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Meet Eliza Swann of The Golden Dome School

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eliza Swann.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My name is Eliza Swann. I’m an interdisciplinary artist, intuitive, educator, writer and community organizer – I am also the founder and director of the Golden Dome School. I grew up in New York City, and have always been a poet, artist, and mystic.

Growing up I was told by my art teachers to keep my spiritual interests to myself if I wanted to be a serious artist. I was told that no one reads poetry anymore. I studied with various teachers all over the world to learn about alchemy and energy, but I kept that to myself. I kept my tarot reading practice a secret. I went to graduate school for art and was told that intuition, emotions, and spirits had no place in an academic setting.

After I graduated I had a nervous breakdown. If I couldn’t be an artist, mystic and scholar at the same time then I couldn’t be anything. I took every last penny I had and went to visit the site of the Oracle of Delphi in Greece for direction. Her spirit spoke: “There is no difference between your art practice and your spiritual practice. Go home! Create the space you need.”

After that, I began looking for ways to make communal, sacred, ephemeral works of art that addressed my growing concerns over the relationship between capitalism and climate change. I am interested in how art connects people in circles of care, cooperation, and compassion instead of dividing them through competition and toxic hierarchy. I wanted to create a space for art that is in revolt through a spirit of generosity.

In 2013, I moved to Los Angeles and founded the Golden Dome School as a space to investigate intersections of art, poetry, mystical practice, communal living, performance practices, and environmental justice. Since its foundation in 2013, The Golden Dome School has collaborated with over 200 artists, mystics, and scientists to produce exhibitions, performances, classes, publications, and artist residencies year round.

Currently, I host week-long artist residencies twice a year in Joshua Tree, CA and Woodstock, NY. Each artist residency is rooted in the study of a Tarot card and The Golden Dome School is currently working its way through the Major Arcana. Next up is the “Justice” artist in residence session.

I teach classes in Los Angeles and abroad on various subjects including poetry, performance practice, astral travel, mediumship, psychometry, plant communication and more!

Artist and healer Edgar Fabian Frias host The Golden Dome School’s monthly “Tactical Magic” classes at Pieter Space in Lincoln Heights. The “Tactical Magic” series is designed to support activists in cultivating supernatural strategies for resistance and renewal work.

We also have a correspondence course for folks who aren’t in lA but would like to learn ESP, astral projection, rainbow magic and other tools for self-development and creativity. Each month, participants in our “Mail Order Mystery School” are sent a package containing instructions for exercises in journaling, art making, meditation, and solitary ritual.

Has it been a smooth road?
I am committed to creating environments for artists that are non-competitive and non-hierarchical. I’ve experienced very few community spaces that operate this way, and it has required dedication, patience, and perseverance to create structures for the Golden Dome community that honor these ideals.

I hope to continue to evolve strategies for creating safe and inclusionary spaces that encourage self-empowerment, self-discovery, and creativity for a wide variety of people. This frequently requires me to step aside and let other people lead.

One of the biggest struggles The Golden Dome School faces every year is securing funding so that we can continue to offer free and low-cost artist residencies and classes to our community.

So far we have been a nomadic school, teaching in collaboration with various spaces in Los Angeles and abroad. This has been a great way to forge unions with various communities of artists, mystics, healers and ecologists.

My ultimate goal is to purchase a plot of land where we can grow food and medicine and keep bees. When we can teach folks sustainable life skills in addition to philosophical, mystical, and creative strategies we will arrive at a more holistic picture of what a life-sustaining culture could look like.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Golden Dome School story. Tell us more about the business.
The Golden Dome School organizes performances, readings, exhibitions, and healing arts events throughout the year. We also produce publications and go on lecture tours. I am very proud to have been able to create space for art practice, performance practice, mystical practice, and activism to exist in an interconnected way. I am overjoyed at the community of incredibly talented, supportive people involved in The Golden Dome School – it continues to grow every day.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Natalia Molina, Mollie McKinley

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