I collaborated with composer Margin Alexander for his Music Exhibition Series
"Amid the pandemic, Margin has found a way to keep his art alive and "challenge" reality (within the CDC safety rules and guidelines.) Always inspired, passionate, fond of his craft, environment and visual arts, Margin has been inviting painters from all over the world to be part of his Music Exhibition series".
"This event, in the format of a "music exhibition," is a small instrumental concert open to all music & art admirers. Margin Alexander, a composer and pianist has selected the art works of a dozen different visual artists whose works have inspired him to compose original music for.
"Atelier in Manhattan" concert:
The composer is deeply sensitive to shapes, colors and visual effects. This type of synesthesia has always made him hear music, timbres, sounds and other aural cues. In this event, the composer will narrate the works by telling how he was inspired by each of them, then, to be followed by a performance of an original piece of music dedicated to each piece. In addition each artist will be presented accompanying each work.
Besides being projected live on the screen for the audience, the artworks will also be exhibited at a Manhattan Location on easels or projected on a screen or a wall."
Atelier in Manhattan
Sunday, November 28th, 2021, 7:00pm Eastern Time.
Yellow Dots and Blue Rivulets, 48"x48"x2", acrylic, Dura Lar on cradled panel, 2021 copyright Mary Zeran
Dancing. I always had a need to do it. It’s a visceral, busting out of my skin- I’ve got energy to burn, get out of my way and/or join me…sort of feeling.
It’s the sort of dancing that happens spontaneously when you hear an amazing song, or around 10:00 pm, in the dark, to a live band; The kind that’s communal and goes on for hours. Often, it’s a sort of pogo action- a stiff jumping in sync to the beat.
Making art is like dancing or listening to music. You allow it to totally envelope you. There’s a sense of throwing yourself out into the world…letting go…jumping out…becoming one with the moment.
This show marks a turning point in my work- a departure from the abstract narrative, my “really flat sculptures”.
For many years, I’d make paintings and cut them up to create new compositions. The brushstrokes in those paintings mirrored the undulating movements of my arms. Lines became paths my feet traveled. Sometimes, I liked the paintings so much it was heartbreaking to cut them- I did it anyway. It helped me break free of the fear of making a mistake …Cutting pushed the work forward. I’d remove the sections that I didn’t like or that weren’t working in the composition.
Now, after exploring this method, it’s time to ask the question: what happens when the crutch of excessive cutting is removed? As an artist, I’m always looking to learn from the process and evolve. Not cutting the painting is the next step. I’m expanding and focusing the view in pattern.
“Dance Party” is my homage to an era- a celebration in the moment for the work that was (and will be).
The Beauty of it All #2, 16"x20" acrylic, DuraLark on paper, 2014 copyright MaryZeran photo credit:Mark A Tade
One of my works on paper has been acquired by Cedar Rapids Museum of Art for their permanent Collection.
Nine of my mono prints have been added to Kirkwood Community Colleges Permanent Collection.
Three of my pieces have been added to West Side Transport's Corporate Collection.
Eight of my paintings have been acquired by Project Art for University of Iowa Hospital's Permanent Collection.
Beauty Seeker II is made up of a selection of #The100DayProject. It is a free, global art project. The idea is simple: choose a creative project, do it every day for 100 days, and share your process online.
This process allows a space to play and take risks in the studio, to deviate from one’s habits or defaults. The artist can devise their own list of rules – for example, each piece in Beauty Seeker was completed in one day, using the same materials and dimensions. The visual variables are color, mark, texture, shape, composition, and pattern. Of course, there are the unseen circumstances that influence the decisions the artist makes: perhaps the music that was playing, a dog barking down the street, whether the sun came out, or what was for lunch that day.
#The100DayProject sets a goal: to create one piece every day, providing momentum to accomplish that goal. And in the end, it might shift the artist’s approach to their work.
I look at this show as a homecoming. Not only is it a mini retrospective of the work I’ve created over the past 10 years, it’s my way of thanking the community that encouraged me to be an artist
I come from a family of artists. It was something we just did. My mom and gramma always had projects for me to do. I made paintings, created “rock sculptures”, and pushed sequins into styrofoam.
Many people don’t realize that my first “serious” art classes where at the old Art Guild. Lillian Ruben was my ceramic teacher. She was so encouraging. She treated us like artists, even this dorky middle schooler in the adult class. I remember great conversations about what Lillian was making. She made art making seem like it was just what people did..how they lived their lives.
For directions, hours, and more informations on the Art Center, go to the information below.
