Sara Morris Swetcharnik

Art in Embassies Exhibit

In each of her small figure sculptures, Sara Morris Swetcharnik captures an intense quality of emotion through the interaction of the figure with the clay that encircles it. The surrounding clay serves as the element from which the figure is emerging or struggling to be freed, or within which it is seeking shelter. Ms. Swetcharnik focuses on the gestural expression of the figure, leaving a sense of vitality in the roughness of the surface. She then places her terra-cotta sculptures in simple, white stucco frames with dark apertures, like doors through which the figures are about to emerge.

Ms. Swetcharnik is a sculptor, painter, and narrative writer. Having exhibited extensively both regionally and nationally in the United States for over twenty years, she counts among her professional distinctions two Fulbright grants for creative work in Spain, 1987-1089, and several national awards for her small-format figure and portrait sculptures. In recent years, the artist has turned her talents to animal sculpture, both at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., where her "Komodo Dragon" bronze sculpture graces the exhibitions of the Reptile House, and at the Honduran National Zoological Park in Tegucigalpa, where she has undertaken a series of sculptures representing indigenous and endangered species of Central America.

Although she maintains a studio in the Maryland countryside, north of Washington, D.C., Ms. Swetcharnik has lived almost four years in Honduras, where she works not only as a sculptor, but also as an environmental educator, using her stories and works of visual art to sensitize the public regarding the environmental needs of Central American animals.

Description from the Catalog of an exhibit at the residence of Ambassador and Mrs. James F. Creagan in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 1998-1999. Exhibition sponsored by the Art in Embassies Program.

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