painting, Pottery, beginning through advanced students, Jewelry/Metal, Frame making, Stained Class, Print Making, Workshops, Art Trips, Children's Art Activities, Classes for Older Children and Adults.
Swancy took the Pottery and Jewelry classes. His famous pottery (not so pots) were designed at Chastain where they had a large outdoor Kiln, which Swancy would have loved to own if he had the space. See page on Pottery, this website.
Swancy Ceramic Pots exhibited at GPC Art show in Atlanta. 2012. They were discussed and analyzed to see what substance he used by Ceramist.... ?
(see Pottery page)
The winter of 2001, Swancy taught classes in Combined Intaglio Techniques (nontoxic Printing)
THE NATIONAL ARTS PROGRAM
Andre Swancy participated as an exhibiting artist in the twelfth annual National Arts Program at Atlanta.
October 16 - November 13, 1998.
DeKalb Council For The Arts Inc.
Marco Osvaldo Razo
Andre' Dumont Swancy
"This project represents the coming together of four artist, who are connected to the culture of Latin America, including the African and indigenous roots.
We work in various mediums, printmaking, photography, and combination at these. We are influenced by the components and the whole of Latin American Culture virtue of who our ancestors
were, where we're lived, the languages we speak, and with whom created our families .
We refer to the cultures of Latin America in our images, symbols, textures, memories, an spirit in which we create our work. We invite you to our exhibition, an to a moment's repose in the cultures that inform nurture, and inspire us". Written by Wendy Phillips.
This exhibition was in a celebration on Mexican Independence Day with art, music, and traditional cuisine.
ANDRE' SWANCY ARTIST INSTRUCTOR
SOUTHEAST ARTS CENTER.
click pictures for larger image!
Swancy teaching a class at Southeast Art Center in Atlanta, GA. 2000. He took the classes he did not teach. He made the most out of every opportunity. That was who he was, every experience he treated like the first time and truly enjoyed himself. For the students to be attentive was a dream come true, he was in his element.
Swancy really liked the artist he shared knowledge with at Southeast Art Center. He shared his daily experiences with his family and the excitement of spending time with, Director Albert Ward, artists, Dianah H. Bowlby, Martha Dollar, James Few, Michael Reese, Marcia O'Brien and Daw'u, (whose name he wore out), shown on his face and in his voice.
December 3, 1999, The Southeast Art Center, presented a Holiday Show and Sale (jewelry, photography, pottery, and printmaking). The place: The Historic Gilbert House.
Swancy taught winter classes from January 10, 2000 - March 4, 2000; Ceramics, Printmaking 1, Printmaking 11, and Papermaking. He took classes in Jewelry making, photography, Pottery and ceramics.
ANDRE' SWANCY TEACHES AT THE HISTORIC GILBERT HOUSE, ATLANTA,
The Gilbert House
Andre' Swancy loved history! Going to the Historic Gilbert House was great for him. The Gilbert House Atlanta was the last center Swancy taught classes December 19, 2011.
ANDRE' SWANCY LOSES THE USE OF HIS ARTISTIC HAND - FIGHTS HARD TO USE IT.
Swancy left Atlanta in 2001, and planned to return in two weeks. His spouse had gone to Kansas City earlier, in an emergency when she got a call from doctors her mother was hospitalized with the most severe dementia they had ever seen. Swancy joined his wife in KC they were there 7 months and on Memorial Day, 2002, he and his spouse were in a head on collision when the other driver on the freeway cross over the lane into their lane crashing into their vehicle.
Swancy sustained extensive injuries to his body and went into major surgery. He was sewn back together on the right side of his leg and hip with large bolts. His right hand was severely damaged and doctor's told him he would never regain use. Walking uncertain.
Swancy was determine to walk and use his hand. He begged for an intensive therapy program that KU Medical center had in KC. At first he was denied because of his age it was thought he was not a good candidate. The doctor decide to give him a try. Swancy turned out to be an inspiration to the others and was helping teach the other men too endure the pain. His hard work and determination was what you saw in Swancy always.
