It was at the Bienalle where he first presented artwork on the American flag as canvas and began receiving resounding support both from the international community as well as American military veterans. In the year that followed, gifts of retired flags began arriving in the mail for use in the American Icon series, which was inspired when the artist discovered nine retired flags in a trash bag. The most noted canvas to date was gifted to SchwARTZ by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. This flag, which flew on the State Capitol, is the foundation for the artwork (pictured left) entitled “I WANT YOU to Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet!” and the basis for a grassroots partnership between the artist, businesses, non-profits, and government agencies.
Thanks to the good work of the Valley Economic Alliance and the California Employment Development Department, business leaders like California Entrepreneur of the Year Jerry Feldman of CallSource are stepping forward along with non-profits like U.S. VETS to leverage the success of the Governor's program and raise awareness of the challenges veteran's are facing when they return to civilian life. (See "Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet" link on the ARTZworks.com website.) “I believe in Patriotism above Politics,” SchwARTZ said, “and, most of all, I believe in Painting with Purpose.” Limited Edition Giclees of the American Icons can also be seen at the Broadway Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.
In addition to American ARTZ, SchwARTZ also is known for the electric use of color in his Channel Islands seascapes and he is building a reputation for his Main Street USA series which has helped to promote Universal City Walk and the City of San BuenaVentura. This style was most recently commissioned by the community of Haile Plantation near Gainesville, Florida, where he is represented by Mr. David Arrighi of the Thornebrook Gallery. When SchwARTZ is not in his studio, he often is the center of attention at corporate and private events where he presents a live performance of his painting technique, crossing cultures and bringing smiles to all who participate.
SchwARTZ received private instruction at the Gino Conti Studio in Providence, R.I., Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art and printmaking from the University of Massachusetts as well as additional study at the University of Hawaii. For more information, call (805) 984-2816 or visit the website at ARTZworks.com