St. James-by-the-Sea Gallery reopens with Swanson exhibit


The St. James Gallery-by-the-Sea will reopen on Friday September 10 with an exhibition of the work of renowned artist John August Swanson. A reception will take place that evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition, which closes on November 14, will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment. To make an appointment, call 858-459-3421, ext. 103. The St. James-by-the-Sea Gallery is located at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 743 Prospect Street, La Jolla.

John August Swanson is a local artist from Los Angeles. He paints in oils, watercolors, acrylics and mixed media, and is a freelance engraver of limited edition archival prints, silkscreens, lithographs, giclées and engravings. His art reflects the strong storytelling heritage he inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father. Swanson’s story is direct and touches on our cultural roots, in his quest for self-discovery through visual images. It reaffirms universal human values, such as caring for one another, acting as peacemakers and something as simple as listening to others. From his portrayals of Bible stories to his urban scenes of everyday life, his circus and musical works, he uses his visual gift to share people’s stories and show us what brings us together.

The Storm, the show’s signature piece.

(© 2020 by John August Swanson; inkjet, 19 3/4 “x 29”)

Swanson said, “The images I make are not for ‘the love of art’, nor for pure self-expression. I want to talk to you in everyday terms like you’re sitting next to me. Making art called me to grow and helped me understand my journey. When I create art, I realize that the images and ideas I have struggled with are not mine; but are common to all. When we are together, physically present or through art, we are in conversation with each other, with our history and with all of humanity.

Artist John August Swanson

Artist John August Swanson

(Gabriela Dematteis, 2013)

Swanson’s art is represented in the permanent collections of many museums, including: the National Museums of American History, American Art, and Air and Space at the Smithsonian Institution; his works are part of the print collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the National Library in Paris. His painting, The Procession, is exhibited in the Collection of Modern Religious Art of the Vatican Museums.

Paintings in the exhibition will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds from these sales will be donated to the Casa Cornelia Law Center, which provides pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations, particularly the indigent within the undocumented community. For more information, call St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church at 858-459-3421 or visit To learn more about Swanson, visit


About Author

kurt watkins

Comments are closed.