- 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.