Fresh from her solo show at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Mary Zeran opens an exhibition at Gilded Pear Gallery entitled “Mission Happiness” Dec. 11. Mary and Gallery Director Lauren Tucci say the show will consist of early and recent work. Unlike the Museum of Art show, it’s also all for sale! Reserve a spot for the opening and virtual reception Dec. 11, make an appointment to visit, or see the work online all at www.gildedpeargallery.com.
Ten years ago, I ran...not walked, out of a full-time job to become a professional artist. Impulsive? Yes. But it had to be done. Call it fleeing for my life. Call it a mission of the soul. I just knew, if I didn't run at that time, I'd be stuck for the rest of my life. I think we all have a secret that we try to hide from immediate view. Mine has always been that I'm a nervous, anxious, and fearful person. My decision years ago changed everything.
Since then, I've been on this mission to find happiness. Along the way, I've learned that happiness doesn't exist purely on it's own. It can only be made possible by weeding through frustration, sadness, failure, and the willingness to take risks...make something bad, jump into something new. This has led to finding some bright moments in the calm and in boredom, even. I find I'm my most creative when working within parameters, so a bit of my happiness comes from building my own system of habits and pattern.
Making art is how I stay balanced and quell my nervousness.
Living through a pandemic, I've discovered, is absolutely terrifying. I made the prints in this show during the first "lockdown" earlier this year. It seemed like the only way I could exercise my fear was to work quickly. I'd work on 12 at a time, making efficient use of the textured stamps I carved, and simultaneously thinking about what color to use with each. If something didn't work, I'd cover it up with a layer of paint. And each layer gave me a chance to redo and start fresh. Working at that speed meant there wasn't a lot of time to worry about perfection. This performative exercise to keep my mind focused on artmaking, instead of the uncertainty COVID-19 imposed, became a beautiful distraction and reenergized the way I create.
This exhibition also showcases the artworks on panel and paper that I have in my archives. The early artworks were made in a similar fashion as the prints: testing, editing, and making good and bad decisions. Looking back at how new that method of painting was for me and reflecting on the enjoyment I had in "playing" with something unfamiliar, gives me hope for my path forward. Being able to pair early works that were created at the beginning of my professional journey with the newly introduced prints feels like the perfect way to commemorate my ten-year celebration.
-Mary Zeran’s career path has been as colorful and abstract as the artwork she has been creating full-time over the past decade.She initially embarked on a prelaw, political science path at the University of Iowa. And then I realized that just wasn’t going to be my thing,” she said. “So I thought, well, I’ll go into journalism, because I like magazines.” So she switched majors. The UI Journalism School required her to have two minors. She chose art and something else she can’t even remember. Doesn’t matter. She took her first art class — and was hooked. “I knew that’s where I should be,” she said.
Afraid to tell her parents that she was switching her major to art, she was surprised when they were delighted. Turns out, she was following in her matriarchs’ footsteps.
-Diana Nollen see more
In 2020, local artist Mary Zeran will have been working as a professional artist for 10 years. Given the CRMA’s rich history of presenting the art of local artists—especially when they’ve achieved a certain milestone or completed a specific new body of work—the idea of displaying a 10-year retrospective of Zeran’s work during the CRMA’s 125th anniversary year seems fitting. One of the very few local artists to have spent her entire painting career working abstractly, Zeran’s work challenges viewers to see her subtle but significant evolution over the course of the past 10 years. Constantly exploring, Zeran has crafted different methods of mark-making to accompany her evolution in palette and scale. The exhibition not only traces the trajectory of her career, it also includes a site-specific installation created especially for this exhibition.
see catalog here
Artist Mary Zeran opens an exhibition of her latest work Dec. 6 at Gilded Pear Gallery. Mary tells Dennis about how her paintings are actually similar to sculptures, and gallery director Lauren Tucci talks about the art of displaying exhibits so they look their best on the gallery walls.
Everyone is invited to the exhibit opening, Dec. 6 from 5-7pm. Details at gildedpeargallery.com. see more
There’s a weight in the slog to keeping afloat at times. I structure my world around a system of patterns and habits to create a psychological ecosystem that allows me to transcend my sadness, fears, insecurities, and doubts.
Keeping the bubble happy? What it is for you, is exactly what you need. For me, it’s spending time in nature marveling at the wonder. It’s talking and walking with my husband and dogs. Nothing has the power to shift my mood more than my normal, everyday schedule. It’s the little constants of the day. They are the balm for my soul.
The bubble is where you ARE exactly in the moment- your mental location. These works are my conscious effort to place myself in blissful distraction. Balance. I am a participant in the collaboration with the material and my atmosphere is airy within dense and transparent layers, focusing on interactions with the natural world around me.
see catalog here
Eight pieces were added to Skogman Realty's Corporate Collection. The new building designed by local architect OPN is gorgeous. In addition, to some whimsical conference rooms, the place is filled with local artists. Being invited to the grand opening was a highlight. Good food, fun people, great vibe!!!! To see photos of the new space, go to this link on OPN's website.
