Bettendorf native Troy Swangstu has a beef with art. Or is it art with beef?

Coming from a gifted family of nationally known artists, Swangstu has made his studio home in Kansas City, where he lives and works with animals, both on and off his canvases.

His free expression of brush stroke and color create a dynamic impact of the animals he portrays, and his works will be featured in a new exhibit, “Bullish New Year,” which will run Jan. 2 to Feb. 24, 2022 at the Bereskin Gallery and Art Academy, 2967 State St., Bettendorf. An open house reception is February 4th, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  Swangstu has been a vested partner in the raising of grass-fed beef in the Kansas City area.

He has consulted for over a decade with grazing clean beef and regenerative agriculture businesses. His day-to-day interaction with these robust creatures makes then an easy subject matter, according to a Tuesday release on the exhibit. One can experience the power of the cattle in ways that reveal the passion and reverence by the artist. For the first time, “Taco” makes an appearance — a 3-year-old Australian Cow dog, Taco is Swangstu’s work partner and muse.

Swangstu grew up in Bettendorf and credits his teacher, Nick Digioia, with his artistic development and talent. It was Digioia’s spark that this artist needed to motivate him to excel in artistic endeavors. He graduated from Bettendorf High School and then studied at the Kansas City Art Institute with a major in painting. He worked at various museums and galleries and exhibited locally in Kansas City as a student.

All three siblings have shown work at Bereskin Gallery and in galleries coast to coast. Troy and his sister have been on the gallery’s list of artists for the past three years. Tragically, brother Eric died suddenly a few years ago. 

Ten years ago, Troy moved just south of Kansas City to rural Paola, Kansas, where he found a love for working with livestock in what’s known as regenerative farming (grazing) practices.

His art work is described as “transparent layers of spirited, reactive brushstrokes that dance among moments of academic forms and theories, leaving behind expressionist pages full of learning outcomes and opportunities.”

Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy is located at 2967 State St., Bettendorf.

Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy has a full range of 45 regional artists in the gallery and over 35 classes offered for this winter for all ages and abilities. For additional information about Troy Swangstu or classes, contact Bereskin at or Hours are 10 a.m.– 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.