“Breaking the Barriers” by Rhian Swain in City Gallery

“Breaking the Barriers” by Rhian Swain in City Gallery

Breaking the Barriers


A solo exhibition of art works by Rhian Swain

Breaking the Barriers is a collection of paintings that pay tribute to famous women visual artists created by Augusta-based artist Rhian Swain. There is an enormous lack of awareness, especially among younger people, of the many women that have had a huge impact on the arts and play significant roles in pioneering new paths in the arts.


If you ask a group to name five women artists, they typically can name two at most. Almost everyone can come up with a list of famous male artists. There is an ongoing lack of awareness of significant women artists living in Augusta’s River Region who are creating important works of art and receiving national recognition.


Portraits include artists such as Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Artemisia Gentileschi, Augusta Savage, Berthe Morisot, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, Tamara de Lempicka, Yayoi Kusama, Kara Walker, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, as well as local artists Staci Swider and Lillie Morris. Rhian included these two local women artists in the Breaking the Barriers series to pay homage to the powerful artists we have in our area.


Rhian Swain has a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta, GA. She is a painter, photographer, designer, illustrator, writer and former talk show host. in 2021 she completed her second public art piece, one of Augusta’s popular painted pianos for Destination Augusta, which can be found outside of Augusta & Co at 1010 Broad St. She has also participated in many local exhibitions, including shows in the Community Gallery of Augusta, The Augusta City Gallery, a Private View and the WetPaint Party and Art Sale hosted by the Greater Augusta Arts Council. Her past solo or curated shows include exhibitions at the Sacred Heart Cultural Center, D’Timms and the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. She’s received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, which allowed her to complete her Breaking the Barriers exhibit.


As the owner of RedWolf Advertising, which is an Augusta-based agency established in 1997, Rhian provides professional design, marketing, digital, public relations and photography services for clients in the US and Europe. She has won numerous awards for her illustrations, designs and for supporting the arts in the Augusta community. She serves on several community committees and is currently the President of the Greater Augusta Arts Council Board of Directors.


In her art works, Rhian is a symbolic artist who utilizes vivid color, humor and many mediums. She enjoys exploring cultural and social issues as she creates fantastic, often personal, mythologies. She uses her art to create dialogs she feels are essential for the viewer to participate in.


Breaking the Barriers will be on display in the City Gallery from May 31 – August 23, 2023 with a reception and tour held on July 14, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. RSVP on Facebook here.