Mackenzie Lynne Swenson is the daughter of Mark Swenson and Janet Otto. She was born on August 11th, 1992 and grew up in Siren, Wisconsin—a small north-woods community of just over 1,000 people.
Her formal introduction to art began at 13. She had the privilege of taking a year of painting lessons with family friend and artist, Richard Fike. Not long after, Mackenzie had the opportunity to take a weekly drawing class with Minneapolis artist Brian Lewis at The Atelier--a studio apprenticeship for fine art in Minneapolis. Thanks to the support of her father, Mark, who willingly made the three-hour round trip, Mackenzie attended weekly classes at The Atelier for the next two years.
During her senior year, Mackenzie took part in the Phipps Center for the Arts high school competition in Hudson, WI. She was awarded first place and received the Alice M. Stolpe Scholarship for her painting, Norse Reverie. Soon after, she made the decision to attend The Atelier to pursue a career in fine art. She graduated from Siren High School in May of 2010, ready to continue her education.
Over the next four years Mackenzie attended The Atelier under the guidance of Dale Redpath, Cyd Wicker, Kim Monahan Dady, Laura Tundel, and Jeffrey T. Larson. During that time she exhibited in The Atelier's yearly full-time student show, Kelley Gallery's Small Works Show, and the Emerging Artist Exhibit in Frederic, WI. Mackenzie sold a number of paintings throughout her time in school, and proceeded to graduate from The Atelier in the spring of 2014.
In addition, Mackenzie has studied master works in renowned museums around the world—The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay in France, The Zorn Museum in Sweden, and numerous museums throughout Belgium, including the Rubens House and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. Mackenzie has also attended workshops hosted by the Atelier with Jeffrey T. Larson and Stephan Orsak.
During the summer of 2014, Mackenzie attended a workshop at Grand Central Atelier in New York—Portrait Painting with Scott Waddell. This experience greatly impacted her, and has prompted her to relocate to New York. Mackenzie recently had the privilege of being accepted to Grand Central Atelier, and is currently engaged in her first of four years in their full-time program.