Roundtrips from the Nest
Jen Swearington

Artist Statement

 I spent about four months of the last year away from my own bed, traveling for teaching and business, alone in my car, driving throughout the South and Midwest. I live in a constant state of simultaneous nostalgia and wanderlust, whether on the road or in Asheville with my husband and pets. I am a wide-eyed passerby, marveling at the linear structure of a power line or suspension bridge, the mysterious volume within a barn or silo, or the oddity of a roadside attraction. These are places whose histories I do not know, so I conjure my own connotations.


Back in my studio, I tune in to the chaos of the world heard on radio news, how hot tea makes my forehead feel tingly, and the golden, late afternoon sunlight coming in my studio windows. I layer together my far-off wonders with seemingly unrelated sketches and objects on compositions of worn bed sheets, the most intimate linens in the house, redolent with their own past use. Tucked into the fields of polka dots and rosebuds, my journeys unfold.



Artist Bio

Jen Swearington grew up in a small Indiana town, but has been based in Asheville since 2000, where she resides with her husband and two cats. She earned a BFA in sculpture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1997, an MFA in Fibers from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2000. Swearington went on to become an artist-in-residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN 2001- 2002. Her mixed media paintings and quilts have been featured in Surface Design Journal and graced the cover of Fiberarts magazine.

Swearington recycles her imagery onto Jennythreads, her slick line of handmade, hand-dyed silk wonders to wear, which are available in more than 30 galleries throughout the United States. She is adjunct professor in the Arts & Ideas program at UNCA and in the Fibers Department at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and frequently travels to teach fibers workshops and to exhibit her work in fine craft fairs.





Swearington’s quilt, “Season of the Shark” is currently touring America in the prestigious Quilt National 2005 exhibition through next year. Ten other works are on exhibit in “Fiber Optic: Textiles in Contemporary Art” at the William King Regional Arts Center in Abingdon, VA through November 5. She can be found on HGTV’s “That’s Clever!” on October 9 screen printing a silk scarf, at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands at the Asheville Civic Center October 19-22, in her studio during next month’s River Arts District Studio Stroll, and at


On display in the Blowers Gallery October 3-30, 2006.
Reception Thursday, October 12, 6-8pm.

Updated 2 October 2006. Comments to the Library Web Team.

exhibits uncaRamsey Library