A new exhibit of paintings, "All My Friends and Enemies," by Elise Schweitzer, is on display at the Williams Gallery in Huntley Hall at Washington and Lee University from Jan. 15-May 15, 2014.
The exhibit is sponsored by W&L's Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and is free and open to the public.
Schweitzer makes exuberantly large oil paintings of people dancing, playing music, fighting and fleeing from metaphorical and actual upheaval. The settings are stages for peak experiences, and her facility with paint combines expressiveness with specificity in color and form. Her paintings embrace a grand figurative tradition while exploring themes of anxiety and autobiography.
In 2013, Schweitzer joined the faculty of Hollins University as an assistant professor of art, where she teaches painting and drawing. She has shown her paintings in Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Roanoke, Philadelphia and Umbria, Italy, among other places.
She has won numerous awards and grants to support her oversized paintings including the Vermont Studio Center Residency and Arts Grant, the Prizm Award from the Harrison Center for the Arts (Indianapolis, Ind.) and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (Montreal).
Schweitzer has taught landscape painting classes in Italy and participated in an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Her paintings are included in Manifest Gallery's Painting Annual 1, 3 and 4.
She received her M.F.A. from Indiana University in 2009, and a Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.
The Williams Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.