Artist Spotlight: Teddy Ziner

We currently have four drawings by artist Teddy Ziner on display in the gallery including Mr. Lahr, pictured below. These works on paper are whimsical, colorful, and certainly created from the heart of the artist. Each drawing depicts a character that was organically conceived within Teddy's practice. I sat down with Teddy to talk about his work and he told me about his unique artmaking process as well as a fascinating family history.

Teddy began drawing in 2001 in classes at Guilford Art Center and on his own. He describes his artistic practice as an organic evolution of his thoughts onto paper; he begins drawing without a specific outcome in mind but allows himself to explore whatever pops into his head. Teddy's characters are inspired by both fantasy and reality as well as humans and animals. These works are completely original because they are a "reflection of the self, personal imagery, thoughts, dreams, and prayers" as Teddy describes.

Mr. Ziner is the son of Zeke Ziner, a popular artist of the 20th century who exhibited work in the iconic Recent Drawings U.S.A. show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1956. He also exhibited work at other highly acclaimed venues such as The Whitney, Library of Congress, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Hudson River Museum. Teddy's mother was a writer, best known as the author of the 1978 book Within This Wilderness which reflects on a family story that includes Teddy's brother becoming lost in the forest in British Columbia.

Teddy says he is inspired by his artistic family, but his work differs because it is highly personal and invented within his own mind. He feels it is "a great privilege" to show his work in The Bird Nest and hopes it brings joy to those who take the time to look at it. Teddy continues to make drawings and hopes to show more in the near future.

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