Donald Zolan, Artist, DONALD ZOLAN STUDIO
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This profile was last updated on 7/15/07 and contains information from public web pages.
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Local Address: Ridgefield, Connecticut, United States

Employment History

53 Total References
Web References
Licensing Partners, 13 May 2001 [cached]
Radio Flyer Moments by Donald ZolanFine arts posters.800.677.6947
Penguin Putnam, Inc. Flyer children's books.
Artist Donald James Zolan ..., 6 Oct 2009 [cached]
Artist Donald James Zolan dies at 71 Artist Donald James Zolan dies at 71 - 2009-10-06 12:38:00 | Kids Today
Artist Donald James Zolan dies at 71
The Donald Zolan Collectors Club alone included more than 40,000 members
-- Kids Today, 10/6/2009 8:38:00 AM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Donald James Zolan, an award-winning collectibles artist whose tender and heartfelt paintings of early childhood graced collectible plates, prints, figurines, children's books, and licensed products for 30 years, died of cancer on July 20, 2009. He was 71.
A fifth-generation artist, Zolan's art spanned both the fine art world together with the world of collectibles and licensing. With original oil paintings selling for as much as $35,000, and collectibles and licensed products selling worldwide, Zolan's art reached millions of collectors. The Donald Zolan Collectors Club alone included more than 40,000 members.
A child prodigy, Zolan began drawing and painting at the age of three winning his first scholarship in oils to the Art Institute of Chicago at 12. Upon graduation, he won a full scholarship to the American Academy of Fine Art in Chicago. He apprenticed under Haddon Sundblom, the well-known illustrator of the Coca Cola Santa Claus, and later attended the Arts Students League in New York City.
Always expressive in oils, Zolan garnered portrait commissions from political leaders, writers, religious figures and industrialists from around the world. Galleries across America,
Japan and the United Kingdom featured his original works, eventually leading Zolan to open his own gallery on Nantucket Island.
By 1978, Zolan focused his work towards the collectibles and licensing side of the art world and was the featured artist of Pemberton & Oakes, a Santa Barbara, Calif. collectible company, for 15 years. Zolan's incredible talent to portray the joy, innocence and wide-eyed wonder of early childhood captured the hearts of collectors propelling him to the top of the industry as his works commanded some of the highest secondary market values.
Zolan had the uncanny ability to constantly adapt the artwork to the changing times yet always keeping within his classical style that spoke to people's hearts. His subject matter became a natural to co-brand with some of America's greatest brands.
Born in Brookfield, Ill. in 1937 to middle class parents, Zolan embodied the values of the Heartland of honesty, humility, and straightforwardness. What he captured in his art work was the honest, open expression of his heart. A compassionate and kind man, an insightful and positive man, and a dedicated artist his entire life, there was no distance between what he portrayed and how he lived his life.
Awards for Zolan's art include the New York Salmugundi Awards Best of Oils, 12 "Collector Editions" Awards of Excellence for Collectibles, and six-time winner of America's Favorite Plate Artist by the readers of Plate World Magazine. In 2008, New York's prestigious Society of Illustrators elected Zolan to artist membership.
As Zolan's business grew so did his generosity in directly helping children and those in need. Whether visiting children's hospitals to bring a smile and comfort to a child's face, giving money directly to struggling families, donating artworks to nursing homes, children's homes and hospitals or simply helping an aspiring artist to start his life and career, Zolan always gave from the heart and anonymously.
Artist Donald James Zolan dies at 71
Artist Donald James Zolan dies at 71
Donald Zolan The ..., 1 Dec 2010 [cached]
Donald Zolan The Zolan Company, LLC Artist
People - Children artwork at Art 4 Display, 19 June 2010 [cached]
Clean and Shiney by Donald Zolan
Tractor Ride by Donald Zolan
Reinventing the Music Box - Cottage Garden - Zolan Fine Art, 24 Dec 2010 [cached]
The first time you meet Donald Zolan, you have the feeling of meeting an old friend whom you just haven't seen for awhile. His warmth, candor and interest in others can disguise the fact that he's one of our nation's most talented and popular artists. A very positive and forward-looking man, he's at peace with himself and his world. A fifth generation artist, Zolan began drawing at age three, and, by age five, was working in watercolors and winning local competitions. He won his first major art competition at age thirteen and was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. By sixteen, he won a scholarship to Chicago's American Academy of Art. Full-time formal training began after high school with a full scholarship to the American Academy of Fine Art. Upon graduation, he was selected to apprentice with Haddon Sundbloom, a famous illustrator most known for his Coca-Cola Santa Claus. Zolan moved into the field of commercial art, where he was a great success over the next twelve years. His true love, however, was his fine art paintings which were shown in leading galleries and museums around the world. Finally, he established his own gallery in Nantucket. His devotion to capturing the magical moments of childhood reflect on Zolan's own happy childhood in Brookfield, Illinois. His parents fully supported and nurtured their son's talent, and, by his own admission, Zolan had an idyllic childhood in America's heartland. In his own words, Zolan expresses his love of children, "I love little children-the way their eyes light up with excitement as they awaken to the world around them. It's a marvelous time of life, filled with wonderment. A time when each new discovery is another magical moment." This love and joy is reflected in his works. The unique combination of a subject matter so close to his heart and incredible talent, nurtured through technical training and years of experience, make Zolan's paintings among the most popular in the world.
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