Walter Art Gallery opens exhibit of works by Beth Ames Swartz

Schwartz painting 2A groundbreaking, unique and provocative installation called “A Moving Point of Balance” by Paradise Valley artist Beth Ames Swartz that premiered at The Nickle Arts Museum, in Calgary, Canada in 1985, will be installed at the Walter Art Gallery in Scottsdale March 1-30 so it can be filmed for a documentary now being made on Swartz’s life and work.

The installation is both environmental and participatory in nature and chronicles Swartz’s experience with the rituals of Native American and East Indian cultures.

Schwartz painting 3The exhibition is focused on seven 7-by-7-foot paintings each presenting an East Indian chakra (places in the body that govern emotional, intellectual, and spiritual equilibrium).

The viewer follows a “journey” from painting to painting. At each station, participants stand within a colored light bath in a darkened room, listening to contemplative music composed for the exhibition.

Included in the exhibition is a carved Navajo medicine wheel donated by the Native American healer, David Paladin.

The Walter Art Gallery is donating the space for the exhibit and artist reception, providing promotional efforts, staffing, and with the help of other contributors, installing special lighting for the exhibit.

Beth Ames Swartz enjoys recognition that includes four one-person traveling museum exhibitions originating at The Jewish Museum, New York (1981-83); Nickel Arts Museum, Calgary (1985-91); a retrospective beginning at The Phoenix Art Museum and traveling to Cornell’s Johnson Museum (2002-04) and of her more recent work at Arizona State University and traveling to Los Angeles (2008-10).

Schwartz painting 1Her exhibition at ACA Galleries in New York was reviewed by Art News in 2012. Three books, numerous reviews by ArtNews, Art in America and ArtForum plus many catalogs, articles and videos document her accomplishments.

In 2001, Ms. Swartz received the Governor’s Individual Artist award and in 2003 she received the Veteran Feminists of America Medal of Honor.

Her work may be found in many public collections such as those at the National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian Institution), The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,The Brooklyn Museum, New York, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art as well as many corporate and individual collections.

“A Moving Point of Balance” will be open to the public 3-7 p.m. March 11 and 17 and during a reception for the artist to be held 6:30-9 p.m. March 13.

The gallery is also available for private appointments by calling 775-302-5448 or emailing Visit

The Walter Art Gallery is at 6425 E. Thomas Road in Scottsdale.

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