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The Art Of John August Swanson
Friday, September 13 - Sunday, September 15, 2013
St. James By-The-Sea


St. James By-The-Sea in La Jolla, CA
will hold an exhibit of 25 framed artworks
from Friday, September 13th until Sunday, September 15th.

St. James By-The-Sea
743 Prospect Street
La Jolla CA 92037

Event Hours
. Date Time
September 13

5:30pm - 8:30pm

Tickets Required

September 14

1:00pm - 8:00pm


September 15

8:00am - 5:00pm


Admission is free and open to the public Saturday and Sunday.


Tickets for Friday evening's reception are available at St. James By-The-Sea's website.


John August Swanson's

New Poster

I approached my MARTIN LUTHER KING poster with the intent to create a new artwork in my “Exploding Newspaper” style, used previously in BIG HUNGRY EYE (1971), LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN (1972), STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE (1972; re-issued in 2011), and SEEDS OF BROTHERHOOD (1973; re-issued in 2012). In these works, I used a variety of typefaces from alphabets I hand-carved from rubber erasers, while taking Sister Corita Kent’s class at Immaculate Heart College in 1968.

My earlier posters were planned around, and mainly used, photographs, which were interspersed with song lyrics and quoted text. For this work, I chose to use my own drawings. These details have been taken from the paintings, prints, and sketches I have completed over a wide spectrum of my work. The scenes depict people engaged in their daily lives, and form my own visual commentary on Dr. Martin Luther King’s marvelous text. However, within the artwork, there is still a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was taken in a jail cell at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, October, 1967.

The poster’s text is drawn from Dr. King’s 1967 Christmas Sermon on Peace, delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired the sermon as a part of their distinguished authorities and contemporary interest program, the Massey Lecture series. Dr. King’s affirmation of our universal connection to one another, our inextricable interdependence, moved me. It is still a contemporary, powerful, and relevant message, as we continue learning how to live together, how to work together, and how to peacefully coexist.

Please call the John August Swanson studio at 310-649-1210 for more information.

The Art Of John August Swanson
Friday, May 31 - Sunday, June 2, 2013
American Martyrs Church


The American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach, CA
will hold an exhibit of 21 framed artworks
from Friday, May 31st until Sunday, June 2nd
in their St. Kateri Room.

American Martyrs Parish Center
St Kateri Room

1400 Deegan Place
Manhattan Beach CA 90266

Event Hours
. Date Time
May 31st

3:00pm - 7:00pm

June 1st

10:00am - 8:00pm

June 2nd

8:00am - 2:00pm
4:00pm - 8:00pm

John August Swanson will be visiting the display in person at the following times:

Artist Visiting Hours
. Date Time
May 31st

5:30pm - 7:00pm

June 1st

4:00pm - 5:00pm
6:00pm - 7:00pm

June 2nd

10:30am - 11:30am
4:00pm - 5:30pm

John August Swanson’s 
Newest Painting and Giclee Edition


Morning in the City


John August Swanson has finished his newest highly detailed and vibrantly colored artwork, MORNING IN THE CITY.


Morning in the City

Morning in the City


MORNING IN THE CITY tells the story of our everyday experiences. Showing the complexity and bustle of our urban city lives
within the common occurrences we go through each morning: when we wake up, comb our hair, eat breakfast, meet the mailman, leave for work,
and catch the bus. Framed by their home window sills, a variety of different people are shown traveling through the facets and rituals of their
everyday lives. The efforts we go through to begin our day,
illustrate our own unique potential for greatness while facing the challenges of a new day.


Morning in the City


An Artist's Perspective on Justice


After giving a lecture for Professor Cecilia Gonzalez’s art and theology class, three Loyola Marymount students:
Gabriela Dematteis, Joe Kappes, and Alyssa Brocato,
conducted an interview with John August Swanson, and created a short, six-minute, video based on his responses.


You may view the video, titled; “An Artist's Perspective on Justice” on Vimeo, at the following website address:



November 6th:

Our Best Chance to End Capital Punishment

and Reform the Three Strikes Law in California!


