Michael Horswill




I collect, combine, and unite the materials that pass through my life, trying to expose the meaning of the image floating in and out of my mind’s eye.

 I work with the mixed media of the physical world, responding to trees and machines, imagery and text, history and humor, earth and architecture, texture and color, line and shape, and the constant feeling of time passing.  Assembling these materials of life into art creates a unified vision of my response to the mystery of the tangible world. 

 Viewers encounter these ordinary fragments of life in my work, seeing their reflections in metal or branches, plaster or wires, their memories and imaginations inviting them to discover meaning. They glimpse landscapes and cityscapes, clouds and color, texture and shadow, cracks in pavement, sun through branches, fingers in sand, idea and image, thought and emotion, existence and memory.  Uniting the materials of the world into art mirrors uniting a single work of art with a single viewer. 

 Life is what we bring to it, and when looking at my work, viewers see both decomposition and persistent creative energy.  Within both views lies visual beauty—it's just a matter of how we experience the pulse of living.  Beauty exists as life begins, ends, transforms, and begins again.   More and more my experience seems to be one of continued movement from one thing to the next.  It is when I slow down and listen to the sound of space and my place in this world that I realize life is right now.

 In conceptualizing my work, I embrace all of the blooms and screws, warts and wires. In the persistence of existence I find beauty, humor, and humility. 

We don't have the answers; we're just part of the mystery. 




My relief sculptures combine a wide range of materials.  These pieces are best described as "constructions" that integrate mechanical materials such as antique machinery parts, glass, and metals, with natural materials such as beeswax, branches, and leather, and with imagery from archival texts.  

 I begin by drawing and designing a framework, and through welding and woodwork I build the basic armature for my ideas.  Then through a process of discovery, I synthesize a host of materials to bring the piece to life.  I cut and shape, layer and connect, place and paint, and make all pieces and parts live together as a community in their new visual environment.  My palette originates from the inherent colors of the materials I choose, which include painting in layers of pigmented encaustic beeswax to create a deep, textural, and luminous surface.

 I am a life-long learner, having attended art schools and universities in Montana, Japan, Seattle, and Idaho, leading to a Master of Fine Arts.  I have worked as an illustrator, painter, and sculptor and have taught illustration, studio art, and art history.  I learn from the intense exchange of ideas in the process of teaching students at North Idaho College, as I engage my own creative thinking, knowledge of art history, and experience with art-making to help students grow as creative people.  My wide-ranging interests include studying art and architecture wherever I travel, and my interest in history sends me on perpetual quests for objects, imagery, and texts that reveal the beauty of age.  While immersed in teaching and learning, I thrive on the process of making abstract and intricate artworks that I have never seen before.



RÉSUMÉ:    For more information:  http://www.MichaelHorswill.com


  • University of Idaho.  Master of Fine Arts.  Moscow, ID, Dec. 2002
  • University of Washington.  Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Art.  Seattle, WA, Aug. 1995
  • Shoreline College.  Associate of Arts, Fine Art.  Seattle, WA, June 1994
  • School of Visual Concepts.  Seattle, WA, 1992-1993
  • Kansai Gaidai University.  Osaka, Japan, Sept. 1982-1983
  • Montana State University.  Bozeman, MT, Sept. 1981-1982, Fall 1983

 College Art Instructor

  • North Idaho College.  August 1998-present. 
  • Teach credit courses in fine art and design: Sculpture, Two and Three-Dimensional Design, Survey of Art and Art History, Drawing, Watercolor, and Illustration
  • Boswell Corner Gallery Director, 2014-present

 Gallery Representation

  • The Art Spirit Gallery.  Coeur d’Alene, ID.  2000-present

 Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

  • Michael Horswill with Allen and Mary Dee Dodge.  The Art Spirit Gallery. Coeur d'Alene, ID,    June 2018
  • Michael Horswill and Allie Vogt: “Confluence.”  The Art Spirit Gallery. Coeur d'Alene, ID,    Oct. 2016
  • Michael Horswill and Robert Grimes.  The Art Spirit Gallery. Coeur d'Alene, ID, Aug. 2014
  • Michael Horswill and Tyree Kearns. The Art Spirit Gallery.  Coeur d'Alene, ID, Oct. 2012
  • Dialogues.  Esvelt Gallery.  Columbia Basin College.  Pasco, WA.  Sep.–Oct. 2012
  • Earth Machines.  The Art Spirit Gallery.  Coeur d’Alene, ID.  Oct. 2010
  • An Alarming Lack of Supervision.  The Art Spirit Gallery.  Coeur d’Alene, ID.  June 2008
  • Persistent Predicaments.  The Art Spirit Gallery. Coeur d’Alene, ID.  Nov. 2006
  • The Space Between.  The Art Spirit Gallery.  Coeur d’Alene, ID.  Oct. 2004
  • Looking In Looking Out.  Washington State University.  Pullman, WA, Oct. 2003
  • Organic Mechanical Mysteries. Prichard Gallery, Univ. of Idaho MFA Exhibition, Moscow, ID, Oct. 2002


Group Exhibitions ___________________________________________________________________


