Jessica Swanson challenges students to create ambitious work, effectively communicate individual perspectives, and iteratively evolve their conceptualization through making. She has taught a wide spectrum of classes for CoreSTUDIO, ceramics, sculpture, product design, and the First-Year Seminar & Common Reading Signature Seminar programs. Swanson is also a Faculty Fellow and enjoys connecting with students in the residence halls on campus through that position. She believes that art and design are vital to all majors, and that when these courses are taken early, they help students make synergistic connections that enhance their other areas of academic study. Jessica creates invitations and opportunities for students to articulate what they are passionate about and develop their understanding of how art and design are relevant to their personal interests and lives.
Swanson’s work examines concepts of the wild. Her process includes embedding objects within natural habitats as a way to make space for other organisms. Questions around sustainability, functionality, and beauty drive the development of her work.
She has exhibited at venues including the Bellevue Arts Museum; the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California; the Wignal Museum in Rancho Cucamonga, California; and at galleries in Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Portland. She has received grants and attended residencies for developing her work and has been published internationally, including in the “Top-10 Submissions in Product Design” at designboom, in the book Organic Design, and by the Seattle Times. Swanson has worked at Stanford University, taught at Whitman College, and taught at various colleges in Los Angeles. She holds a BA from Whitman College, 1996, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2002.