The Greenwood Lake Public Library, located at 79 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake, will present the works of artist Joe Sweda in the Art Gallery during the month of February.
Joe considers himself self-taught, influenced with education in art, engineering, and life experience. He attended the prestigious Brooklyn Tech High School, where he was taught by, among others, the American painter William Beckman. Beckman, known for his figurative painting and landscapes, taught his students to “think big.” The idea that the size of your art matters resonated with Joe and his work universally reflects that idea.
After spending time in the Merchant Marines, Joe embarked on his career as an engineer, working behind the scenes in a variety of venues that house great and important art. From 1993 to 1997, Joe was an engineer in the City University of New York system. During this time, he was a part of the Fashion Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and maintained mayoral archives for LaGuardia College. When LaGuardia College found out Joe was an artist, they asked him to put up some of his work. They were so impressed that they then asked Joe to display his art in the lobby of the school. This was the first time he began to show his work publically.
Joe continued to work in the engineering field as the house engineer for the Guggenheim Museum. He was also the start-up engineer for the Neue Galerie New York, a museum of early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design located in the William Starr Miller House at 86th St. and Fifth Ave. in New York City.
From 2006 to 2016, Joe was one of the house engineers for the Schubert Organization, America’s oldest professional theatre company and the largest theatre owner on the Broadway. During this time, Joe was maintaining up to 17 Broadway shows at a time.
Since retiring in January 2018, Joe has been devoting his time to his art full time. He has two different styles to his work. The first (which will be on display this month) is a hard edge look that he calls “line and color at play.” Joe’s other style of pieces are called “space” and can be exemplified in his star paintings.
Joe has written poetry to accompany some of his work as well.