Rachel Schwaller

Title: Associate Professor of Art and Design
Dept.: Art
Office: Rasmussen Center 108

Rachel Merrill-Schwaller is an artist and faculty member at Grand View University. She currently teaches a variety of Art History and Studio courses. She holds a Fine Arts degree from Northwestern College in Minnesota and a Masters of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Her work in art history explores the use of art history as application for artists. She is also a working artist, having exhibited her work in various parts of the country including Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis. She is active in the local art community, sharing a passion for art and education of the arts within the Des Moines area.

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Education Background

  • M.F.A. - Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI (2004)
  • B.A. Studio Arts - Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN (2001)

Start Date at Grand View

  • August 2007

Areas of Expertise

  • Art History
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Creative Process and Practice 

Solo Exhibition

  • 2017 It's Always a Competition, Graceland College, Lamoni, IA

Group Exhibitions

  • 2016 Iowa Woman's Art Exhibit, Iowa State Capital, Des Moines, IA
  • 2016 Built ft2 Exhibition, Des Moines Art Center Gala, Des Moines, IA
  • 2016 MO Multimedia Exhibit, Des Moines, IA
  • 2016 Arise and Act!, The Residential, Des Moines, IA
  • 2014 Run What Ya Brung, Faculty Exhibition, Grand View University
  • 2014 Window Dressing, Art Meets Fashion, Des Moines, IA
  • 2012 Faculty Exhibition, Grand View University, Des Moines, IA
  • 2009 "Interactive", Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2009 Faculty Exhibition, Grandview University, Des Moines, IA
  • 2008 "2nd Annual Jane360 Exhibition", Fitch Gallery, Des Moines, IA
  • 2008 Sub-Ritual. EVAC, Des Moines, IA Jane 360, Fitch Gallery, Des Moines, IA I'll Show you Mine..., Polk Count Heritage Gallery, Des Moines, IA
  • 2007 Full Frontal, The Art of Confrontation, Des Moines, IA The Shoe Show, Fitch Gallery, Des Moines, IA Online Show, EVAC, Des Moines, IA
  • 2006 Adrift, Fitch Gallery, Des Moines, IA
  • 2005 "I Love It, But It Doesn't Match My Sofa", EVAC, Des Moines, IA
  • 2006 Faculty Exhibition, Rossmor Gallery, St. Paul, MN
  • 2004 Thesis Exhibition, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • 2004 Cultural Radar, Richard M. Ross Museum, Delaware, OH
  • 2003 Printed Matter, Forum Gallery, Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • 2001 Identity, Denler Gallery, Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN 

Personal Interests

  • Collecting Kitsch Art
  • Popular Culture Studies
  • Aerobic Videos
  • Competitive sporting events
  • Obsessive knitting rituals 

Questions & Answers

What makes Grand View unique among other universities?
Grand View's Art department develops creative people who, through a holistic educational experience, develop skills that prepare them for individual career paths.
What is your favorite part about working at Grand View?
Working with the Art department faculty in a collaborative process is one of my favorite parts of working at Grand View.

Student Testimonials

  • "Rachel has been an exceptional professor and mentor during my 4 years at Grand View. She influences me to take risks and has helped me process and talk about what I want to say as an artist. In the fall, Rachel offered her time to personally meet with me on several occasions to talk through ideas and to help me prepare for graduate school. I appreciate and value the honest feedback and helpful advice she provides. I look up to her not only because of all the hard work and energy she puts into her practice as an artist but the passion she brings when she is teaching. I want to thank her for believing in me, helping me through my failures, and for always listening." - McKenna Quandt
Rachel Schwaller