Doctors and Specialist told Swancy he would never make a fist or hold a pencil or draw. He remained positive although the pain was tremendous at times. Swancy went to rehab. everyday. After months he made half a fist at first and almost a full one. He had a wheel chair, crutches and then a cane. Nurses, Therapist and male assistants came to the home three times a week. His family came and cared for Swancy and his wife, she was said to be hurt the worst. His strength and positive attitude and spiritual faith brought them through. Always and inspiration!
Swancy's studio was still in the basement and garage after all those years. His artist buddies picked him up to go to art shows. The chicken foot and other
items he could put in his mouth or his left hand were induced for art drawings because of the limited use of his hands. He began to paint like crazy, in order to improve the coordination of his hand. He put the work in art shows being pushed around in his wheel chair and speaking in the galleries. Many of his friends came to support his work at the galleries, he was no stranger to the community.
In 2004 the Swancy's were able to return to Atlanta.
Swancy never wanted anyone to know about his injuries in Atlanta. The story was only told of his wife's mother and her Alzheimer's in Kansas City, where Swancy became a spokesman for that disease and got attention. His energy level remained for life.
Swancy returned to teaching, in Atlanta. Many things were different in the two years he was gone. There had been so many changes, job cuts, people he worked with, retired or relocated to other offices. Several of the artist were contracting with the City of Atlanta. Swancy contracted as well.
SWANCY TEACHES AT SOUTHBEND ART CENTER
Andre' Swancy taught at the center for the first time the summer of 2011. The classes ended July 19, 2011. The art projects for that class were cut-out paper designs in bright colors.Using a new technique. Upon returning home, Swancy, stated to his spouse, "the students work was far beyond his expectations. Their creativity and talent went in to each piece".
THEY CAME BEFORE US . . .
The People's Gallery at City Hall East Presents
They Came Before Us . . . features the work of four artists: Aileen Coumoyer, Doree S. Kemier, Harry B. Paul and Andre' D. Swancy. The artist are fortified by the inspired by living & choose to move the world through diverse declarations. They project their personal visions through diverse mediums, including oils, acrylics & ceramics. August 7, 1998.
City of Atlanta, Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
Andre' Swancy decided to take sometime off from working in 2006. He did some traveling with his spouse and when he returned he became so busy, on his new hobby, Amazon, computer retraining, cooking, new cell phone, his grandson asked him to go back to work.
One day Swancy saw an old friend, Laura (museum director) he use to work with and she asked was he working and he said; not at the moment. She asked if he would help them at the Atlanta International Museum. He called his spouse and asked if he should. She insisted, you need to keep busy.
Swancy became the man everybody admired and as
the Gallery Director, Brenda Galina whom Swancy worked with, told, his wife, He watch two galleries and kept them safe. he was a team player, he would do whatever everyone else did no matter what the project. He was on the administrative staff and she loved him. Mrs. Swancy, verified Andre' was extremely fond of her as well.
Swancy made sure the tourist did not touch the displays, told them about the art, directed and assisted the office staff of maybe four or five, liaison to the Marriott Marques Hotel, kept inventory of the wines. Imagine a wine lover keeping the wine. He did not like white wine and that is what they served. Lucky for them!
Swancy was a favorite of the board members and the tourist from all over the world enjoyed his worldly conversations and knowledge of all the exhibits. They exchanged business cards. Swancy had a business card for every one of his art series.
2008, the museum took a turn, new Director, new board members, all new staff, fewer new programs, name change and computerized everything. Swancy, felt, it was no longer the Museum he knew and loved.
Swancy worked on for three years longer and when he turned down a job working constantly on the computers, mainly because he had Macular degeneration for years and his eyes were not able to do that kind of work he had lost a lot of his center vision. After five years, Swancy resigned.
Swancy contracted with the City of Atlanta once again as an Art Instructor. (2011) The Director placed him on the Arts Council and was overjoyed of his return home. Now Swancy was 75 years old, like the energizing bunny.
