Art made an early entrance into Mary Lou Zelazny‘s Chicago childhood thanks to her immigrant grandmother, whose deviously inventive Polish backwoods parsimony was reflected in her redesign of alley pickings, resale junk and worn out furniture. This folk nursery weaned Zelazny on sculpture, tailoring, jewelry, lamp making and upholstery, among other domestic fodder. The spirit of trash reclamation underpins these broad influences and forms the backbone of her early mixed media paintings and have more than a vestigial presence in her current work. She has been on its faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 1990 and is currently Full Professor Adjunct in the Department of Painting and Drawing. She remains principally a studio artist and has a record of consistent production over four decades. Mary Lou has had numerous one-person exhibitions since the 1980’s, most recently at the Carl Hammer Gallery in March 2018, and her work has been exhibited in various galleries and museums throughout the United States.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO HUMANS & NATURE:
- The Eyed Walnut Grove
From Minding Nature’s Fall 2020, Volume 13, Number 3 issue.