artist bio


I’m Carly. My last name is Swenson. I feel a little pretentious writing about myself in third person—so I’m sticking with first-person. I was born and raised in Havre, Montana, and attended college at Bemidji State University located appropriately in Bemidji, Minnesota. Despite the name, Bemidji is not, in and of itself, an actual state.

I received my BFA in Visual Arts with 2D emphasis and a minor in Art History. I’ve found my understanding and interest in art history has been influential in my work. I’m currently settled in St. Paul, MN after a year in Grand Forks, ND and from 2007-2014 living abroad. I lived on the Portuguese island of Terceira in the Azores for three years. Before Terceira, I spent four years in England. I have learned that British people liking tea isn’t an entirely inaccurate stereotype. I never liked coffee or tea until I moved there. I love it now. I think it helps make cloudy days feel cozy instead of depressing.

I’m working at my studio desk, painting away, and then I realize–“seriously? Who sits like this?” I’m a long enough to use my own limbs as an arm rest?

Living abroad has been a fantastic  and inspiring experience. However, Montana will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve been creating art for, honestly, as long as I can remember.

I vaguely recall excitedly scampering off to my room with an empty egg carton or milk jug that I could obviously make something awesome out of! Realistically, I’m probably not much different now, my art supplies are just more expensive.

3 thoughts on “artist bio

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  1. This is one of my fave pictures of you from the last year or so : ) so full of life with your cherries! “Life is like a bowl of cherries!” – just to quote a song.


  2. It’s harder to find tea drinkers here in England. Everyone is falling in love with Starbucks and Costa, leather sofas and skinny lattes. I look out of place asking for a cup of tea but I won’t be deterred.


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