In Memory and Honor of Artist Diana Zelnick
With a thoughtful intellect, Diana asked questions and sought to understand her life experiences and the human condition. A life-long search through the arts, philosophy, religion and the medical fields, and conversations with all who were lucky to spend time with her, she shared her vulnerability and asked you about yours. "May I ask you something?" then, after asking the question, she provided a greater context to the questions on her mind. "People, in general, do not want to accept their own humanity. The general population doesn't allow themselves to relate to where mentally ill people are coming from, for as vulnerable as they are. People don't want to see themselves as vulnerable, dependent."
As a visual artist, her vast body of work focused on portraits, drawn quickly, using images torn from magazines, newspapers, or photographs for reference. She started drawing at a young age, one of her talents that her family recognized early and continued to her last days in her home and the Art Collective studio. Decades of work will go unseen by the majority of us, as she made decisions quickly if she liked the artwork or not, often disposing of pieces or kindly giving them away. "I have no conceit about my art. It's just there. Sometimes when I have a hard time, it's very good for me."
Referencing the Greek philosopher, Diana shared, "Aristotle said art is the making of something beautiful. Couldn't that be continued today? I want to bring something that beautiful to people of today in a relaxed environment." Her neighbor and Community Access Art Collective colleague, artist Jack Horowitz admired Diana and her work, "It's not just beautiful, it's passionate." "Stunning," artist Lillian Harrison added.
If forced to choose between living without visual art or music, Diana picked music, classical music, which was an appreciation deeply rooted in her family. Her addition to the Art Collective Spotify playlist was "I don't care. Anything Bach," followed by a pause, and then the request for piano, over the stringed instruments. Her second choice was Mozart. One of her morning rituals was listening to 105.9 FM WQXR Classical Morning Bach at 7:30 AM, which she shared as a way to stay connected during the Pandemic, sometimes making an early phone call to the Art Collective studio to ask, "Are you listening?" We are listening and we miss her already.
Please continue to enjoy her artwork and share the legacy of our loving, beautiful friend.