Zygmund Jankowski or “Zyg” was born in 1925 in South Bend, Indiana. He pursued his interest in art and particularly in watercolor painting at the California College of Arts and Crafts where he studied with Victor Dewilde, Otis Oldfield and George Post, taking a particular interest in Post’s simple and restrained working style. Following his education, Zyg applied his talents by founding a commercial art studio in South Bend, Indiana and working on his more serious, personal artwork at night. Zyg developed a lifelong passion for teaching and for working with aspiring artists and regularly offered popular art courses at numerous universities, art associations and at times in his own studios. Some of the institutions which benefited from his teachings include Indiana University, South Western Michigan College, the Hilton Leech School of Art, the Bremen Art Center, the Niles Art Center, the South Bend Art Association and the Rockport Art Association.
In the 1970’s Zyg left his commercial business and moved to Gloucester where he dedicated the remainder of his life to his art. Plagued by illness after 2000 his productivity became more limited, yet he continued working to the best of his ability until his untimely death on December 31, 2009.
Zyg’s early paintings from the 1960’s are characterized by a subdued palette of predominantly earth tones. By contrast, his mature works, dating primarily to the 1980’s and 1990’s when he was working in Gloucester, feature impressionistic, often expressive compositions bursting with vibrant colors and jewel tones. Zyg saw endless possibilities in any chosen subject matter and painted numerous variations of certain themes. He used his brush and palette to analyze his subjects, determined to find the most appropriate means of expressing himself. Zyg’s favored subjects included: erotica, self-portraits and portraits, floral still lifes, jazz themed images, seascapes, harbor scenes, landscapes, farmscapes and New England scenes.