Zel Brook: Art without Limitation

unnamed sculptureZel Brook is a local mixed media artist specializing in sculpture, painting, photography, and drawing. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in science—plus a bachelor’s and master’s in fine arts—and extensive art teaching experience up to the university level.

Her artwork is usually showing at anywhere from five to 10 national art museums and galleries across the United States. Currently, her work is on display in Washington, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas, and she has just finished shows in Wisconsin, New York, and Virginia.

Besides her love for art, Brook also has a passion for running. She has run 26.2-mile marathons, 13.1-mile half marathons, and 100 other races. At the Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in 2003, Brook was inspired to express herself by creating a series called Threatening Canes in response to a USA Track and Field official disqualifying her from the race due to her use of a cane while running. Officials said that the cane was an “assist” device when Brook actually used it for balance due to a brain tumor she had removed. Over several years of lawyers and legal fees, she eventually won the right to run in USA Track and Field events and USATF established procedures for disabled athletes to run in their events. Now, people with disabilities can be included to run in these events with all other athletes.

This year, Brook fashioned the paver formats for the Willamette Park picnic shelter and designed medals that were given out at the Pacific Northwest Championship track competition. She has also received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Ford Family Foundation, and has completed two extended art trips where she created 200 sculptures, 100 drawings, a 20-foot painting, 91 conical drawings and paintings, five collages, a welded sculpture, and a hand-carved wood sculpture.

Brook has had her art studio in Corvallis since 1998 where she has regular art discussions that are open to the public and free of charge. Anyone who is interested in art can attend to see films, participate in discussions, or talk with other artists. To make an appointment, call 541-753-6241 or visit her website at www.zelbrook.com.

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