Meet The Artist – Jo Schwalboski

Jo Schwalboski – Painter, Drawer, & Jeweler 

Jo Schwalboski resides in rural St. Joseph, MN with her husband Ralph who she calls her soul mate since June of 1976.  She is the mother of a son and daughter, a grandmother to 5 grandchildren and is expecting a great grandchild in the near future.  Art and creativity always bring out the quest for new knowledge. Jo indicates that she does not remember a time when fabric, yarn, pencil, pen or a paint brush wasn’t in her hands. Over the years she’s gone through various styles and fads when it comes to creativity.  This ranges from drawing, painting anything that doesn’t move to people, landscapes and stylized, realistic and abstract projects in 2D, 3D or metal. It also has included fashion, designing, sewing costumes and jewelry making. Over the years her creative spirit has thrived and grown.  She currently enjoys splitting her creative time between jewelry making, drawing and painting.

Although painting and drawing are truly passions for Jo, creating an assortment of unique, nature inspired original handcrafted wire-wrapped and metal-smithed jewelry pieces plays an awfully close second.  Her one-of-a-kind jewelry compositions are designed with gems, cabochons, raw stones, fossil and minerals from around the world. The settings are artfully configured to bring out and highlight the natural beauty of each statement piece. They are alluring timeless treasures which are suitable to wear as jewelry for any occasion or be displayed in the home or office as works of art.  Each piece is as rare and unique as the person who owns it.

Rock hounding across the US and Canada play a big role in Jo’s creative passion and expression.  Throughout the year you may find her mining for stones and gems, walking a field or simply attending a rock or gem show.  Believe it or not there are times you may come across her sitting and drawing a beautiful landscape that she has just explored.

Whether she is working paint, metal or stone, she states that she feels a strong connection to her subject matter and to artisans of the past.  It is always her goal to be original in her creativity.  If it is an animal or a person being painted, she’ll look into the eyes of her subject to gain glimpses of what feeling is being projected. Jo feels creativity is an endeavor to a better understanding of nature, color harmonies and art techniques through hands on experience and practice. 

Although art and creativity had been a life-long pleasure, in 2002 Jo took her first organized painting class with an artist from Zhostovo, Russia. Since then, she has dabbled in a variety of art classes as student and teacher.  Jo is an art instructor, certified in the Zhostovo style of painting.  This is a beautiful floral style typically done on metal trays.  Jo is also a “Chroma Traditions” painting instructor. Over the years Jo has traveled the United States and has picked up many techniques which she shares with students.  Jo has hosted art teachers and students from around the world (Russia, Norway, England and many US States) in her backyard studio. In the last year she has enjoyed spending endless hours in her studio where she currently works on her jewelry, drawing and paints by herself for pleasure and learning (Thank you Covid).

 Jo regularly exhibits and sells her art at Great River Arts, Little Falls, Art of Lakes in Battle Lake, MN, at NE STARR Holistic Wellness Boutique in MSP, MN and of course here at Paramount Gallery in St. Cloud, MN.