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Press Releases

On December 12th 2008, renowned artist Jason Swain of Kensington Maryland, began an 8'x4' privately commissioned portrait of President-elect, Barack Obama. The painting was created in the auditorium of Oakland Terrace ES in Kensington Maryland, and completed on January 13, 2009.

A special ceremony was held at the school on January 16,2009, and was attended by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who is a liaison between Congress and Obama's transition team. He read a statement from President-elect Obama, which was addressed to Jason, the students and faculty, citing the portrait, and the importance of education.


Congressman Van Hollen also presented a Congressional Letter of Citation to Jason, in recognition of his exemplary work. A special board was cut to fit, and then attached to back of the canvas, but not before each student carefully signed his or her name, followed by the signatures of the faculty, and Congressman Van Hollen

It’s one of the moments in Australian history that every Australian will remember where they were and what they were doing. The world lost a great man when Steve passed in September of 2006. It was especially personal for the people of the Sunshine Coast as we had all grown up with this crazy bloke and watched him and his family progress from their modest beginnings to the worldwide phenomenon,” The Croc Hunter”.

As a local living abroad I wanted to pay tribute to Steve and being an artist, decided to paint a mural on the side of my truck. I felt the need to do more and embarked on a project that would lead to one of those once in a lifetime


moments. After pouring through hundreds of pictures I finally arrived at an image of Steve which I thought was typical of this man who put all he had into conservation and enjoyed every minute of his life.


Work began on the portrait and there was no sparing the details, I wanted to show the true character we all grew to know and after about 8 weeks of putting brush to canvas I finally arrived at a portrait  that I felt  represented  the man and his  work.

The painting went on display for a month at Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda, Maryland before it made the long journey to the Australia Zoo. The story was featured on the front page of the Washington Post Style section.

The canvas was sent to a local frame shop not far from the Australia Zoo and soon after we found ourselves traveling to Australia to personally deliver it to the rightful owners. Once we landed in Australia we met with the framer and we agreed on a frame.


After catching up with family and friends it was time to introduce the painting. ABC radio invited me in for an interview then it was back to the frame shop for an interview with WIN TV news which can be seen on the video link.

Then after months of planning it came down to the final presentation at Australia Zoo. To say I was a little nervous would be an understatement, it was determined that the portrait would be presented at the Crocoseum in front of a couple of thousand people. This was a very humbling experience as this was the  very same  place that  Steve made famous with his daily crocodile feeding shows and also where his final memorial was held, it was a day I will never forget. The painting will become part of a permanent memorial section at Australia Zoo in the upcoming months.


News clip

You will need Quicktime Player to view this clip. Click here to go to the Quicktime Download site.


I am proud to announce that the portrait of Steve is being re- introduced to the public as a Limited Edition Giclee print, these prints will be available on museum quality canvas.

These prints will be available through this website and to ensure a safe transaction, all purchases will be handled through PayPal

As a fan of the local NFL team the Washington Redskins I was stunned to hear of the senseless shooting death of their star safety, Sean Taylor. Tributes poured in from all over the country and I felt it was necessary to pay my own tribute in the only way I know how - by painting a portrait. The painting was a montage of Seans football career and after 200 hours of work the canvas was complete. The painting went on display at the Childrens National Medical Center in Washington DC as part of their annual art show and remained on display for a few months. Sean was honored at the hospitals annual " Redskins Reads" charity event which included a visit from several Redskin players and the painting formed the backdrop for this event.


Take a look at Jason Swain on Youtube!

Check out these articles written about Jason in The Gazette, The Washington Post and The Australian News.

Also check out the video news interview of Jason here in Washington DC.

AND take a look at the letter to Jason from President Clinton!

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