One Man’s Junk | Curt Swarm

The Opening Reception: Friday, July 7 from 5pm to 7pm.

Lunch ala Art Gallery Talk: Friday, July 28 at Noon

FINALE: Saturday, July 29 featuring John Heasley on guitar // 7pm to 9pm [open mic during intermission]

Long time FMAAA Member, Curt Swarm is exhibiting in the Main Gallery during July with his whimsical found-metal sculptures. Curt’s motto is, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” If he can see a face, or human or animal form in a piece of junk, he can make it come to life through welding and/or plasma cutting. “Human beings can teach themselves to do most anything, all they have to do is go for it, make the effort and not be discouraged.” This self-taught welder has made every mistake there is to make, and then some.

Curt likes to make metal sculptures, especially out of old farm equipment, as a way of preserving farm heritage. He started welding when he had two old pieces of farm junk that he thought needed to be attached together. Curt bought the cheapest 110 v welder he could find from Menards and taught himself to weld. Just about burned down the garage and had to be hauled to the emergency room at 2:00 am with burned eyeballs! Now, he has a 220v welder and a plasma cutter. Curt knows no moderation and does everything to excess. He is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict having been clean and sober for 33 years. He was inspired and encouraged by Brian Riggs, the previous Director of FMAAA, to weld up a storm. His metal sculptures are on or have been on public display in Mt. Pleasant, Oskaloosa, Jefferson and are in many private collections.

Of his creative tendencies Curt says, “Art is in the eyes of the beholder, and all art is for the glory of God. Writing is art and writers are artists.” Writing is Curt’s number one preferred art form, with metal sculpturing and photography in second and third place. He wants his writing to be his legacy and hopes to see one or more of his books made into a movie (maybe with an Academy Award!?!)

Curt Swarm was an Insurance Agent for United Health Care. He has a degree in English from Iowa State University. He has written and published three books: “Protected”, “Bossy”, and “Task Force IED.” A fourth book, “Esther” is in the hopper. Curt writes a weekly human interest column “Empty Nest” that’s in about 50 newspapers in three states including Ft. Madison’s Daily Democrat, Pen City Current, Keokuk Daily Gate, Van Buren County Register, The Hawkeye, Burlington Beacon, and Southeast Iowa Union. His wife, Ginnie, is his editor. He teaches Creative Writing in his home in the winter. Students have published books, poetry, and movie scripts. Curt Swarm indicates that his life is “totally dedicated to God, art and the pursuit of happiness, which is creativity, which is Godliness.” He is a native Iowan, and lives in Mt. Pleasant with his wife. Has two children and four grandchildren, all of whom live in Mt. Pleasant. Daughter, Annie Guldberg, is a well-known artist, recently painting murals at Oakland Mills Nature Center.

This month’s exhibition is sponsored by Your Heat and Air Guy. We thank Tom Schultz and all of our sponsors – they make it possible to have a new exhibition every month.

[Please note that Curt has once again generously offered to share a portion of his proceeds with the Art Center… so please keep that in mind and help spread the word about his fun, creative and rather interesting work. His work may be the perfect addition to your garden or landscaping. Plus, we have several of Curt’s books available for sale in the Member Gallery.]

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