ANDRE' SWANCY RETURNS TO ARTSCOOL AS INSTRUCTOR.
Swancy's time off gave him knew ideals for projects with students at the eight week summer program he was instrumental in the initial planning. Once, the short term once a year program ended Swancy went to other centers.
ANDRE SWANCY GOES TO J.D,SIMS RECREATION CENTER AS INSTRUCTOR
Swancy loved to exercise, he walked a lot and when he found out this center was within walking distance the Loft where he lived, that made it more appealing. He discovered It was a neighborhood Recreation Center of dance, sports, tutoring and after school programs.
Swancy decided to leave those activities for the young teachers. He was age 76 and looked 56 years old, in excellent physical health. He went to other programs.
Everyone liked to see Swancy teach. It was not so much how he was totally engrossed, but how the children and adults related to him and his methods.
Swancy's art talent and teaching abilities were a gift that one could only receive from a higher power. He knew he was gifted. Ideals popped out of his head like confetti.
ANDRE' SWANCY GOES TO SENIOR RECREATION CENTERS TO TEACH.
Swancy would be exhausted when he taught senior citizens art. He would say; "they wore him out mentally". They only wanted to draw and paint a specific way and no matter what he showed them they would say; "that is nice, but, i like to paint like this".
He would rack his brain on what to do to get some kind of change. At one center they agreed to try abstract drawings. At the end of the class, Swancy came home with some of their work, they gave it to him and said; "these are for you Andre'; we did this for you to show you we could paint that way, but we like our way". Swancy could do nothing but crack up laughing. They even signed their work. He gave them big hugs.The students were in their 70's & 80's'. Their works of art are in the Andre' Swancy art collections.
It would be wonderful to present these art pieces to the artist or their families. Their names: Velma M. Jenkins age 84 8/25/23, Josephine Coleman age 87, B Bayer age 75, 6/30/32. Uncertain of the center
Statement written by Swancy: "The main reason I choose to design a set of Art Activities for the Age-Advantage was to help them as well as myself to only regain spontaneity of youth. Remembering how as children none of us had any Creative inhibitions, they only came when we grow-up. WHY? so through the Life Learning Corridor lets go and try to find that Lost Child, Artist Within".
ADDITIONAL CENTERS: South side Health Center Summer Camp Swancy taught, ARTS/Center - Discovery/Crafts. 1997
StrongHold Senior Campus Staff Art Instructor. 2008
WHAT'S COOKING IN ATLANTA OIC
Swancy was a good self-taught cook. His oriental food would have been perfect if it was not extremely spicy, No one, could eat it but him. His grandson asked him to go take cooking classes so everybody could eat his food. He was kidding. Next thing, Swancy announced he was enrolling in a culinary arts school. He became a top Chef. Everybody in the family went to his graduation.
Swancy fourth from left on back roll. He received a tall Master's chef hat.
Swancy took this opportunity steps further to advance in cooking, to him this was a form of art, he took ice sculptor, made beautiful ice statues, styled fruits and vegetables in fancy shapes. His ribs were out of sight. He did him self proud. His food was so good the School decided to open a cafeteria and sell food to the public. Swancy was having fun. The family was happy they could pig out on his oriental food and all the other foods.
Now, there was one problem. Swancy brought every cooking items and cook books ever made. And spared no expense. His last item December 25, 2011, was a Montel Williams Food Processor retailed at $400.00, his family gave him for his last Christmas. It is being used today by his youngest daughter who loves and can cook as well.
Andre' Swancy made many more contributions to Atlanta, GA which made him very happy. He made many friends of whom he loved dearly. He had a good relationship with the other artist many of whom he helped with their achievements, taught their children, became there friend and confidant, enjoyed every workplace and artist studios, the conversations and mostly, what he learned from them.
What they probably never knew was while, he received monetary compensation for his work, he would have done it for free but he used the funds for art supplies and gave to needy organizations for children and the arts. As well as; the Alzheimer's Disease.
Thumbs up Georgia!
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