Michael Horswill


HOR 0408 Horswill HappyHive


 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 assemble and unite the mixed media of the physical world, responding to trees and machines, imagery and text, history and humor, earth and architecture, color and texture, and the constant feeling of time passing. More and more my experience seems to be 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. 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.

Viewers encounter ordinary fragments in my work, seeing their reflections, memories, and imaginations inviting them to discover meaning. They glimpse landscapes and cityscapes, clouds and color, depth and shadow, cracks in pavement, sun through branches, fingers in sand, thought and emotion, idea and image. 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.

Biography and Creative Process

I am a life-long learner, having attended art schools and universities in Montana, Japan, Seattle, and North Idaho, leading to a Masters of Fine Arts. I have worked as an illustrator, painterm 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, knoweledge of art history, and experience with art-making to help students grow as creative people. My wide-ranging interests include studying art and architecture, and my interests in history and travel send me on perpetual quests for inspiration, materials, and new processes.

I begin each sculpture or "construction" by drawing. Through welding and woodworking, I build the basic framework for my ideas and synthesize a host of materials to bring the piece to life. I cut and shape, layer and connect, shred and burn, place and paint, and unite them all to live together as a community in their new visual environment. These sculptures integrate natural materials, such as antique machinery parts, glass, and metal. My palette originates from the colors of the materials I choose, while painting in layers of pigmented encaustic beeswax, cold wax, acrylic, and oils to create a deep, textural, and luminous surface. 

While immersed in teaching and learning, I thrive on creating abstract and intricte artworks that I have never seen before.



  • 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
  • Kansai Gaidai University. Osaka, Japan
  • Montana State University. Bozeman, MT       

College Art Professor

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

For Exhibitions, Public Art, and Articles: http://www.MichaelHorswill.com