Cole Swanson is an artist and educator based in Toronto, Canada. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and throughout international venues in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. He is a two-time national fellowship winner through the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute for his research on miniature painting and fresco techniques in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Under the supervision of modern Indian artist and professor Nathulal Verma, Swanson studied techniques for the manufacture and use of natural materials, mineral pigments and handmade supports.
At the heart of recent work is a cross-disciplinary exploration of materials and their sociocultural and biological histories. Embedded within art media and commonplace resources are complex relations between nature and culture, humans and other agents, consumers and the consumed. Swanson has engaged in a broad material practice using sound, installation, painting, and sculpture to explore interspecies relationships.
Swanson has performed many professional roles within the arts and has held positions in curatorial work, museum and gallery administration, and post-secondary education. His teaching practice includes sessional postings for the Faculty of Art, Ontario College of Art and Design University (Toronto), and as full-time faculty, Professor and Program Coordinator for the Art Foundation and Visual & Digital Arts programs at Humber College (Toronto). He has appeared as author and subject of numerous publications and catalogues, and has guest lectured at academic and arts institutions throughout Canada and abroad.
Swanson has received support from public agencies including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.