Contemporary cowboy artist Michael Swearngin and his sister, Lindsey Nix, are in search of the community’s support.
Nix set up a GoFundMe on May 30 to raise money for Swearngin, who recently suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side.
“He makes his living as a painter and now he can barely move or talk,” wrote Nix. “He has visual and mobility impairments. He needs financial help to cover the doctor bills from his surgery and stroke.”
The stroke followed surgery to correct the artist’s hydrocephalus, what the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes as an abnormal buildup of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain.
The excess fluid causes the ventricles to widen, in turn putting pressure on the brain’s tissues.
According to Nix, Swearngin’s insurance stopped paying for his therapy in early June.
The money raised by Nix’s GoFundMe will go toward paying for Swearngin’s therapy as well as his assisted-living costs.
Swearngin is currently staying at Hazelwood Manor Assisted Living in Scottsdale, where his monthly room and care expensive costs $3,500 out of pocket.
“He is still not able to walk, move his right arm, talk well, and see properly.
He needs all the help he can get,” Nix said.
Nix added, “Will you help Michael?”
Other ways the public can help Swearngin is by purchasing his original artwork from his Etsy page, michaelswearngin, and his website, contemporarycowboy.com.
Swearngin also has many of his contemporary American cowboy artworks exhibited at local and out-of-state galleries, including Wilde Meyer Gallery and Xanadu Gallery.
At both Scottsdale galleries, he has anywhere from five to 15 pieces currently for sale, ranging in price from $395 to $4,000.
“If you would rather purchase a print or an original painting that would be great, too,” Nix said.
Swearngin began his art career in 1973, after moving to San Antonio, Texas.
His interest in the American Cowboy, however, began at a young age.
As a kid, Swearngin’s grandfather taught him the heritage of the cattleman and rancher.
His paintings now combine contemporary art with the imagery and heritage of the American cowboy; and it’s through these vibrant, vivid paintings that he helps keep the West and its history alive.
“It is through my art form that I intuitively paint to express the worn rugged spirit of the American West in my contemporary style. Every painting is an exploration of these experiences, and my objective is to share them with the viewer,” Swearngin once said about his work.
So far, Nix’s GoFundMe has raised more than $3,500 from 20 donors toward its $15,000.
“Thanks again for all your prayers and donations,” Nix said.