Xavier - Mural Installation Project

This project was for Xavier, a new apartment complex in what used to be Cabrini Green in Chicago. Special thanks to Ann Hudner, the art consultant who curated the project. These are images of a digital reproduction of a collaboration painting between myself and artist Scott Simons. The large abstract wall coverings are installed in all 18 floors of the building directly outside each elevator bank.

Artist Statement about the original piece the mural images are based on:

"Sunflower Slow Drag is a collaborative mixed media painting by Scott Simons and Kevin Swallow. This piece combines Simons’ abstract textures and lines with Swallow’s cityscapes and abstract graffiti style. Both artists are influenced by architecture and draw their inspiration from the urban landscape. This is their first collaboration. The painting references a jazz song, Sunflower Slow Drag by Scott Joplin. Like jazz, the painting was improvised. They passed the painting back-and-forth over the course of a week – reacting to each other’s lines, marks, and colors. The panel was flipped and turned in various directions as they worked, until the painting unfolded into a finished composition."

View all the installation view images

Installation Views: DAC Group, Chicago

I finally had the chance to get the images posted of my DAC Group commission from 2014. This was an exciting project for me as I had the images printed, framed, and hand-delivered by me and my friend and fellow artist, Scott Simons. Special thanks to Blackbird Framing for the excellent framing job! DAC Group, a Canadian digital marketing and PR company, commissioned me to create a series of cityscape photographs which now hang in their newly designed Chicago office on Michigan Avenue. In addition, they will be conducting a PR campaign to local media and sending out smaller, limited edition prints to the press announcing their arrival in the city.

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Cityscapes @ In Fine Spirits

This week I hung a group of new cityscape paintings at In Fine Spirits in Andersonville. They have a great selection of fine wines, craft beer, and artisan spirits with a strong emphasis on local too. I'm excited to be showing my art again in my neighborhood! There will be an Opening Reception and Wine Tasting on Saturday, April 26 from 3-6pm. More details to come. In the meantime, here are a few photos.




Studio Updates

Due to extra busy life circumstances, I haven't blogged in exactly month to the day. It's been busy art-wise too -- a lot of current and upcoming art stuff happening...

  • Been having good meetings and webinars during the Klein Art Works course.
  • The artist Feedback Loop I'm in has been interesting and gets better each time I go.
  • My large-scale cityscape photographs should be installed soon at the Mile North Hotel as part of their hotel redesign.
  • I'll also have more large-scale photos going up this spring at the Hilton Suites new bar/lounge they are designing.
  • Had some good news about some national magazine press coverage I'll be part of -- more on that soon.
  • Been working on a new series of abstract paintings based mostly on objects from my studio:

Here's a video of me working on a painting recently in my studio:

The Cornelian + reflections on 2012

 The Cornelian (self portrait), acrylic on canvas, 24x30, 2012

As 2012 came to a close, I decided to create a self portrait - The Cornelian. It's based on a photograph taken in front of the Cornelia Arts Building where my studio is located. I haven't done a self portrait for a while, so I figured it would be a good exercise to go through since I've been a full time artist for one year now. I think the portrait reveals a several things: happiness, uncertainty, confidence and a bit of skepticism.

Reflecting back, I'd have to say that 2012 was a very successful year for me; I'm extremely grateful for all of the support I received. I started it off by taking an online class from Alyson Stanfield to work on my business plan and to help focus my priorities as an artist. I sold art consistently throughout the year and completed two commission paintings: West Loop Cityscape and Chicago Lakefront Skyline. I hooked up with Chicago Art Leasing which is giving me more exposure by renting out some of my art to businesses and homes. My studio was featured in the New York art blog, Hyperallergic - A View from the Easel; and I took an Experimental Drawing Techniques class to shake up my creativity.

During the second half of the year, I worked with two different art consultants on various submissions to license my art for hotel redesign projects. Last week, one of them came through -- four of my cityscape photographs will be printed large-scale for the Mile North Chicago hotel downtown. A second project for another hotel is still in the works. In addition to making connections with art consultants around the country, I explored some new online opportunities to help get my work in front of art collectors; such as ArtSlant, ArtBarcs, Chicago Art Database, ArtWorldChicago, Art Takes Times Square, and got my art represented in Xanadu's Online Gallery. I continue to show at the Writers Workspace and Transistor and will be exploring a lot more show and art licensing opportunities next year.

One last thing I'm proud of is helping my wife start up the Chicago Writers Conference. We ran a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign where some of my art went to some generous contributors. I volunteered on the Board of Directors, created the marketing and communications plan, developed website content, created a mobile app, and shot photos of the speakers and reading events. It was a challenge to say the least but very rewarding and we learned a lot. We'll continue CWC with a series of workshops throughout the year and the second annual conference in October.

In early 2013, I'll be launching a new website redesign and I look forward to experimenting with oils to begin taking my art in some new directions.

Happy New Year!


Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios - Friday October 5th 6-10pm

We're having our Fall Open Studios at the Cornelia Arts Building this Friday night. Details below...

Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios
Friday, October 5, 2012
6pm - 10pm

1800 W. Cornelia
Chicago, IL 60657

We painted our studio and did some re-arranging - come check it out. Studio #201 on the second floor at the top of the stairs. We'll have some wine and snacks.

I'll be showing cityscape paintings, photos, and screen prints along with abstract face paintings. Here's a sneak peek:

The SamichBox food truck will be outside selling sandwiches. Plus, live music on the porch by "Old Town Pickers" (6-8pm) and "The As Is Collective and Wednesday Mornings" (8-10pm).

Street parking is easy and free on the surrounding neighborhood streets. Or, take the bus or L to Addison stop on the brown line. Walk one block south.

Here's a map.

Hope to see you!

Water tanks - Cornelia Arts Building Spring Show

I've been working on a lot of new water tank paintings and drawings the last 6-9 months. They'll be on my main display wall for the Open Studios tomorrow night. I'll also be showing cityscape photographs and aerial landscape paintings - stop by tomorrow night if you can!

March 23, 2012

1800 W. Cornelia, Studio #201
Chicago, IL 60657

This is a FREE event and there will be drinks and snacks!