John August Swanson

has prepared four posters and postcards calling for an end to State Sponsored Execution in California, and a postcard to change the Three-Strikes Law.


Proposition 34 on the Nov. 6th ballot would repeal the death penalty in the State of California and impose a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 729 persons sentenced to death in our state.


Each Prop 34 poster includes depictions of the Crucifixion of Jesus, with a message of transformation and hope.


(Proposition 34, 13” x 19” Posters and 4¼” x 6” Postcards Available – Posters shown above)


Proposition 36 on the Nov. 6th ballot would revise the three strikes law to impose life sentence only when the new felony conviction is serious, or violent, and authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences.


The Prop 36 postcard displays a powerful message of change for prisoners.


(Proposition 36, 4¼” x 6” Postcard Available – Shown Above: front and back)



These materials are available at printing costs.


Posters are $1.00 each plus shipping,

and postcards are $0.25 each plus shipping.


To order John August Swanson’s postcards and posters,

contact The Swanson Studio



John August Swanson Artwork Display in Los Angeles

at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels


 "The Art of John August Swanson " 
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels will host a more than four month exhibit of twenty-nine John August Swanson artworks,
from Sunday, May 27, 2012 through Sunday, September 30, 2012,
located in the Art Chapel (North Ambulatory, near the Down Stair Case).



 Cathedral Parking Lot Validation Available
Parking Hours
. Lot Hours Prices
Monday - Friday
5:30 am -to- 8:00 pm

- $4.00 every 15 minutes; $18.00 daily maximum
- Vehicles entering after 4:00pm: flat rate of $8.00

morning mass - 90 minutes free for arrivals between 6:30am and 7:10 am (with mass attendance)

noon mass - 90 minutes free validation with mass attendance

8:00 am -to- 8:00 pm
$5.00 flat fee
7:00 am -to 8:00 pm
3 hours free with attendance at regularly scheduled masses followed by a flat fee of $5.00.
Subject to Change
$5.00 flat fee


Tours are Available by Request.

  Cathedral Of Our Lady Of The Angels
555 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 

The John August Swanson exhibition at the Cathedral was reviewed by The Tidings on Friday, May 25th.  To read the article, click here.


John August Swanson to Appear on
West Hollywood Public Access,
WHPA-Time Warner Cable Channel 36

A 30-minute interview with John August Swanson at his Our Lady Of the Angels Cathedral exhibit will be aired on the West Hollywood Public Access Channel, WHPA - Channel 36.

This interview can be seen on the following dates and times:

. Date Time
September 13th


September 18th


September 19th


. Date Time
October 4th


October 9th


October 10th


October 18th


October 23rd


October 24th


For more information on receiving this station, please visit WHPA's website at:

Mosaic Developed From John August Swanson's THE RIVER

to be Installed in Glendale, CA

  THE RIVER Mosaic
Click Here for more images of the completed mosaic.

  "The River Mosaic" 
In celebration of the parish’s 65th Anniversary, on September 16, 2012, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Glendale, CA
will unveil their new 4’ x 5’ mosaic adapted from John August Swanson’s 1987 serigraph, THE RIVER.


The mosaic will be installed above the church’s fountain in an area 6’ x 7’. 
Adapting the THE RIVER

 Since January, 2012, with the help of fellow artist, Steve O’Loughlin and The Judson Studios,
John August Swanson has overseen each step in the planning, adaptation, and re-sizing of his artwork.

Demetz Art Studio, Italy

 The final work was crafted by the Demetz Art Studio, located in Northern Italy, and family owned since 1872.
And, the project was managed and facilitated by The Judson Studios, 200 South Ave. 66, Los Angeles, CA 90042.

The Judson Studios had previously worked in conjunction with John August Swanson on a mosaic based on THE GREAT CATCH.


Completed - 2012

Click Here for more information. 


Re-Issue of John August Swanson's

1972 Cesar Chavez United Farm Workers Poster

40th Anniversary 
The poster, STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE, was first created forty years ago, in 1972 to help raise money for the United Farm Workers. The original printing was limited to one hundred posters.

