Brent Swanson came to Flint Institute of Arts in 2017 to be the Art School Glass Programs Manager. Swanson graduated from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, where he started out as a ceramics major. He changed his major after taking a prerequisite glass course that captured his attention and his artistic passion.
Brent has a bit of Scottish ancestry running through his veins. The Scots are known for many things, one of them being their coats of arms. Knights wore these distinctive designs over their armor and on their shields as personal identification. Brent borrowed this idea as the basis for an original glass and metal sculpture he titled “Sport Coat.”
A Scottish coat of arms is a unique design that can only belong to one person at a time. In Brent’s contemporary interpretation of this idea, glass was a new artistic medium — a new resident, if you will — that needed an identity. Art glass in Flint now has a crest, “Sport Coat,” crafted by Brent and shared with the community to announce its arrival.
Andrew Watchorn acquired “Sport Coat” and wanted it to be showcased in a place where people could see and appreciate it. When he heard about the renovation project, he gifted “Sport Coat” to the Library in honor of his mother, Kathleen Watchorn.
An anonymous donor financed the installation of “Sport Coat” next to the staff entrance, where both staff and patrons on the lower level can enjoy it.