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SUNY Purchase Alum's Paintings In Cuomo's Office

PURCHASE, N.Y. — The artwork of a SUNY Purchase alum was recently selected for display in the Washington, D.C., office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The governor's office requested that the State University of New York (SUNY) send out a request for artwork to be submitted by students from the various SUNY state-operated campuses and community colleges,” said Laura Mogil, a SUNY Purchase spokeswoman. “Sixty-four pieces of artwork were submitted and only 18 were selected by the governor's office. Heather [Swenson] had two of her pieces chosen, a very prestigious honor.”

Swenson, who graduated in May with a degree in interdisciplinary visual arts and a GPA of 4.09, told SUNY Purchase she was “pretty excited” to be selected.

“Those particular pieces are quite important to me,” said the Irondequoit native. “They were probably the first two paintings that really clicked while I was making them, and since I started painting late in college, there was a lot of value in that for me," Swenson said.

Ravi Rajan, director of SUNY Purchase’s School of Art and Design and associate dean of the School of the Arts, was “very honored” to hear that Swenson’s work had been chosen.

“Heather was one of our outstanding students whose time here epitomizes the Purchase College experience: She came as a talented, eager student, and through her hard work and dedication, has blossomed into a contemporary artist that at once embraces tradition and innovates for the future,” said Rajan.

“The opportunity for an artist to show her/his work to a wider audience is one of the more elusive things about working as an artist today – this opportunity allows Heather to be an ambassador for our programs at Purchase, as well as for her own work.”

Swenson told SUNY Purchase she was appreciative of the printmaking and painting faculty, calling them “very encouraging” and “a huge influence” on her work.

As for what’s next for the winner of the President’s Award for Achievement in the School of Art and Design, Swenson's artwork remains a top priority.

“She plans to display her prints at art fairs across upstate New York, including the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts in Buffalo, and intern at Match Play Custom Apparel, a screen printing shop in Rochester,” said Mogil.

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