"Lookouts" by Mardel Sanzotta

Artist Offers "Natural Point of View"

Notre Dame College’s Clara Fritzsche Library is hosting “A Natural Point of View,” an exhibit of paintings of flora and fauna with a whimsical touch by award-winning artist Mardel Sanzotta, from July 19 to Sept. 21. A gallery talk will be held in the library on Thursday, Sept. 13, from 5 to 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

As a self-taught painter with remarkable composition skills, Sanzotta has mastered a variety of painting media. Versatility, lyricism and poetry are evident in her work, particularly in her depictions of nature, which display the artist’s technical skill and astute powers of observation with humor and a delicate touch.

Born near the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where she lived the first 11 years of her life, Sanzotta has painted professionally since the age of 12, gradually expanding to a wider array of subjects and media. Although she has lived and worked in the Midwest for most of her life and trained as a classical pianist in Europe, it was time spent in the Northwest wilderness of Montana that rekindled her sense of unity with nature.

This experience added to the rich and varied background the artist brings to her work. Sanzotta believes the charm of art lies in challenging the artist’s ability to visually express subtle and moving relations, which arise by seeing into rather than looking at a motif. Increasingly, her attention has turned to visually exploring the simple fact that things are rarely what they seem to be.

"Lookouts" by Mardel Sanzotta
"Lookouts" by Mardel Sanzotta

Sanzotta is a busy working artist. For three decades she has conducted painting classes, lectures and workshops in several states while maintaining a full commission schedule. Sanzotta has also had her art displayed in numerous one-person and group shows, winning awards both locally and nationally. A partial listing of shows and exhibits include the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Beck Center of the Arts in Lakewood, Ohio, the Pastel Society of North America in New York City, the Chagrin Falls Valley Art Center, and the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio.

Sanzotta has also enjoyed a career in art therapy. For nine years she was the director of a very successful multi-arts program she developed for elderly and handicapped persons at a long-term care and rehabilitation facility in Chardon, Ohio. She is the originator of a new genre of three-dimensional interactive therapeutic art primarily for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, as well as pediatric care, which has received national recognition and has been featured in several long-term care publications.

Over 100 major corporations, the Veterans’ Administration Medical Centers, children’s hospitals, and over 400 long-term care facilities have purchased Sanzotta’s work. Her portraits and wildlife, nature, figural and landscape art can be found in private and corporate collections across the U.S. Many galleries and designers nationwide have sold and represented her work. The Franklin Museum in Philadelphia and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo own her paintings.

“A Natural Point of View” is free and open to the public and may be viewed during library hours: Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays from  8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information about the exhibit and summer hours after Aug. 3, contact Karen Zoller, director of the Clara Fritzsche Library, at 216.373.5267 or kzoller@ndc.edu.