SUMMIT, NJ - Summit Public Art, continuing its mission to bring new and challenging artwork to Summit, has debuted a new piece by artist Charlee Swanson.
Swanson's work, “Breaking Out,” a dramatic sculpture made from broken glass and reclaimed metal, is now mounted on the brick wall at MONDO facing The Promenade park. MONDO is located at 426 Springfield Ave.
The piece is representative of Swanson’s latest body of work, which focuses on grids, working with factory-salvaged steel and combining it with broken glass. The result is both provocative and elegant, challenging the viewer.
Swanson pushes the limits of his material to communicate with the viewer. “My work is about the materials. I use broken glass, barbed wire and steel, all discarded materials from glass shops, metal fabricators and scrap-yards. I prefer industrial discards and supplies. Recycling and reusing these materials, I assign them a new meaning. I see this as a form of alchemy,” he explained.
Swanson uses torches, grinders, and hammers to “scar, mar, and manipulate the surface of steel.” He added, “I cultivate rust using time, elements and weather to make images appear. I draw in glass by breaking it with tools and techniques I developed. I use light and shadows to project images."
Swanson’s work has been extensively shown and collected in the Tri-state area. In 2012, the artist had a solo show at OK Harris Gallery in New York City, and recently, the NJTransit Public Art Commission awarded Swanson a contract to do a large-scale public art installation at the Davenport Station in Newark. Of particular interest to Swanson is also the work he does with young people, providing them venues in which to explore and express their creative potential. To learn more about Charlee Swanson, visit charleeswanson.com, and to learn more about Summit Public Art, visit tcityofsummi.org and click on Arts/Events.