Please join us at the opening reception for our September showcase, Swangstu, featuring Troy, and Holly Swangstu. Come enjoy a drink and see the works of this amazing family of international artists from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Holly Swangstu was the Art Institute Director for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum since 2012. During her appointment, Holly led efforts that resulted in growth of the student body population to more than double which resulted in a fully funded, three million dollar expansion to the art facility. This art education program was voted Tucson’s Best Arts and Cultural Education Program.
Under Holly’s creative direction, the museum’s art gallery facility was remodeled and curatorial efforts were revived, turning a stagnant space into a world-class exhibition space attracting repeat visitation and the award of Tucson’s Best Art Gallery in 2015 and 2nd Best Art Museum in 2019. Holly led bi-national art collaborations bringing the museum’s message of conservation and appreciation for the natural world to the people of Sonora and Mexico City. Holly curated an exhibition that debuted at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This project brought the 62 year-old Desert Museum to Mexico City for the first time in history. In 2016 Holly was given the honor of Inside Tucson Business Women of Influence Arts and Culture Champion Award.
Born in Wisconsin then raised in Bettendorf, Iowa Holly holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kansas City Art Institute. She has a heart for youth, education, and all things fine art. Holly was an arts administrator, instructor, consultant and business owner in Kansas City for over 16 years prior to her museum appointment. A graduate of the Ewing Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurship, Holly adapted their Fast Trac New Venture class for artists, which she taught at the Kansas City Art Institute marking the first business class to be taught in the history of the institution, which was founded in 1885.
Before moving to Tucson, Holly served as Director and Curator of the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, the largest contemporary art space in the area. Prior to her appointment at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Holly owned a private visual art school that offered arts programs, art education services, and art classes for all ages. Holly has exhibited her textile paintings in numerous group and solo exhibitions for over 20 years and now focuses full time on her studio practice. She still enjoys curating, consulting and teaching on a part-time, exclusive basis. Holly lives in Tucson, Arizona with her family.