  • 1st Inland Northwest Juried Landscape Art Exhibition, Jundt Art Museum, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, June 2018
  • Faculty Art Exhibitions. North Idaho College. Coeur d'Alene, Biannually 2000-Feb. 2018
  • Regional Faculty Art Exhibition.  Lewis Clark State College. Jan. 2018
  • Annual Small Works Invitational. Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d'Alene, Dec. shows 2001-2016
  • Annual Small Works Invitational. The Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d'Alene, ID, Dec. 2016, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001
  • Little Sculpture Show. Fountainhead Studios. International Sculpture Society.  Miami, FL, Dec. 2013
  • Saranac Invitational.  Spokane, WA.  June 2012
  • Harold Balazs and his Enamellist Friends. The Art Spirit Gallery.  Coeur d'Alene, ID, Apr. 2012
  • Art Currents. Public Sculpture Exhibition in Downtown Coeur d’Alene, Art on Loan Program.  Coeur d’Alene, ID, May 2011-May 2012.
  • New Works by Thirteen Artists.  The Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d’Alene, ID, Apr. 2011. 
  • Drawn to the Wall IV.  Jundt Art Museum.  Gonzaga University.  Spokane, WA, Sep.-Oct. 2010
  • Selected Works.  Spokane Falls Community College.  Oct. 2010. 
  • 100th Show:  New Work by Twelve Artists.  The Art Spirit Gallery.  Coeur d'Alene, ID, Apr. 2009
  • New Works by Ten Artists.  The Art Spirit Gallery. Coeur d'Alene, ID, Apr. 2006
  • Three McMillen Foundation Artists.  Whitworth University. Spokane, WA, Mar. 2006
  • 100th Anniversary Celebration. The Art Spirit Gallery. Coeur d'Alene, ID, Apr. 2005
  • All-Media Juried Show.  Spokane Arts Commission. Spokane, WA, Feb. 2003
  • Governor's Arts Awards Exhibition. Idaho Arts Commission. Coeur d'Alene, ID, Aug. 2002
  • Art on the Green Juried Exhibition.  Coeur d’Alene Art Association, ID, Aug. 2002
  • Border Exchange. Washington State University. Pullman, WA, Sept. 2001
  • Ridenbaugh Gallery. University of Idaho.  Moscow, ID, Mar. 2000 
  • Univ. of Washington Juried Undergraduate Exhibition. Jacob Lawrence Gallery. Seattle, WA, May 1995
  • Illustration Invitational.  School of Visual Concepts.  Seattle, WA, June 1993


Public Art, Awards, and Community Activities


  • Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission.  Jury member for public art for Coeur d’Alene Library. March 2018.
  • Art on the Green.  Coeur d’Alene, ID. Judge for booths, March 2018, June 2008.  Juried Show Juror, May 2014, Aug. 2009. North Idaho College President’s Choice Judge, Aug. 2010.
  • College Art Association Conference. Los Angeles 2018, New York, 2015, 2013 and 2011, Los Angeles, 2009, Seattle, 2004
  • Sorenson Elementary. Single artist’s work chosen annually from among fifty artworks by fifth grade students for permanent collection, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. June 2015 (sculpture) and 2016 (drawing).
  • Hayden Chamber of Commerce.  H.A.Y.D.E.N. Award for Art, Hayden, Idaho, Apr. 2016
  • Lakeland High School. Judge for annual juried student art show, Rathdrum, ID, Mar. 2016
  • Epiphany.  Public art installation at Hayden Public Library.  Hayden, ID, Nov. 2015.
  • Kinetic Festival. Artists’ team leader to create public kinetic sculpture.  Coeur d’Alene, ID, July 2015.
  • Boise Geothermal Public Art Project, one of 3 finalists. Boise, Idaho, Summer 2014
  • International Sculpture Center’s Iron Pour, one of eleven international artists selected. Miami, Dec. 2013
  • North Idaho College Foundation.  Grant to create sculpture park in community garden.  Coeur d’Alene, ID, Nov. 2013
  • Idaho Commission on the Arts. Grant Awarded. 2013
  • Trilogy.  Public art installation in Educational Corridor. Coeur d’Alene, ID, Sep. 2012
  • Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.  Coeur d’Alene, ID, Oct. 10, 2011
  • Festival of Trees. Art donated for fundraiser Kootenai Medical Center. Coeur d’Alene, ID, Nov. 2011
  • Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission.  Jury member for public art selection.  Sept. 2011
  • Opera Plus.  Fundraiser.  Coeur d’Alene, ID.  May 2006
  • The Chair Affair.  Fundraiser Spokane Art School.  Spokane, WA.  Mar. 2006
  • It Was a Very Good Year. Fundraiser for Coeur d’Alene Public Library.  Oct. 2006
  • Art on the Edge Summer Camp.  Visiting Artist. July 2005
  • North Idaho College Foundation.  Grant funded to create human rights sculpture in North Idaho College’s Molstead Library lobby. Coeur d’Alene, ID 2005
  • Harding Family Center Sculpture Installation. April 2005
  • No Moose Left Behind. Excel Foundation Fundraiser, Coeur d’Alene, ID. 2005
  • The Humanities and Human Rights. Community College Humanities Association. Boston, MA. Nov. 2005
  • Campus Compact Conference on Service-Learning.  Portland, OR. Mar. 2003
  • Art in the Making. Coeur d’Alene, ID Feb. 2002


