Mary Zeran: Keeping The Bubble Happy

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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.

Portrait of Mary Zeran. Courtesy of Cole Northway. 2019

Zeran has exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Seattle, and Chang Mai, Thailand. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions including “Midwest Summer: Light and Warmth”, “Into the Blue” at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Cedar Rapids, IA, and “2019 DUMA Biennial” at Dubuque Museum of Art in Dubuque, IA. She has been reviewed in The Art Examiner, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Artweek, and Kolaj Magazine. Museum collections include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids IA. Corporate collections include Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, EMC, Des Moines, IA, Grafix Corporate Collection, Cleveland, OH, Grant Thorton, Chicago, IL, Human Services Building, Cedar Rapids, IA, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Newton, MA, Raining Rose Corporate Collection, Cedar Rapids, IA, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, The Fallon Companies, Boston, MA, Southeast Iowa Community College, West Burlington, IA; and United Fire Group, Cedar Rapids, IA/ Los Angeles, CA. Ms. Zeran is the recipient of 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. She lives and works in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On the cover: Keeping the Bubble Happy pg 13


1. The Perfect Habitat Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 30” x 30” x 2”




Thanks to Focus

Exactly the Same Stage

Acrylic, duralar on paper 20” x 16”

Acrylic, duralar on paper 20” x 16”



from left: Patterns, Systems, Habits The Alluring Surface of Things Respond, Ponder, Learn, Again Do It to Get It

Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 24” x 24” x 2” each 6


“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.�





right: A Defiant Pink

Weighing it Out

Acrylic, duralar on paper 16” x 20”

Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 48” x 30” x 2”


9. 9

Untamed Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 36” x 48” x 2”



10. Butterfly Kisses Acrylic, duralar on paper 20” x 16”




Exquisite Beauty

What Makes Sense

Acrylic, duralar on paper 20” x 16”

Acrylic, duralar on paper 20” x 16”

“Things that happen randomly or by accident...The idea of layers and transparency...Our ability to examine things up close......Not forcing an outcome... 12


Keeping the Bubble Happy Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 24” x 36” x 2”

Being present to the experience...Being in the Moment…”



A Greater Number Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 20” x 24” x 2”



Largely Populated Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 24” x 24” x 2”



Looking for Space Acrylic, duralar on cradled panel 30” x 48” x 2”




Another Day

Attracting Butterflies

Acrylic, duralar on paper 20” x 16”

Acrylic, duralar on paper 20” x 16”



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