Self-taught Embroidery Artist Frames New Airport Exhibit

Posted on November 19, 2019 in Art Media Releases

University City, MO artist Mike Schwartz showcases embroidery in his exhibit, Freeform Embroidery, near gate E12 in Terminal 2.

(November 19, 2019 - St. Louis, MO) A former middle school arts educator turned a one-time gift into a new journey into embroidery arts. More than a decade later, Mike Schwartz makes his debut at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) with a new exhibition, Freeform Embroidery, in Terminal 2 near gate E12.

Schwartz of University City, Missouri, is a retired middle school art teacher. He is exhibiting 13 framed embroidery works that showcase an art style that began after embroidering a baby quilt for his first grandson. He describes his work as “not your grandmother’s embroidery.”

“I challenge myself to come up with different ways to incorporate the art of embroidery,” Schwartz says. “I make up different colors using combinations of different embroidery flosses. I also utilize found objects into the framed pieces.”

In the STL exhibit, one of his framed works, “Untitled Red,” features embroidery that incorporates a weed eater cord. Another one integrates hair scrunchers and street cleaner blades. Other found objects include washers, spokes and wheels, and drinking straws. 

Schwartz received a Masters of Art from Truman State University. He’s a former Washington, MO art 7th and 8th grade art teacher.  His art journey is expanding beyond the Airport.  He’ll be a featured artist for a new exhibition, Wood + Stichery, A Play on Gender, from December 3- 29, at The Gallery in the University City Public Library.

STL’s Freeform Embroidery exhibit will be on display through May 4, 2020 as part of the Lambert Art & Culture Program’s temporary exhibitions program. The program is supported by the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.

Mike Schwartz was chosen to exhibit in the Lambert Art & Culture Program through the Airport’s seven-member Airport Art Advisory Committee. Current members are Lisa Cakmak, Associate Curator of Ancient Art at Saint Louis Art Museum; Ellen Gale, Executive Director Clayton Chamber of Commerce; Shelley Hagen, Corporate Art Resources at Wells Fargo; Leslie Markle, Curator of Public Art, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Kiku Obata, Founding Principal of Kiku Obata & Co.; Roseann Weiss, consultant with ART+; and design artist and illustrator Carlos Zamora. 

The Lambert Art and Culture Program builds upon the culturally rich legacy of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Its mission is to elevate the visitor experience and uplift regional pride through the presentation of artwork created by local, national, and international artists. Currently, there are nearly 30 works of art or collections of art (temporary, permanent or on-loan) on view at the Airport. For more information, visit www.artoftravelstl.com.