Mark Swankoski

Swankoski was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1958. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1980, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Business Analysis. He later enrolled at the University of Delaware, where he earned a Master of Arts in Economics in 1987. After leaving the financial industry, Swankoski decided to explore other areas of interest. He was employed at a golf course where he was placed in charge of maintenance and working with troubled youths. He decided to pursue formal training and enrolled in The Pennsylvania State University’s Golf Course Turf-Grass Management program in 2010. Unfortunately, only two months before completing the program, he was in a car accident that severed his spine and left him paralyzed. He began to paint with the use of a mouth stick while recovering at the Magee Rehab Center in Philadelphia. He has continued to paint and is continually exploring new subject matter. Speaking to his experience, Swankoski says, “At one time I thought creating and maintaining beautiful golf courses with my hands was as close to an artist as I would ever be. Now painting allows me to reach beyond my physical limitations.”