Thanks Suzy and Lauren of Gilded Pear Gallery for making this happen. I'm so grateful.
Up All Night: October 5, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Up All Night explores how artists have depicted the night and the dark in their work over the past 500 years. Drawing upon the CRMA’s own collection, a wide variety of artists in all media will be included in this unique slice through the collection. The dark, filled with mystery, has been a long-lived theme in art and manifests itself differently in the hands of different artists. This exploration will not only investigate the different approaches artists have taken but also the preconceived notions and ideas about the night and the dark.
This exhibition and accompanying educational programming has been made possible by the GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation Donor-Advised Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
Additional support has been provided by the Hotel-Motel Tax Fund, the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Program Grant Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, members of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and contributors to the Museum’s Annual Fund. Annual educational programming support has been provided in part by Transamerica. see more
Four of my works on paper have been acquired by Harvard for one of their Dean’s residences.
May 18 – September 8, 2019
Sponsored by Premier BankFounded in 2003, the DUMA Biennial is recognized as a premier juried exhibition opportunity in the heart of the Midwest.
The exhibition brings together works by emerging and established artists who are actively producing and presenting new work.
This year’s Biennial offers a fresh survey of 60 new works created by 39 regional contemporary artists. Works in a range of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and fabric, are on view along with multi-media installations.
A very special thank you to the 2019 DUMA Biennial juror Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Ms. Humphreville has assembled a unified and compelling selection of works that represent current movements in the art of this region but also embody universal and timely themes that reach well beyond our geographic boundaries.
The 2019 DUMA Biennial artists:
Elisa Ahmer, Rockford, Illinois
Nelson Armour, Chicago, Illinois
Judy Bales, Fairfield, Iowa
Victoria Bein, Edgerton, Wisconsin
Pamela Callahan, Highland, Wisconsin
Amy Carani, Monroe, Wisconsin
Patrick Carr, Evanston, Illinois
Rachel Cox, Iowa City, Iowa
Rachel Deutmeyer, Dubuque, Iowa
Wendi Dibbern, Galena, Illinois
Maggie Douglas, West Des Moines, Iowa
Elizabeth Eagle, Dubuque, Iowa
Stephanie Failmezger, Peosta, Iowa
Julia Franklin, Des Moines, Iowa
Celine Hartwig, Iowa City, Iowa
Donté K. Hayes, Iowa City, Iowa
Ali Hval, Iowa City, Iowa
Peggy Johnston, Des Moines, Iowa
Mary Jones, Indianola, Iowa
Ioannis Karalias, Galena, Illinois
Michael Knapstein, Middleton, Wisconsin
Joseph Madrigal, Decorah, Iowa
Rachel Merrill, Des Moines, Iowa
Maureen Healy Mossman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Tanner Mothershead, Iowa City, Iowa
Paul Nitsche, Ridgeway, Wisconsin
Daniel O’Brien, Platteville, Wisconsin
Lois Peterson, Dakota, Minnesota
Mary Porterfield, Chicago, Illinois
Kristin Quinn, Davenport, Iowa
Elizabeth Rhoads Read, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Vera Scekic, Racine, Wisconsin
Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, Davenport, Iowa
Martin Spei, Oregon, Illinois
John Swartwout, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Jessica Teckemeyer, Dubuque, Iowa
Matthew Terry, Davenport, Iowa
Kathy Weaver, Chicago, Illinois
Mary Zeran, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sarah Humphreville has been part of the Whitney curatorial department since 2012 and has worked on exhibitions such as Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables, Stuart Davis: In Full Swing, and American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe. Humphreville will present a gallery talk on June 8, 2019.
Into the BlueJune 8 - September 15, 2019
A color-specific celebration of Iowa artists! Juried by CRMA Associate Curator Kate Kunau, Into the Blue drew work from artists all over the state of Iowa. Into the Blue celebrates the hue in both two and three-dimensional works across all media and examines how blue has been incredibly important to artists for centuries: From the luxurious (and expensive!) ultramarine used to color the Virgin Mary’s cloak and star-studded vaults of heaven in medieval and Renaissance art to the exuberance of Yves Klein’s trade
"The Way to Happiness", 30"x30"x2", acrylic, Dura-Lar on cradled panel, 2019 copyright Mary Zeran is included in Cedar Rapids Museum of Art's 2019 summer show. Curator: Kate Kunau, Associate Curator of Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, IA. see more
Thrilled to announce these three pieces have been added to the corporate collection of Reliant Medical Group in Westborough, MA