Jack Zajac Biography

Jack Zajac





Jack Zajac, painter, printmaker and sculptor, was born on 13 December 1929 in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1946, his family moved to southern California where Zajac, after completing high school, worked at the Kaiser Steel Mill to finance his art studies at Scripps College in Claremont, California. He was admitted to the women's college in 1949 under the advisement of Millard Sheets who was impressed by the raw energy of the student's paintings and Zajac completed his studies there in 1953.

In 1950 Zajac was awarded a California State Scholarship in Painting and, in 1954, he received the Rome Prize Fellowship and while in Rome he discovered his passion for sculpture. He received the prize again in 1956 and 1957, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1959-1960) and a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1958. He was an instructor at Pomona College in 1959 and, in 1974, he began teaching at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he is Professor Emeritus.

Zajac is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was elevated to full Academician in the National Academy of Design. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries and museums, and retrospective exhibitions of his work were mounted in 1965, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1975. His work is represented in the collections of the Honolulu Museum of Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the J. Paul Getty Museum; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Nelson-Atkins Museum; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; the Santa Barbara Museum; The San Joe Museum of Art; and the Walker Art Center.