Eric Zener - 10 Artists 10th Anniversary

Our 10 Artists for our 10th Anniversary celebration continues! Over the next 10 months our newsletter will feature 10 of our 'amaeyzing' Kids & Art artists who have been with us on our journey from 2008 to now.

We will compile all 10 artists' stories into a small book ready for our 10th Anniversary gala in San Francisco on December 1, 2018. Each of the 10 artists will also be given one word on which they will create a piece of art. These 10 pieces will be displayed together at our gala and will encompass the mission of Kids & Art. We thank these artists for taking part and inspiring us with their artwork and insightful words.

For May please meet artist Eric Zener.


1. Name, website
Eric Zener

2. What inspired you to begin your journey as an artist?
As a child I always found joy in building things, drawing, painting and just being “creative”.  My household was full of other forms of creativity and always supported.  After leaving college I found myself lost on “what to do with my life” for a career.  During that time I came back to art making as a hobby or a cathartic escape for pleasure.  Over time I had enough success that I was able to leave my job and make art making my career. 30 years now.

3. What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work? What do you do to get into your creative zone?
After doing this as a profession now for decades, it is more of who I am rather than what I do.  I think that distinction keeps me motivated and easy to get into the zone.  At some point you just see the world differently and making art just becomes a part of you.

4. What are you working on now?
I just finished and had my opening in NY so I am taking a little break and then will start conceptualizing a new body of work and do a few custom commissions for clients.

5. What does your art mean to you?
Like a song, its meaning can change depending on how I am feeling or what I am thinking about.  My greatest joy is to see and hear how others are affected and their reactions to my work.


6. What has been the most difficult challenge as an artist and who are your biggest influences?
The challenges that I imagine most creative people feel is starting fresh and taking risks, while at the same time making work that will appeal to your audience.  Most of my influences come from music and photography.
7. What has been your favorite accomplishment as an artist?
Helping young artists with their craft and their pursuits getting their work shown.

8. What advice would you give to someone starting out as an artist?
No matter how great your work is, so much of it is timing and patience in the long process of making this a career is paramount.  Nothing happens overnight.  Breath in, make your work and stay focused on the journey.

9. If you could live in a different artistic period, which one would you chose?
I am happy in this one!

10. Do you have a favorite art gallery? Do you have a favorite color? And why?
No favorites - other than mine of course! No favorite color. Each color is beautiful depending on what other colors accompany it.


Like a song, the meaning or art can change depending on how I am feeling or what I am thinking about.

I believe art has the power to heal because…


No matter how great your work is, so much of it is timing and patience.


At some point you just see the world differently and making art just becomes a part of you.

About the artist:


Eric Zener has been painting for over 25 years. He is best known for his paintings with water as a primary element. Water has been the source of a variety of narratives: spiritual and physical renewal, taking the plunge and nostalgic memories of play and fun from childhood. Eric has always been intrigued by our relationship with nature – from its transformative qualities to produce joy to its equally transformative quality of fear and danger. He enjoys exploring this relationship with nature not only through his water paintings, but also through what he categorizes as “Journeys”, “Land” and “Sleep”.

Eric Zener’s work has been exhibited in the United States, and internationally, for over 25 years. His solo exhibition history has largely been with his long standing dealers in San Francisco and New York. Additionally numerous shows in Asia, Australia, Europe and other galleries in the US have been part of his curriculum. Eric’s work has been featured and reviewed extensively in art magazines and other publications. Apart from gallery representation his work has also been included in museum shows and international residency programs.

Kids & Art Foundation is thankful to have a vast community of artists who create with us. Our artists share their passion for art and their commitment to make the world a better place. Without them we cannot heal pediatric cancer through art.

If you believe in the healing power of artists then please support our artist stipends with your donations and corporate matching. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our EIN is 27-1415727