Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
Gary R. Swanson(March 17, 1942-December 7, 2010) was a man considered a Living Legend and a world renowned wildlife artist.
Gary Swanson was born in Alcester, SD and raised on the family farm with two brothers, Ramon and Arthur, and younger sister Mary. When he father passed away, Gary was only 15. Soon after, the family moved to southern California where Gary began to develop his sense of adventure. He lived in Seattle and Alaska, expanding his skill in taxidermy and developing a love of the wild. After many years, and with the encouragement of his older brother Ray, Gary put down the taxidermist equipment and picked up the brush.
His deep love and respect for wild creatures of the world, combined with a rare gift for artistic representation of them, turned Swanson into a premier nature artist. His realistic style of painting brought to life the beauty, freedom and power of wildlife in a way that has already earned him many honors, including being named the first "Legend of Wildlife Art" in 1993. His work entitled "Dakota Prairie Prince" served as the original for the 1996 official Norsk Høstfest art poster.
Swanson worked also as a museum curator, and conservationist before yielding completely to sketch pad and paint.
Gary Swanson and his wife, Audreyetta, lived in Southern California and Colorado.