Samuel G. Swail

Clay Desert Tiles


I have a strong faith in identity. I celebrate individual identity as an unyielding force for beauty in the world. Who am I? Who am I now? And now? I believe myself to be a singular voice among a collection of story tellers. I speak with the ever present knowledge that I stand on the shoulders of those who have been before me. I yearn to expand my sense of self globally and locally. The application of these vestiges in my work is at times unclear, untamed or bluntly obvious; however, I aim to ask the viewer to read between the lines and, in so doing, read between the lines of self. Who knows? You may share my sense of surprise with what is found.

Sensory perception. What do you feel? What is feeling? How does a material itself feel? How can I put myself in its shoes or it in mine? Make it feel the sense of life I do. Or in so doing translate a message to another? How does this attempt at conversation, connection, reflection stand as sacred evidence to my humanity or my very existence?

I am constantly in flux, distracted at times with the complexity of thought, while at other times obsessed with materials, technique and embodying the story. I sense, at times, a lack of control of self, the process or the final product. At times I feel as much a witness as any other to a type of forging. I strive to build a strong relationship with the materials I am working with, to understand how they work and to imagine the possibilities. These five pieces reflect individual moments, practice along the way, experimentation and me at play.

2009     Pursuing - Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Art Education - Arizona State University
2008     Associates in Arts, Fine Arts, Mesa Community College, Mesa 
            Art History Study Abroad Program, Prague College & Mesa Community College, 
            Prague, Czech Republic 
            DePaul University, Chicago - Completed one year conservatory arts training in the B.F.A. Stage 
            Management program at The Theatre School.

Professional teaching experience
2006     Adult and Youth Art Teacher, city of Tempe, city of Chandler & Tempe Elementary School District
2005     Apprentice & Studio Assistant to Ceramic Artist Joan Baron, Baron Studio
2004     Apprentice and Assistant Art Teacher, Young Artist’s Studio - city of Tempe youth arts program

Artistic accomplishments
2009     Tempe Teaches exhibit, city of Tempe
2008     Drawing selected for exhibit, Mesa Community College, Mesa 
            Art Detour 20, Mystery Gallery Exhibit, ArtLink, Phoenix
2007     Reflections: Work by Cultural Center Instructors Exhibit – city of Tempe Cultural Center
2006     The Theatre School Spring Exhibit Participant - Theatre Conservatory, Chicago
2005     Awarded “Visual Arts Department Scholarship” - Mountain Pointe High School, Phoenix 
            Awarded Sixth Ceramic Letter - for outstanding merit and accomplishment in the ceramic arts. 
            Selling and exhibiting of ceramic art at Rochambeau Art Gallery - First Fridays, Phoenix 
            First Place Award for “Words for 9/11” Bowl - Mountain Pointe Winter Art Show, Phoenix
2004     Exceptional Merit Award (Top award) for “Words for 9/11” Bowl - Tempe Art Six, Art Exhibit
2004     First Place Award for “Pine Needle Pot” - Mountain Pointe Spring Art Show, Phoenix
2002     Awarded “Best In Show” for “Birdhouse” and “Thermal Crab” - Mountain Pointe Winter and 
            Spring Art Shows, Phoenix