• Arlene's Artist Materials

For the Joy of Creating: ArtTalk Spotlights Artist and Illustrator Elizabeth Zunon


February 6, 2021



photos care of Elizabeth Zunon, Albany Center Gallery, Violet Lemay Blog and Africa Access. Images may be subject to copyright.


Elizabeth Zunon is a renowned illustrator who lives and works in Albany, NY. In her own words she loves to, “draw, paint, collage, sew, silkscreen, make jewelry, purses, and ponder the endless possibilities of chocolate!” Zunon recently illustrated “Off to See the Sea” written by Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes. It is a fanciful story where “the faucet flows like a waterfall, the bathroom floor is a distant shore, toy boats sail against the waves. An imagination-fueled adventure on the high seas is just what it takes to get little one clean.”

She has illustrated over 15 acclaimed books including The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey. She is also the author and illustrator for “Grandpa Cacao: a Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family”. A “beautifully illustrated story connects past and present as a girl bakes a chocolate cake with her father and learns about her grandfather harvesting cacao beans in West Africa.”

"...Using several mediums—oil and acrylic paint, cut-paper collage, gel pen, and marker—Zunon employs a layered approach to create vibrant illustrations that wonderfully blend realistic elements with those of the unfolding fantasy. The use of detail, from the softly drawn towel to the rainbow-slicked reflections of the main character in soap bubbles, creates evocative scenes that ping the senses..." - Booklist (starred review)

Completed in August 2018, Zunon created the mural "Geraldine's Reverie" located along Clinton Avenue off-ramp from I-787 and across from the north side of the Quackenbush Garage. She was inspired by the "overall freedom of expression that the arts and entertainment bring to our lives". The mural was done in conjunction with the Albany Center Gallery, Albany Barn and Albany Parking Authority as an effort to inspire, uplift and bring art to the community. To learn more about the talented Elizabeth Zunon check out her website, http://lizzunon.com.

About Elizabeth Zunon:

Elizabeth Zunon was born in Albany, NY and spent her childhood in a hot, sunny, tropical country in West Africa called the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), where people speak French (and many other languages). Her mom read my little brother and me a lot of bedtime stories in English after we came home from speaking French all day at school.

“As a little girl, I loved to draw, paint, make up dances and play dress-up, and as I grew up, I didn't really change!” After returning to the United States, Zunon attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and graduated in June 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. She says her work is largely influenced by her childhood “in the Ivory Coast as the product of two cultures.”

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