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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jim Zver

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Zver.

Hi Jim, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My duel interests were always writing and visual art. Art won. I graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA), where I was born and raised.  I then moved to New York.

I initially worked in the display department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and painted in my first loft. After a few years, I left the museum, painted full-time and bought a loft in the then new neighborhood called SoHo.

I taught in various colleges and art schools, such as the School of Visual Arts, Brooklyn College and Cornell University, where I did my MFA when taking a two years break from New York, I also did art restoration in several conservation labs.

After a teaching stint at San Francisco State, I was drawn to California and relocated to LA.

My studio, where I live and continue to do my collages and sculpture, is in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz area. Besides exhibiting in numerous and various venues, I have had a survey exhibit of 79 of my works done in Los Angeles at Cal State, Pomona. I also work with an agency that places many of my works in film and television productions.

In the past 6 or 7 years, I usually spend three months of the year in Spain, primarily Madrid. I am there now. While there, I do works on paper, which often evolve into finished bodies of work. These are also important to me as references when I’m back in my studio.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My brief bio makes it sound like smooth sailing. It wasn’t. There were many lean times financially after I left the Met and I did many low end filing and typing jobs. Sometimes a low-end job could lead to an unexpected good place. I once took a holiday season job putting decorations together with a glue gun for department stores. Through this job I met art display directors who commissioned 3d collages that were used in the jewelry windows of Bloomingdales, Tiffany and Co. in New York and LA, and Macy’s prime New York Broadway windows. This taught me that putting yourself in new places could open new and unexpected doors.

Exhibiting and selling work can be discouraging and a challenge because of the tendency of having work seen only through the prism of a resume and past successes, work seen through the ear and not the eye. It’s important/essential to have your work’s success be determined by your own standards and vision and not by outside sources.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My art schooling was primarily in painting but my work has gradually evolved into collage. This takes both a 2d paper form and a 3d sculpture form. I think of the sculptures as a kind of collage, assembled from cut, sanded and sometimes painted wood forms, rather than carved or molded. The 2d paper pieces often imply a third dimension and become a kind of 2d sculpture. Drawing is very important in developing new ideas. I work in pencil, ink, charcoal and watercolor, etc. They sometimes become more finished art pieces and not just work studies.

What does success mean to you?
By doing work that answers my personal vision and concept of what it should be. Having others be enough on my wavelength to appreciate it and verify their appreciation by spending some $ for it helps too.


  • Prices on request

Contact Info:

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  • Website:
  • Instagram: @jimzverart

Image Credits

Credit for personal photo: Todd Grossman

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