Brooke Marks-Swanson

Published: 23.10.2020

Brooke Marks-Swanson is a metal and textile artist currently living in the Midwest.  She speaks of her obsessions and observations through a universal language of textile and metal wearable art. She received her MFA in Metals from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and a BFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Her works have been exhibited nationally over 100 juried and invitational exhibitions and most recently included internationally in exhibitions in Canada, Greece, Spain and France. Marks-Swanson has been included in 17 publications including the notable Metalsmith Magazine Exhibition in Print 2009, 2014, 2016, 2017. Three Lark Book Publications: 500 Plates and Chargers, The Craft of Silversmithing, and The Art of Enameling.  In August 2016, her first solo exhibition titled, “Baskets: Increase/Decrease”, was held at Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, California. Most recently, Marks-Swanson spoke at SOFA Chicago 2016, on a panel titled: FIBER ART IN THREE DIMENSIONS: A History and Discussion of Fiber Art Off The Wall. Her work can be found in the Muzeum w Walbrzychu, Walbrzych, Poland, The Sparta Teapot Museum of Craft and Design, Sparta, North Carolina, and The Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon. 


Created to shield us from the environment, textiles became a form of expression and a universal language. Through the tactile intimacy of my textile jewelry, I affirm our primal need to connect to the land and seek to understand the human condition. Purposeful color combinations reflect visceral feelings of seasonal change, uncertainty, and even hope. Natural disasters and climate crisis are at the forefront of mind, our mother Earth mirroring human condition: calm, violent, refreshing, threatening, and moments of tranquil as we continue to take from her. My awareness evolves and my obligation to connect persists. Variegated terrain, opposing clusters of fiber, metal and stone- all in balance reveal fantastical landscapes and uncertain futures. Contemporary amulets emerge.

About Topiary Circus series
Feelings of melancholy linger during COVID-19. Daily life has become a great circus act - swinging aimlessly, balancing, juggling stunts - in a menagerie of fear. I miss the grandeur. Deep inside remains a persistence to feel grounded in nature. The art of topiary exhibits years of practice and patience, becoming the foundation from which I build my narrative. Wishing away the languid, I craft a duality of controlled and fantastical. I make connections among nature, balance, and chaos - through which contemporary talismans emerge. In a cruel world, under the big circus tent in which we find ourselves today, where do you dream of fleeing?

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Exhibition  06 Nov 2020 - 28 Nov 2020  Topiary Circus by Brooke Marks-Swanson.
Fair  31 Oct 2019 - 03 Nov 2019  SOFA Chicago 2019.
Represent by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h.
Exhibition  09 Apr 2019 - 13 Apr 2019  LOOT 2019. Mad about Jewelry.
Fair  01 Nov 2018 - 04 Nov 2018  SOFA Chicago.
represent by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, at booth B14.
Exhibition  01 Jul 2018 - 31 Jul 2018  Something Wild This Way Comes.
Exhibition  08 Nov 2017 - 25 Nov 2017  Exhibition in Print: Repair and Renewal.
Fair  02 Nov 2017 - 05 Nov 2017  SOFA Chicago.
with Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, booth 6032018.
Award  29 Sep 2016 - 01 Oct 2016  The Legacy Award 2016.
Exhibition  08 Sep 2016 - 16 Oct 2016  Shadow Themes: Finding the Present in the Past.
Exhibition  04 Aug 2016 - 31 Aug 2016  Baskets. Increase & Decrease by Brooke Marks-Swanson.
Exhibition  06 Feb 2016 - 31 Dec 2016  Impressions 2016. The Permanent.
Exhibition  07 Dec 2013 - 31 Jan 2014  Objects of Status, Power & Adornment Part II.
Exhibition  13 Sep 2011 - 12 Nov 2011  Objects of Status, Power and Adornment.
Exhibition  07 Oct 2010 - 27 Oct 2010  The Teapot Redefined: A Group Invitational.

Publications      View / hide publications

Book:  Growth & Evolution International Jewellery Exhibition. Sun, HermanChina Modern Publishing House Limited:  Hong Kong,  2020
Magazine:  Metalsmith Magazine, Exhibition in Print, “Shifting Sites”. 2016
Magazine:  Metalsmith Magazine, Exhibition in Print, “Animal Instincts”. 2014
Magazine:  Edible Michiana, Issue 10, “the last bite”. 2013
Magazine:  Art Jewelry Magazine, Interview Artist Profile, September Issue. 2010
Magazine:  Metalsmith Magazine, Exhibition in Print, “Saturated: Color and Metal”. 2009
Book:  500 Plates and Chargers. Lark Books:  2008
Magazine:  News and Views, American Craft Council, Volume 1. 2007
Issue 3, Exhibitor Profile
Magazine:  American Craft Magazine, “Portfolio”. 2006
Book:  Making Metal Beads.. Paul WargLark Books:  2006
Book:  The Craft of Silversmithing: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration.. Alexandra P. AustinLark Books:  2004
Book:  The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration.. Linda DartyLark Books:  2004
Magazine:  Lapidary Journal Magazine: Color on Metal. 2004
Magazine:  CRART Magazine. 2003
Seoul, Korea Spring 2003
Magazine:  Metalsmith Magazine. 2002