I DID IT MY WAY | Patricia Zinsmeister Parker

I DID IT MY WAY | Patricia Zinsmeister Parker

Betty and Howard Taylor Main Gallery

Patricia Zinsmeister Parker is one of the most significant painters working in Northeast Ohio over the last five decades. Born in 1934, Zinsmeister Parker earned three degrees from Kent State University, was a professor at The University of Akron, participated in prestigious exhibitions, and is represented in the permanent collection of nearly every art museum in the greater Northeast Ohio region. Her influence on the local art landscape is undeniable, and her work is representative of nationally significant art movements as well. 

By the time Neo-Expressionism and “Bad Painting” rose in popularity during the late 1970s, Zinsmeister Parker had already developed her trademark painting technique of a similar style working on her own in Kent, Ohio. One noteworthy artwork demonstrating her style from the mid-70s, Yellow Room, is on view in this exhibition. Since then, Zinsmeister Parker’s style is exemplified by her narrative abstract expressionism influenced by personal life experiences, emotions, and intuition. Breaking away from the traditional constraints of painting, her subject matter of bold colors and linework reference familiar imagery shaped by gestural brushwork. I DID IT MY WAY surveys her accomplished life as an artist, from principal paintings of her career to works that reveal her playfulness and experimentation in the studio over many years. 

Special thanks to the Canton Museum of Art and The Butler Institute of American Art for loaning Zinsmeister Parker’s artworks from its permanent collections for this exhibition. The inclusion of these exemplary artworks amplifies Patricia’s story as one of the most prominent working artists in Northeast Ohio. In addition to The Box Maker, The Butler Institute of American Art has two works by Zinsmeister Parker in their collection. Patricia Zinsmeister Parker’s artworks in the permanent collection of the Akron Art Museum and The Cleveland Museum of Art can be viewed online at their websites.  

Special thanks to Bradley Hart, Summit Artspace resident artist, for photography of virtual exhibitions!

Did you know?

Most of the artwork on display at Summit Artspace is for sale.
Click on the artwork images for pricing and more information about each piece. 

If you would like to purchase any art, please visit a staff member or volunteer at the front desk, or email natalie@summitartspace.org.

1- Yellow Room | NFS
Acrylic paint and collage materials on canvas, 1976 

Yellow Room is a noteworthy artwork considered one of the first paintings in America to demonstrate a new style and approach to painting in the late 1970s. A form of Neo-Expressionism, “Bad Painting” is characterized by a raw, gestural painting style, rendering primarily abstracted figures or spaces to create a sense of narrative and to emphasize the artist’s subjectivity. The movement was a response to Minimalism and Conceptualism movements in the 1960s, often viewed as lacking emotion and subjectivity.  

In 1978, the New Museum in New York City organized a groundbreaking exhibition titled Bad Painting, in which museum director and curator Marcia Tucker said in the exhibition press release; 

‘Bad’ Painting is an ironic title for good painting, which is characterized by deformation of the figure, a mixture of art-historical and non-art resources, and fantastic and irreverent content. In its disregard for accurate representation and its rejection of conventional attitudes about art, ‘bad’ painting is at once funny and moving, and often scandalous in its scorn for the standards of good taste.

While Patricia Zinsmeister Parker’s work was not represented in that exhibition, local arts leaders recognized that she was working in the same style emerging in New York City. Dr. Louis Zona, Director of The Butler Institute of American Art, wrote about Zinsmeister Parker’s relevance to this movement in his acknowledgements for her 1988 retrospective exhibition at the museum saying;  

Yes, Parker’s neo expressionism works did indeed pre-date the art of those who are strongly associated with recent painterly painting in America. But the history of art is certainly filled with similar stories of innovative artists—overlooked because of geographic, political or other reasons. On loan from the Canton Museum of Art, Gift of Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, 2011.8

2- Under my Skin | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2019

3- Georgia O’Keeffe | $6,000
Painting on unstretched canvas, 2010

4- The Gardens of Giverny | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2023

