Featured Artist: Mike Swartzmiller
Michael C. Swartzmiller (Mike) is the self-proclaimed “painterly impressionist” artist with a unique DNA signature. A life-long resident of West Virginia, he creates his work out of his home studio in New Cumberland. Art has always been a part of Mike’s life, from teaching elementary art classes, to being a principal in an arts integrated charter school.
In 2002, Mike started painting on stretched canvas as an escape from everyday life. “The artistic escape became an addiction; all consuming, but adding value and worth to my life,” Mike said. He also wanted to secure his future works’ authenticity, so he started incorporating his hair into his signature. “The DNA Coding is not for today, but for tomorrow as part of the provenances of my works. The idea came from an art project of a student from when I was teaching elementary art in the early 70’s. The student pulled his hair and placed it on a self-portrait rock. The project is proudly displayed in my art studio.”
Mike has since expanded his creative process to painting on branded cardboard packaging. His works are characterized with the emphasis on the application of the medium rather than the realism and discipline of most painting styles.
Mike is an active member of the Top of West Virginia Arts Council where he uses his artistic ability to teach painting classes of all levels to the public. Learn more about Mike at www.swartzmiller.com.
You can shop for Mike’s work at the Top of West Virginia’s Summit Art Gallery, located at 3539 Main Street, Weirton, WV.