An Artist at Home and Abroad

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To art patrons all over the world, Lawson B. Sworh’s name represents Liberian art at its best. Lawson stepped out into the international arena when he travelled as a young student. He went to Zambia to study at the Africa Literature Center (ALC) in Kitwe. Since that time, he’s created ten book covers for Amnesty International. And then in 2013 he travelled to the USA upon the invitation of two of his patrons there. They sponsored him to represent Africa in an exhibition in Virginia.

Even with international recognition, Lawson’s concept brings him back home: “To promote the Liberian/African culture through painting.”

Here at home in Liberia, Lawson discovered the healing and therapeutic value of his work. This discovery came through his own personal experience: “At any hint of depression, I always go deep into my art. That’s when I do my best work. That is when I can express the strength of my passion.”  From this perception, came the realization that his art could be a vehicle to touch and heal others – a tool for Reconciliation. He became involved directly in Art Therapy with the former “General Butt Naked”, Joshua Milton Blahyi. Blahyi’s ministry is called “Journey Against Violence” and is located in Chocolate City, Gardnersville. Lawson works with the drug addicts and ex-combatants “transforming their lives through the arts”. He has also taught at many schools in the Monrovia area including Stella Maris (formerly Don Bosco) Polytechnic.

Imagine a small five-year old boy drawing his little American comic book characters. And now see an artist skilled in water colors, pen and ink, batik, and paintings featuring African women “rising above their historical marginalization”. Lawson B. Sworh is a pillar of the Liberian contemporary art scene. You will soon be able to see the works of Lawson Sworh in exhibition. Look for his opening at the National Museum of Liberia on Broad and Buchanan Streets. You can also see his website: www.sworharts.com.

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