Emily vonSwearingen

Emily vonSwearingen offers extensive experience in creating art and music programs for students with all disabilities and ability levels, at-risk youth and marginalized groups. She works with mixed and multi-media art and interactive sound stories in her therapeutic approaches to integrative art making. She focuses on sensory engagement and adapting tools and teaching methods to be fully inclusive for all students. She is currently learning American Sign Language while collaborating with students who are Deaf. Emily works with a variety of visual art disciplines including 3-D, sculpture, fiber arts/weaving, printmaking, collage, nature art, installation art, painting, photography and video; usually combining more than one discipline into creating mixed and multi-media art. She plays a wide variety of percussion instruments, cultural drums and Native American style flutes. She is also a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide offering immersive nature and “forest bathing” sessions based on the Japanese principles of Shinrin-Yoku. Her diverse history includes founding the Artist in Residency program at the former Denver Children’s Hospital and collaborating with over 67 schools and numerous organizations such as VSA Colorado/Access Gallery, the Colorado Center for the Blind, Denver Public Library, Denver Housing Authority, Rocky Mountain Deaf School and Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association. She has been funded multiple times as an individual artist though competitive grants including Denver Arts and Venues, Imagine 2020, the Colorado Arts Partnership, Arts in Society and Colorado YouthReach to create innovative arts projects and public art installations.

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Emily vonSwearingen is available for full or part-time residencies.

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Explore: Media Arts, Photography, Professional Development, Visual Arts, Abstract, Collage, Fiber, History, Installations, Mental Health, Mixed Media, Nature, Painting, Printmaking, Public Art, Reading, Recycled, Sculpture, Social Emotional, Special Needs


Individual workshop and performance prices are determined by each artist. Please contact us for performance and workshop pricing for a particular artist. Visit our Pricing page for other pricing information.

  • Sound Stories

    Workshop for grades K through Adult

    Workshop participants are invited to play a variety of percussion instruments to create guided, interactive, group sound stories. We will travel through various locations of our imagination including an ocean storm, lively jungle, echoing cave, chattering forest, even the North Pole through sounds and storytelling. A giant croaking frog, ocean drums, wawa echo, fruit shakers and liquid triangle are just a few of the engaging sounds that students will explore. Emily will also play several styles of flutes and a variety of drums and mediative instruments. Fully accessible, inclusive and customized to engage all participants.

  • Forest Bathing with Nature Art for Teens-Adults

    Workshop for grades 8th through Adult

    Inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, “Forest Bathing” has been scientifically proven to boost immune strength, reduce stress, and improve cognitive functioning as we deepen our connection with the natural world by slowing down and engaging our senses. Certified ANFT guide, Emily vonSwearingen, will offer a series of guided “invitations” that tune participants into the environment with mediative Native flute and tongue drum accompaniments. Learn about the Japanese Kodama Tree Spirits, create a cyanotype with natural found textures and practice reciprocity by creating temporary art as a gift back to nature. The end of each walk features brewing tea with harvested plants. This session takes place entirely outdoors.

  • Forest Bathing with Nature Art for Kids

    Workshop for grades Pre-K through 7th

    Inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, “Forest Bathing” guide Emily vonSwearingen has adapted sensory invitations to engage children in exploring their senses through natural play and connections with the environment. Learn about the Japanese Kodama Tree Spirits and create a cyanotype with textures you find or paint a gratitude rock during your session. The end of each walk features brewing tea with plants. This session takes place entirely outdoors.

    This can also be adapted for a series of workshops with mini-sessions of “Forest Bathing” and corresponding natural art projects that build on the concepts of reciprocity, our connections with the “more than human world” and how we are connected with the “webs of interbeing” in our relationships with the earth and all the creatures that depend on our environmental stewardship. Can be also be adapted for integrative learning with other subjects currently being studied in schools.