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I am a moody, detail-oriented creature that craves awesome sunsets, overcast days when the wind doesn't blow, and fish. Fish are so cool! I have a real knack for art, at least that's what other people tend to tell me, so I stuck with it. It turns out I am pretty good. I've learned to love food too, I've got a real soft spot for pho', noodles, and anything with the word steak involved. I hope you enjoy your time here. If you are really interested in the deep roots of where I come from, read on below!
Joseph Ziolkowski is a fourth-generation Montanan, born in 1975 in Lewistown, Montana.
As a young artist, he was influenced by his family, many of whom were artists themselves, Joe has been immersed in the arts for as long as he can remember. Influences on his path as an artist include. Clarence Cuts The Rope, a deceased local artist, taught Joe’s brother Peter sculpting and painting in the early 80s. Several of Joe’s earliest memories of watercolor painting are with Peter in the kitchen of their parent’s home in Central Montana. Anne Armont, a wellknown oil painter who worked for Joe’s father, taught Joe oil painting classes in the late 80s. Gordon Russel; Joe's Lewistown Junior High art teacher, is a diverse artist in many mediums and a much-appreciated figure of the Lewistown arts and education system. The late Jim Borgreen, a Montana wildlife artist who won many awards and was a large contributor to Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and outdoor organizations, was Joe’s art teacher in high school.
After high school, Joseph Ziolkowski pursued his studies in graphic design and illustration at the Seattle Art Institute. After graduating in 1997 with a degree in Visual Communications, he did contract work for two years for Humongous Entertainment, a children’s animation company in Redmond, Washington. Two years of company life was enough for him and he wanted something much more from the core of our creative source. Joe met Dan Deegan, a kindred spirit at Pikes Place Market where Dan sold his work. He was fortunate enough to apprentice under the wellknown Seattleite, watercolor guru, exmarine, and Vietnam veteran Dan Deegan. For close to two years, Joe did underpainting, matting, framing as well as common duties and home construction for the militant 50-year-old artist. Dan’s lessons were straightforward and old school. After Dan’s untimely death by cancer in August 1999, Joe chose to move back to his roots in Montana.
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