Central High School Philadelphia 214th Class
Jay Michael Schwartz
Fans and followers of artist Jay Schwartz describe his work as "uplifting, inspiring work like none other" and "wonderfully unique modern expressions of whimsy." See Jay's paintings and decide for yourself! Jay's own words sum up his feeling about his love for art- "I have always been drawn to art, even as a child. I studied and created art work in my teens, but did not get serious untill the 1970's. I began as a sculptor using metal and found objects to create contemporary animal sculptures. I started to paint on canvas using oils and acrylics, in the 1980's. Through the use of color I experimented with form and compositions while painting an array of subject matter. In 2005, after recovering from brain surgery, I picked up my brushes and turned within myself to express my remarkable journey back from the brink of death to life. My collection of paintings is the result of this life changing experience and the many blessings that I have received throughout my life's journey. The Javelina series of paintings particularize a re-birth of mind, body and spirit. I use bold, vibrant colors which joyfully dance around and throughout each painting. The use of symbolic Aztec, Egyptian and Embryonic elements, in abstract configurations, represent various phases of a re-discovery of life. Colorful crystals and glass embellishments complete the cycle of the human healing process. I believe the various forms I use in my paintings choose "me" to use "them" as my subjects. Their bulky bodies act as the frame which holds intact the extraordinary circumstances that can happen to one's life. The composition of my paintings are always about infinity. An infinity as captivating as a single pebble being dropped into a pond and watching how the ripples continue to expand pass our human ability to see it's journey out to the Oceans and beyond. My artwork is always about uplifting one's spirit, bringing joy and putting lot's of smiles on many faces". It is with profound saddness that we share the news that Jay Schwartz passed away in May 2016. The sad news was passed along by Eric Schwartz, his long-time friend and homeroom buddy for four years at CHS. The following formal notice was sent by Nancy: "To Jay's Facebook Family and Friends,Jay passed away last night, Monday, May 2nd, 2016 from AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). He wanted to thank his FACEBOOK Family and Friends for your love, support and encouragement for him throughout his life and during his illness. I know he will be forever in your hearts. GOD bless you and your families". Nancy XOXO.
We of the 214 will miss Jay--truly an icon of our class, and a friend to all.