Sydney Schwindt's collection at Studio 64, Firehouse Art Center south gallery, is a visual display that pierces the heart of personal experience, social discourse and eco-consciousness with a punk rock puncture plunging theatricality to still the beating heart.
A professional in the performing arts, Schwindt, has ventured into a new stage of her art career, having spent most of her adult life in theater. An experienced actor and fight director, she views her skills in these areas as an extension of her artistry, each medium allowing her to observe and interpret life around her.
When theaters across the globe shuttered their doors in 2020 due to the pandemic, Schwindt found a silver lining: the chance to immerse herself fully into her visual work. With a more flexible schedule, she was able to devote more time to her art, which eventually led to the growth of True Edge Art.
"A lot of the shows that I've worked on as an actor have needed someone to create signs for them and paid backdrops and I started doing that,” Schwindt said. “And I was like, ‘Oh, I didn't really realize this was a job, I could just start doing that.’"
Schwindt's demeanor is marked by a keen attentiveness, a sharpness that suggests an artist is intensely aware of her surroundings. Standing erect, and composed, she evokes the image of a finely wrought sword with a sharp edge, an embodiment that translates into her artwork. Her background in fight direction in theater unmistakably resonates in her artwork. Each color carries the drama of a composed and choreographed intensity of stage combat, bringing a bold and focused energy to her canvases.
Schwindt also possesses an unapologetically exuberant and playful side, reminiscent of the on-stage thrill of sword fighting. Her dark hair casts a shadow that seeps into her artwork, resulting in a witchy alchemy of darker hues. Intertwined with her bold themes, these darker shades give her collection an edgy allure that reflects the depth of her personality as well as her worldview.
With an edgy twist on nature, she folds floral symbolism into her work, spotlighting California poppies' medicinal virtues and the rosemary's whispers of remembrance. This artistic integration bellows her passion for herbalism, casting a dramatic spotlight on the depicted flora.
One of the standout pieces in her collection, a Hades and Persephone piece, reflects Greek mythology. The artwork features pomegranates and asphodels, symbolic of the afterlife and underworld, along with roses—a classic emblem of love and passion.
While Schwindt herself does not sport any tattoos, her background in tattoo artistry also heavily influences her style. Her love for comic book art signifies a visual narrative and unique aesthetic as well.
“The main series upstairs was after a breakup in 2017. I used to draw a lot more people especially because after being always interested in how people are and their reactions. I used to do a lot of facial portraits,” Schwindt said. “But now, from that moment, I started drawing hearts. It was the progression from the start of that time period in my life and then each one kind of grew.”
Schwindt also acknowledges her early career spent at Renaissance Fairs as a significant influence on her work. This period in her life has imbued her art with a distinct historical and theatrical vibe, tempered with a dash of Gothic aesthetic and punk rock spirit. It is this diverse blend of influences and styles that makes her collection at the Firehouse Art Center a stirring and deeply personal exploration of her artistic journey.
“Longmont's art scene is really robust and supportive," Schwindt said. “People are genuinely friendly and welcoming, and fellow artists are eager to connect, which is not always the case in other places. In some bigger art scenes, new artists can often be viewed as competition.”