Mary Zeran grew up in a family of women artists. Textiles, embroidery, and woodcarving, were their visual language. Abstracted shapes and forms were their words. Each time Zeran picks up a brush or scissors, she immerses herself in the language of her family. As she abstracts flowers, trees, and all the colors of nature, she speaks her mother tongue. This language brings her closer to her family’s traditions, histories, and stories.
Zeran’s collage work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad including Cedar Rapids Museum of Art; SOIL Gallery in Seattle; and Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
In addition, her work is in several public and private collections as well as many corporate collections; including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Cedar Rapids Museum of Art; U.S. Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids; Grafix Corporation, Cleveland; and United Fire Group, Los Angeles.
Ms. Zeran is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. She received an Oregon College of Arts and Crafts Residency, and a 2% for the Arts Purchase Prize from the Visual Arts Commission in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Mary Zeran was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1964. She received her B.F.A and M.F.A from University of Iowa in Metalworking under Chunghi Choo. She lives and works in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Things that happen randomly or by accident...The idea of layers and transparency...Our ability to examine things up close...To work collaboratively with a material...Not forcing an outcome...Being present to the experience...Being in the Moment...
These pieces evolve over time. I paint on polyester film, cut out shapes, and then re-arrange them. The final interaction with the "objects” shape, is spontaneous and collaborative. Working this way, gives me the chance to be responsive to the random things that happen, to tap into my internal rhythms and way of being.