Location

Maryland
United States

About the Artist: Beth Schwartz

I am Baltimore-based mixed media artist as well as a rogue pathologist, art history nerd and literary geek. These eclectic interests unite into a unique visual voice. My art incorporates polymer clay, hand cut collage, altered photographs, acrylic paint, and ink. What comes out the other end is an assortment of boxes, journals, mixed media wall pieces and assemblages. My sketch pad was a fairly constant companion from late college into my early 30s, when "real" life grew too hectic (career, children, house, etc.). In 2004, I began creating jewelry with polymer clay. Although I mastered many skills, my artistic voice remained mute. Even worse, the perfectionist tendencies of a good pathologist crept in, displacing the joy. To change the paradigm, I began adding paints, papers and found objects to my repertoire. I was home. The ideas flooded in and my voice sang out. And polymer clay has retained a valued place in my toolbox. Since my semi-retirement in 2015, my artwork has been in galleries and craft shows in the Baltimore/DC area, and I have been selling from my website. A percentage of my sales are donated to Healthcare for the Homeless.

Websites

https://bethschwartz.studio/

Exhibition Images

Handala

Handala

Media used: Polymer clay canes & freestyle in background, beads, metallic acrylic paint, homemade mold of a tin hand, on a framed wooden board. Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.5"

Caning was my first love in polymer clay and here I return to my roots. Creating art enables me to enter "the zone" where time blurs and the mind clears. To celebrate this meditative state invoked by hand work, I placed a clay hand in the center. Furthermore, I have made the atrocious pun of naming this piece "Handala", a reference to the mandalas of Asian art which are instruments of meditation.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work
Opiate of the People

Opiate of the People

Opiate of the People

Media used: Polymer clay (mokume gane and stamping), acrylic paint, inks, transferred text, found objects including a computer part, stencils, on a wooden plaque. Dimensions: 12 x 9.75".

This piece addresses my ambivalence about the role technology plays in our lives. The text throughout reads "opiate of the people of the opiate of the people...." etc. Marx called religion the opiate of the people. The shrine-like structure of this piece alludes to this. "Soma" (the centrally framed clay word inside the computer chip) is the fictional hallucinogenic drug in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"; this is the drug which kept society sedated and happy. Huxley no doubt borrowed the word "soma" from the Sanskrit word for a ritual drink in ancient Indian texts. Is technology a stupefying drug? Is it on par with a holy power? Have we abdicated our will to it? Here the claywork takes a backseat to the message.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work
Leonardo's Advice

Leonardo's Advice

Media used: Polymer clay, acrylic paint, ink, collage with transfers on a wooden cradled panel. Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 2".

Da Vinci recorded his careful observations about the human figure in his notebooks and in his "Treatise on Painting". Here I combine his advice to artists regarding anatomy with classic anatomic images from other sources. I built this piece out three dimensionally with polymer clay. I invite the viewer to contemplate how our miraculous brains are always translating between 2 and 3 dimensions when we look at and create images, such as those in an anatomy book.

Related Gallery

Two Dimensional Work

IPCA2016 Horiz

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