Before becoming an award-winning artist and a member of the Stutz Artist Association, Beth Schwier was a different type of artist – a trapeze artist. Beth spent 10 years in the ‘70s tumbling, performing acrobatics, and balancing the bicycle (among many other circus tricks) during the city of Peru’s annual youth circus.
“To me, being in the circus was like being home,” explained Beth. “I spent most of my summer days at the circus building and making wonderful friendships.” During one of her last performances she injured herself doing a double somersault off the teeterboard and tore her ACL. While that injury may have ended her circus career, it didn’t end her career as a performer. After majoring in theatre at Ball State University, she moved to New York City where she worked behind the scenes on Broadway. She then moved back home to Indiana where she pursued a career as a professional actress and singer. After getting married and raising a family – a family that includes six children, Beth looked for other creative outlets.
She taught herself to paint with a kit she bought on QVC, and later studied under artists like C.W. Mundy and Diane Lyon (Stutz artists). In February of 2015 she moved into a studio at the Stutz Building and has since perfected her craft as a fine art oil painter impressionist/expressionist.
When she began painting, she knew painting the circus was at the top of her list because it was such an important part of who she has become as an artist. “I am so grateful for that experience and the people in Peru who gave so much of their time and energy to those of us who grew up in the circus. I only hope did it justice through my work.”
Beth recently completed a series of paintings dedicated to the Peru Circus. Currently, one of her works ‘Arial Ballet’, a tribute to the Peru Circus, is on display at the Honeywell Center through July 25. Beth’s paintings are also on display in Peru at the Circus Building gift shop, where she is selling prints and cards to benefit the circus and the Circus City Festival. The Peru Circus City Festival is July 16-23. There are around 10 performances, a carnival through downtown with rides, games and food and the 2nd largest parade in the state.