Patricia Zinsmeister Parker Does It Her Way at Summit Artspace

Portrait of Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, by Herb Ascherman.

Over the course of her decades-long career, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker has defined, on her own terms, what it means to be a successful female artist.

Zinsmeister Parker’s career-spanning exhibition, I DID IT MY WAY, is currently on view in Summit Artspace’s Betty and Howard Taylor Main Gallery. Born in Cleveland in 1934, she earned her BFA in painting in 1973, MA in 1975, and MFA in painting in 1981, all from Kent State University. She lives and paints at her home in North Canton. Her work has been collected and exhibited by galleries, museums, corporations, and universities in Ohio and beyond.

Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, The Gardens of Giverny, 2023

Her artistic career began when she took Saturday art classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Zinsmeister Parker continues to actively create new work to this day. She embraced the “Bad Painting” movement in the 1970s and was the only female painter represented in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s The Invitational: Artists of Northeast Ohio exhibition in 1991. She is a founding member and archived artist of the Artist Archives of the Western Reserve, and has also been honored by the Senate of the State of Ohio and inducted into the Hall of Fame for her contributions and achievements in the field of visual art.

Zinsmeister Parker’s autobiographical retrospective at Summit Artspace surveys her work over the past fifty years, primarily in realism and abstraction. She hopes this exhibition underscores her diverse oeuvre. “Being a painter in Northeast Ohio has made it possible for me to develop my personal, sometimes idiosyncratic vision. Not everyone likes or approves of my vision or even maybe understands it. But it’s all I know, and I don’t always have a choice about the content of my paintings. Intuition is a non-chartered, unregulated trait, and, if anything, my work is intuitive,” Zinsmeister Parker said.

Her audience must be open to interpreting her imagery through the lens of their own experiences. “And perhaps find a commonality that permits them to look twice and in doing so be willing to accept my concepts and ideas of what is art,” she adds. “The last thing I would ever want to do is to assert my interpretation of my own paintings on an audience because I think that’s an irrelevant part of the contract between artist and viewer.”

Looking back on her impressive career, Zinsmeister Parker’s advice to emerging artists is the last thing she wanted to hear as a student at Kent State. “My frustration with my professors was to hear the phrase, ‘just keep working.’ I always wanted to hear more specific guidance and it never came. And now, after all these many years, my advice to young, aspiring painters is ‘just keep working.’ It’s the only way to learn how to paint!”

View I DID IT MY WAY at Summit Artspace on Fridays from noon to 7 pm and Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm through September 16.

140 East Market Street
Akron, Ohio 44308


Patricia Zinsmeister Parker: I DID IT MY WAY,through September 16