As I recall, the union provided me with a statement from Cesar Chavez’s 1968 speech. My idea for the poster design was to use his words to create a “newspaper,” a black and white montage of photos and lettering. For the lettering, I used a variety of typefaces; many of these were rubber-stamp alphabets I had carved from rubber erasers and other materials. His words became my “headlines,” accompanied by images showing the struggles of the United Farm Workers in our agricultural fields and the attacks from the giant agribusiness corporations. I also used other photos depicting labor, race, and economic struggles throughout the 20th century in the United States. I interspersed the words and photo images, hoping that this would be an interesting design and would best communicate the message of our continuing struggle to bring justice for all.

In 2011, I felt the message still resonated with strong grass-root movements: the energetic actions of the Occupy Movement, the growing awareness and participation of the Global Warming and Environmental Movements, the struggle of workers to protect their labor unions, and the renewed effort of the Peace Movement. I decided the poster should be reprinted. The original poster was revised with new images, revised spacing, and adapted text. Now, I hope this poster will bring Chávez’s powerful words to students, to union workers, and to those who struggle for justice. I hope this work will encourage, strengthen, and empower those who seek a just and peaceful world.

Please call the John August Swanson studio at 310-649-1210 for more information.












In the first panel -


At the left side of my serigraph, there is an employment agency with a long line of people waiting to sign on a waiting list. Our “Unemployed Man” is seen at the moment he writes down his name. He continues into the next panel, where he walks down the street, feeling alone and powerless, as he passes factories and office buildings with “No Jobs” signs posted.





In the second panel -


He is standing outside an overcrowded hotel where he has just picked up a newspaper which announces a march, a gathering of many people, of many communities coming together to address their common problems.





In the third panel -


He is the foreground figure in a huge gathering of people who have come together to  call for quality universal healthcare, better schools, affordable housing, living wages, equal pay and job training. Many of their signs promote strength in unity, community organizing, and peace. This large group of people is positioned so that they march toward the viewer as if they are moving forward out of the picture.




Across the top -


The line of smaller scenes picture people engaged in the rebuilding and renewing of their community. We see the renovation and construction of housing; the development of common, community spaces in parks; the writing of letters and expressing of ideas; and the sharing of resources in soup lines for the hungry, homeless, and unemployed.




Across the bottom -


There are three scenes picturing people organizing for their empowerment. The first is a group involved in collective bargaining. The next is another group of people discussing the possibilities for working together. The final scene is a leadership training class in which they seek to learn how to combine their energies to solve common problems.


It is my hope that this art work might serve as an inspiration and a tool for those working to organize those who have been displaced & marginalized by economic injustice into compassionate communities empowered to implement justice and  bring peace.

Giclee Print on Canvas, Size: 14.5" x 35.75"    
(Price: $350 unframed)                                                 View Larger Image


Lecture on John August Swanson in Atlanta

at Emory University's Candler School of Theology

 On Thursday, April 19, 2012, the Pitts Theology Library at the Emory: Candler School of Theology will present
 "Seeing the Stories,"
a lecture by Candler professor emeritus Don Saliers.

In the lecture, Professor Saliers will explore Swanson's visual narrative as visual spirituality through several examples of artwork.

How does Swanson's "re-imagining" of biblical stories give us a surprising
and often "musical" understanding of seemingly familiar scenes?

Light refreshments and conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the library director's office,
followed by the lecture at 7:00 p.m. in the library's Durham Reading Room.

The event is free and open to the public, 
 and is a featured event associated with the Pitts Theology Library exhibit,
 "The Art of Storytelling: The John August Swanson Collection" 
on display at the Library, April 2–June 22.

For more information,
please click here to visit the Candler School of Theology's Calendar of Events

John August Swanson to Lecture in Los Angeles

at Loyola Marymount University




 "Visiting Artists & Lecturers Series : John August Swanson" 
in the Foley Hall Green Room at 12:00pm on Friday, April 27, 2012

 The LMU College of Comunication & Fine Arts and their Communication Studies Department will host a unique and transforming hour
with John August Swanson on Social Justice, and how it is reflected in his artwork.

 Loyola Marymount University
1 Loyola Marymount University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 338-2889 

Copyright © 2015 John August Swanson
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