Articles and Television Programs


  • “A Confluence of Art and Friendship,” by Heilman, Devin. Coeur d’Alene Press. 14 Oct. 2016
  • “Choosing ‘Boundaries’,” by Keith Cousins, Coeur d’Alene Press.  June 10, 2016
  • “Epiphany Day,” by Jake Parrish and “Epiphany Night,” by Shawn Gust, Coeur d’Alene Press. 22 Mar. 2016
  • “Differences on Epiphany,” by Bethany Blitz.  Coeur d’Alene Press.  Mar. 22, 2016.
  • “Illuminating the Neighborhood,” by Devin Heilman.  Coeur d’Alene Press.  Nov. 21, 2015
  • "On Creativity: An Itch that Never Gets Scratched with Michael Horswill," by David Kilmer. Coeur d'Alene Magazine, 2013
  • “Harold Balazs and his Enamellist Friends!” by Jean Tudor. Glass on Metal, June 2012
  • “Artists to Watch,” by Michael Bowen.  The Pacific Northwest Inlander Annual Manual, 2011-2012
  • “The Art of Educating, Expressing,” by Tom Hasslinger.  Coeur d’Alene Press, Oct. 3, 2011
  • “Michael Horswill:  Writing and Inventing His Art,” by Jennifer LaRue.  Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living,   July 2011
  • Northwest Profiles:  Drawn to the Wall Artists.  KSPS Public Television, Oct. 28, 2010
  • “Art Exhibits, KSPS, to Feature Horswill.”  Spokesman-Review, Sep. 19, 2010
  • “Wall-Eyed,” by Carrie Scozzaro.  The Inlander, Sep. 9, 2010
  • “Changing Seasons at Coeur d’Alene Gallery,” by Carrie Scozzaro. Northern Journeys, Sep. 2010
  • “Show and Teach: NIC Art Instructors Present Original Work,” by Tyler Wilson. Coeur d’Alene Press,    Feb. 1, 2008
  • “Artists to Watch,” by Carrie Scozzaro.  The Pacific Northwest Inlander Annual Manual, 2007-2008
  • “Organic Mechanical Mysteries,” by Michael Bowen.  The Inlander, Nov. 9, 2006
  • Hands of Humanity: Art, Service-Learning, and Human Rights. PBS: KSPS Spokane, WA, KUID Boise, June 2006.  Documentary Film produced by Instructional Media Services, North Idaho College, featuring three-dimensional design classes working with children’s art program, Art on the Edge, resulting in human rights sculpture
  • “Grab a Chair, Enjoy the Show: Art School Stages Benefit Auction,” by Julianne Crane.  Spokesman-Review, March 16, 2006
  • “Whitworth Visiting Artists.”  Spokesman-Review, March 23, 2006
  • “Sculptures Unveiled: Collaboration has a Human Rights Theme,” Tom Greene. Coeur d’Alene Press, Apr. 15, 2005
  • “Artist Fills the Spaces Between,” by Cynthia Taggart.  The Spokesman-Review, Oct. 6, 2004 
  • “Bits and Pieces,” by Sheri Boggs.  The Inlander, Oct. 21, 2004
  • “ArtWalk in Coeur d’Alene,” by Julianne Crane.  The Spokesman-Review, Oct. 7, 2004 
  • “NIC Art Instructor Finds Inspiration in Students’ Creativity.”  Coeur d’Alene Press, Nov. 18, 2003




Editorial covers and inside articles:

  • Alaskan Airlines Magazine
  • Canoe & Kayak Magazine
  • Central Seattle Cooperative Newsletter
  • Employee Assistance Program Newsletter
  • Louis Martini Winery Newsletter
  • Northwest Outdoors Magazine
  • Stocks and Commodities Magazine
  • Strother Publications
  • The Northwest Inlander
  • Washington Law and Politics
  • Wildlife Conservation Magazine of Bronx Zoo


Advertising illustrations and logos, brochures, newspapers, magazines, trade journals:

  • Alpha-Tech Computers
  • Bloodhound Travel
  • Caterpillar Tractor
  • Everett Community Transit
  • G.T. Rapp & Company
  • McKeague Design
  • Renton Civic Theater
  • Seattle Catholic Archdiocese
  • Softcraft Software
  • Spokane Transit Authority
  • Spokane Windermere Realty


Special Publications:

  • Clear Mountain Communications (syndicated cartoon)
  • Egghead Software (video illustrations)
  • Everett Community Transit (posters, flyers, children's coloring book, web site illustrations)
  • Spokane Air Pollution Control (children's coloring book)
  • Spokane Transit Authority (posters for Bike to Work Week)
  • Union Bay Sportswear (fabric manuals)
  • Vernon Publications (advertising, layout, graphic design)