DepartmentDepartment of Art
Biola AffiliationsFaculty


  • M.F.A., CalArts


Astri Swendsrud is a visual artist and educator who lives and works in Los Angeles. She has taught as adjunct faculty at Biola University and elsewhere since 2009. Swendsrud's practice includes creating drawings, sculptures and installation environments combining the images and materials of everyday party supplies, such as birthday candles and confetti, with symbolic and ritual forms. Through the intersection of these elements, her work seeks to investigate issues of belief, anticipation, interpretation and transformation. She also works as part of the collaborative Semi-Tropic Spiritualists to create multi-disciplinary performance works exploring ideas of faith and skepticism, belief and charlatanism, as well as the development of a space dedicated to community and the search for knowledge. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows nationally, including at Richard Telles Fine Art, the Vincent Price Museum and Chime & Co. in Los Angeles, The Suburban and Spoke Gallery in Chicago, All Things Project in New York City, Shangri-La in Joshua Tree, Calif., and an online curatorial project with Light & Wire Gallery. Additionally, Swendsrud is co-founder and co-director of the artist-run exhibition space Elephant in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from CalArts in 2008.


  • Elephant an artist-run exhibition space in Los Angeles, Calif. 


  • Harvey Fellowship Ahmenson Graduate Fellowship, 2007. 
  • CalArts Graduate Fellowship, 2006.
  • Who’s Who Among American College & University Students, 2004. 


  • What Can the Semi-Tropic Spiritualists Do for You? General Projects, Los Angeles, Calif, 2018.
  • Totenpass, curated by Anthony Bodlović, Visitor Welcome Center, Los Angeles, Calif, 2018.
  • Manifesto: A Moderate Proposal, curated by Ciara Ennis, Pitzer College Art Galleries,
    Claremont, Calif, 2018.
  • More Light, curated by Gladys-Katherina Hernando, JOAN, Los Angeles, Calif, 2017.
  • Shady Rest, curated by Betsy Hunt and Zach Moser, Prøve Gallery, Duluth, Minn, 2017.
  • Unconfirmed Makeshift Museum, Klowden Mann Gallery, Los Angeles, Calif, 2017.
  • Untested Address, Unconfirmed Makeshift Museum, Irvine, Calif, 2017.
  • Faculty Meeting, Earl and Virginia Green Gallery, Biola University, La Mirada, Calif, 2017.
  • Unseen, Summercamp ProjectProject, Los Angeles, Calif, 2016.
  • Bad Religion, curated by Akina Cox, Lyeberry HQ, Brooklyn, N.Y, 2016.


  • FAR Bazaar, Cerritos College, Cerritos, Calif. Artist-Run Space panel discussion. 2017. 
  • California Institute of the Arts. Artist-Run Space and Studio Visit with Foundation Class. 2013. 
  • Biola University, La Mirada, Calif. Panel Discussion, “Matter and Spirit” conference. 2011. 
  • California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, Calif. All Things Project Gallery, New York, N.Y. Contemporary Art Topics MFA Class. 2010. 
  • Art Institute of California, Los Angeles, Calif; Biola University Art Department, La Mirada, Calif. Contemporary Art Topics Class. 2009. 
  • Northwestern College Art Department, St. Paul, Minn. Senior Seminar Class.2006. 
  • Northwestern College Art Department, St. Paul, Minn. Advanced Painting Class. 2006.


Areas of Expertise for Media Interviews

  • Arts and Humanities
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