Originally appeared in Syracuse University Magazine.

by Carol North Schmuckler

Ellen Sherman-Zinn ’66

Most people content them­selves with one career per lifetime. Ellen Sherman-Zinn tackled four to find the one she really wanted.

A 1966 graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Sherman-­Zinn worked in textile design, retail­ing, and fashion marketing. Though successful, she felt incomplete. Eigh­teen years after graduating she finally succumbed to her first love – painting.

“Like so many women, I was securi­ty minded and had a tremendous con­flict when I graduated from Syracuse.” says Sherman-Zinn. “I had transferred into the College of Visual and Perform­ing Arts and sensed this was exactly where I belonged. But I majored in textile design because I knew I’d have to make a living. In the end, security won out.”

An abstract expressionist who paints in oil and acrylics, Sherman-­Zinn has received critical acclaim for her paintings, many of which can be found at galleries and exhibitions throughout the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. She and her art have also been fea­tured on the cover of New Jersey Wo­man magazine.

Breaking into the art world wasn’t easy, but Sherman-Zinn went about it in the same concentrated fashion she’d approached her other careers. To gain confidence and experience, she pur­sued a master’s degree. As her skills grew, she entered juried exhibitions and slowly built her reputation.

She and her husband, who live in Warren, New Jersey, created a studio to showcase her bold, colorful and exceptionally large work – her master’s thesis was a 16-by 20-foot mural. “My paintings don’t reflect any particular theme, but explore color, form, and the subconscious,” she says. “I focus on the idea of magnification.

“Every day when I get into the studio. I lose myself in painting. and I know I’m in the right place.”

Previous post: «

Next post: »