Friday, July 20, 2012

Artist talk: Ted Zilius at River Arts Center, Morrisville

Local Artist Ted Zilius will give an artist talk at the River Arts Center in Morrisville, VT, Wednesday, July 25 at 7:00 p.m.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Free.

Zilius' retrospective exhibit, on display at the Gallery at River Arts through August 10, encompasses seventy years of work and reveals Zilius' development as an artist.  The exhibit, which begins with childhood drawings, moves into early realist painting, and finishes up with his distinctive collage/paintings, many done during his various sessions at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. 

Born Tadas Zilevicius in 1938, he spent his childhood in the Lithuanian countryside during World War II.  His early drawings reflect this experience, and include soldiers on horseback, airplanes dropping bombs, farmhouses, and trees.  His family fled the country when he was five, living in the Displaced Persons Camps in Germany until they arrived in America in 1949.  After serving in the U.S. Navy, Zilius studied under Ad Reinhart at Brooklyn College, attended the Pratt Institute of Art, and studied design with Milton Glaser and Henry Wolf at the School of Visual Arts.  Ted's interests in design led him to work in the design office of Charles and Ray Eames, though his painting continued, inspired by the work of Willem DeKooning and Franz Kline.  Zilius' art soon took another turn, influenced by the work of Frank Stella, Morris Louis, Helen Frankenthaler, the Op Art movement and Mark Rothko, and set him on a course towards minimal, hard-edge painting.

Zilius moved to Vermont in 1971, taking a hiatus of 15 years to homestead, raise his two children, and write about ecological and environmental issues.  Ted continued designing, building houses and creating one-of-a-kind furniture and cabinets, which he continues to work on today.  After a brief partnership designing and building "art furniture", which was shown in Baltimore at the American Crafts Council annual exhibit, Ted went to the Vermont Studio Center in the mid '80's.  Here, he became interested in doing art again, revisiting the Vermont Studio Center numerous times over the years to develop his own collage/painting style.  

Ted’s work has been shown at the Fleming Museum, Stratton Arts Festival, Quimby Gallery at Lyndon State College, The Stowe Art Gallery, Helen Day Art Center, Union Station, and the Firehouse Gallery in Burlington, the South End Art Hop, Dibden Gallery at Johnson State College, Mary Bryan Gallery, and at the Red Mill Gallery at the Vermont Studio Center.  A work consisting of fourteen pieces, “Fourteen Stations of the Cross” is hung every Lenten season at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Princeton, New Jersey.

The Gallery at River Arts is located at the River Arts Center, 74 Pleasant Street in Morrisville, VT.  Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 10-2.  For off hours, please call River Arts: 802-888-1261.  Admission is free. For more information, call or visit their website at