5- Mrs. Walzak | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2020

6- Regrets, I’ve Had A Few | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2023

7- An Imperfect Art | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2019

8- Wallflower | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2021

9- I Am a Work in Progress | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2020

10- Men With Red Lips | $9,000
Painting on canvas, 2018

11- Rocket Science | $1,800
Works on paper, 2018

12- The Garden of Earthly Delights | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2022

13- Naughty But Nice | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2022 

14- The Girl Who Talked Too Much | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2022

15- The Newmans Live Here | $2,000
Works on paper, 2020

16- Square Art | NFS
Oil on canvas, 2003

While Zinsmeister Parker is best known for her bold and bright acrylic paintings, this is a rare example that finds her working in oils. Her distinctive mark-making and style shine through in a different medium, with a moody color palate. The work illustrates how the artist continued to push the boundaries of her artmaking over the course of her career. 
On loan from the Canton Museum of Art, Gift of Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, 2011.9

17- Herb Ascherman | Portrait of Patricia Zinsmeister Parker

18- The Golden Divider | NFS
Collage on paper, 1974 

This piece was made concurrently with Zinsmeister Parker’s “Bad Painting” artworks such as Yellow Room. It represents a minimal composition with the “cutline” dividing the lower section of the mixed media artwork. The use of the square form in the center of a painting became a favorite compositional device of Zinsmeister Parker one that she continues to use today. During this period, Patricia employed the use of the color black to unify the imagery; almost all her M.F.A. thesis paintings from 1976 had a black palette and minimal content.

 Of this artwork, Zinsmeister Parker notes: 
The Golden Divider was a precursor of painting with my untrained left hand. This resulted in a purposeful abandonment of my natural drafting skills in favor of a more Art Brut style, which is a naive, narrative approach to my artmaking. I lost many fans of my paintings, but my commitment to a new artistic vocabulary was now in place! On loan from the Canton Museum of Art, Purchased by the Canton Museum of Art, 75.58.

19- The Sea of Love | $2,000
Painting on canvas, 2022

20- Kitchen Table Politics | $1,800
Works on paper, 2018 

21- The Chicken Strikes Again | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2019

22- The Inn of The Anasazi | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2020

23- The Mystique of Matisse | NFS
Painting on canvas, 2023 

24- My Fingerprints Are All Over This | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2019

25- My Pots and My Paints | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2023

26- Limes and Lemons | $1,800
Works on paper, 2013

27- Love in the Time of Cholera | $2,000
Works on paper, 2013

28- Don’t Be Mean | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2023

29- Alphabet Soup | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2021

30- Navajo Nation | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2022

31- Studio Secrets | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2022

32- The Boxmaker | NFS
Latex enamel on canvas, 1981 

The Boxmaker is an important painting for Zinsmeister Parker’s career, and a milestone as a woman artist in Northeast Ohio. The artwork won “Best in Painting” at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s May Show in 1981; over the May Show’s 85-year history, only five women took first prize in the category. Ten years later in 1991, Zinsmeister Parker was invited to participate in The Cleveland Museum of Art’s inaugural The Invitational: Artists of Northeast Ohio exhibition, in which five painters were selected for inclusion; Zinsmeister Parker the only woman artist. Today, The Cleveland Museum of Art owns Patricia’s artwork The Yellow Table (1976) in their permanent collection.  

This survey of Zinsmeister Parker’s five-decade long career would not be complete without The Boxmaker representing her influence and accomplishment in Northeast Ohio. 

On loan from the permanent collection of The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, Gift of Dennis Sobol, 1998, 998-O-112.

33- I’m Far Away From Home | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2023

34- Arthur and Gail Live Here | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2019

35- Moonbeams and Fairy Dust | $4,500
Painting on canvas, 2023

36- Knock On Wood | $1,600
Painting on canvas, 2023

See the Summit Artspace exhibit schedule for show details.
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