William Swetcharnik

See site area with examples of William's art and writing

Sara Swetcharnik

See site area with examples of Sara's art and writing

Art Resource Traditions

See site area for info & photos of Central America projects

Educational Resources
Workshop and project offerings in Central America and the USA

Educational Resources

William and Sara Swetcharnik bring extraordinary abilities and experience to the classroom, both physical and virtual. Please see the brief descriptions below and follow the links for more detailed descriptions. Later, more extensive offerings will be listed below.


William Swetcharnik, acclaimed artist and senior Fulbright scholar, takes students on a Central American adventure among indigenous artists and artisans. Students engage in parallel projects, creating displays with indigenous resources.

These art activities are designed to acquaint children with traditional cultural practices in a context of cultural and environmental awareness. These workshops employ hand-made art supplies, based principally on painting media and techniques from pre-modern cultures. They are an outgrowth of a program the artist founded as a senior Fulbright Fellow in Central America, where he conducted hundreds of training sessions with under-resourced primary and secondary schools, art schools, and teaching universities (See the Art Resource Traditions site area.). Since returning to the United States, William Swetcharnik adapted this model, under the auspices of the Maryland Artist in Education program and the Teaching Artist Institute, to enhance art offerings for grades 6-12. For more information about educational offerings, watch a three-minute video summarizing William's seven years of projects in Honduras and neighboring countries (Dial-up)(Broadband/HQ), and a slightly longer version explaining a sample classroom project in the USA (Dial-up)(Broadband/HQ).

Williamís art has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Europe and the Americas. His professional distinctions include fellowships with the Fulbright, Cintas, Arts America, and Yaddo programs. In 1995, he was awarded a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to Honduras, where he founded a sustainable development program helping artists, artisans, and art students in poor communities, oriented toward the use of inexpensive, indigenous materials. He remained seven years in Central America, directing this program and exploring the use of these materials, which include colored clays, crushed river rock, and native woods, in his own work.


Sara Morris Swetcharnik, Fulbright fellow and famous animal artist, is also a fine writer of animal narratives, which she uses as a springboard to involve students in creative writing projects.

These art activities combine animal sculpture, when the resources are available, and creative writing, using Sara's short animal narratives as a model. These workshops are an outgrowth of projects the artist undertook at zoological parks in the USA and Central America. Since returning to the USA, Sara Swetcharnik has begun to combine art and writing in elementary school settings, initially under the auspices of the PRISM program of Montclair State University, which developed a classroom video conferencing model in collaboration with the National Science Resources Center (NSRC). In these workshops, Sara inspires children with her own art and stories, and then works with the teacher to help them craft animal narratives, real or imagined, with an eye to zoological accuracy, environmental sensitivity, and fable-like moral qualities. "Descriptive writing," says Sara, "is like sculpting with words." Please see Swetcharnik.com/teaching for a more detailed description of educational offerings. On request, samples of classroom projects can be provided, in which Sara worked with students via internet video conferencing. These activities can be adjusted for all classroom types and age groups.

Sara's art has been widely displayed in the USA and abroad, garnering a considerable reputation for accuracy of representation. Similarly, her short animal narratives have been widely published, generating much admiration for their combination of moral poignancy and lifelike accuracy. As a child, Sara loved looking through microscopes at the flora and fauna in local. Her youthful interest in science also sparked a love of the visual world, and both and art continue to inform her artwork and inspire her audiences. Her animal stories are all true narratives based on her own experiences and those of friends, especially in the fields of zoology and anthropology.

William and Sara Swetcharnik: National Capital Post Office, Box 77794, Washington, DC 20013 USA
william@swetcharnik.com  |  Phone: 301.831.7286 / 301.829.0137

All content copyright © 1997-2005 William and Sara Swetcharnik