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Daniel L. Ziembo: A Biographical Sketch

Dan Ziembo, born in Chicago, November 1941, grew up in Chicago and spent summers at his extended family’s cottage on Third Lake in Lake County. Ziembo is a product of the Chicago Public Schools where he won an art scholarship to a summer art program run by the University of Illinois Art Department. This experience revealed the resources of and opportunities at the University of Illinois and provided impetus for Ziembo to pursue a college degree in art.

He earned his B.F.A. in painting from the University of Illinois, Champaign (1963) and his M.F.A. in printmaking, painting and art history also from the University of Illinois, Champaign (1965).

Ziembo’s first full-time teaching position was at Memphis State University where he taught drawing and design and became head of printmaking (1967-1970). In addition, he taught summers at the Ox-bow Summer School in Saugatuck, Michigan; Memphis Academy of Art, Memphis Tennessee; and at Castle Hill-Center for the Arts, Truro, Massachusetts. In 1970, he “came home” to Lake County and began teaching as part of the then two-person art department at the College of Lake County. During his tenure at CLC he devised all of the 2-D studio courses (except painting) and the art appreciation courses. To keep up with contemporary trends he developed the computer art class. Ziembo spent the fall term of 1998 in Canterbury, England where he collaborated with printmaking and computer art students at Canterbury Christ Church College devising a series of etchings based on coalesced, disparate perspectives of Canterbury Cathedral. Ziembo retired from teaching at CLC in June 1999 after 29 years; he is currently creating art and fulfilling commissions.

Ziembo has had numerous one-person exhibits and has been included in many two-person and group exhibitions. His work is in many private and corporate collections.

Among his corporate commissions are Abbott Laboratories and divisions of IBM in North Carolina and Minnesota. His most recent one-person exhibitions are “Around Cedar Lake” and “Visual Palindromes,” both at Chicago’s Roy Boyd Gallery and an exhibit, “Student Life Series,” documenting moments of student life at the College of Lake County.

Fall I - 6/6/98

Addressing his preoccupation with the concept of documentation and change, Ziembo uses photographic studies as a preliminary means of investigating his subjects. Ziembo recalls shooting a dozen photographs of the trees near a lake at sunset on a fall day, a storm approaching from the southeast. In the image he eventually chose to paint, the light, almost parallel to the ground, resulted in side-lit forms, long dramatic shadows, and crisp lines. The evergreens in the frontal plane are rendered in the series’ characteristic silhouette, vibrant fire trees light the middle plane, and, on the right, the important patch of blue makes its statement. When he returned to the site the next day, all the leaves had fallen.

Ziembo, as a painter of landscapes, well understands poet A.R. Ammons in his ars poetica, “Corsons Inlet,” perceiving:

an order
in constant change,
that I have perceived nothing completely,
that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.