Catharine “Cathy” Zander, (1947-2020)
“When I teach, I talk to people about the elements of art. It is important to pay attention to line, shape, color, contrast and perspective. It is also critical to throw in emotion. What I like about teaching is inspiring people." -Cathy Zander
Inspired by Monet’s waterlilies, at the age of eight Cathy took her first art class at the Cleveland Museum of Art. By eleven, Cathy had decided she wanted to be both an artist and an art teacher. When she was only 16, she started teaching three art classes on Saturdays at the local YMCA. Cathy’s passion was painting in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media, but she also created sculptures, mosaics, jewelry, and art to wear. She received her MA in Fine Art at Purdue University and then moved to California.
Cathy taught art at every level - from nursery school to teenagers to senior citizens - and also held classes at galleries, recreational facilities, art stores, school district adult education programs, art clubs, and in people’s homes. She was a member of the Pacific Art League for over 20 years, and especially enjoyed teaching two grant-sponsored classes in “art encouragement” for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder at VA hospitals.
Cathy was an active volunteer in many local art clubs and nonprofits. She served on eight boards, including the Silicon Valley Visual Arts and the Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula. She was most proud of working on the committee that created and funded the The Tech Interactive Museum in San Jose, which in 2015 received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor for institutions that make exceptional contributions to their communities.
In the summer of 2019, while in Hawaii celebrating their 50th anniversary, Cathy and her husband, Paul, began to notice some puzzling symptoms with her voice. Two months later, Cathy was diagnosed with ALS. She kept busy painting and going to art club meetings. In February 2020, Cathy and Paul participated in the Golden West Chapter’s “Screw ALS: Art Show and Wine Tasting, where many of her paintings were featured. One day short of their 51st anniversary, Cathy died peacefully in her sleep. Her family generously directed gifts in Cathy’s memory to the Golden West Chapter.
To see more of Cathy's beautiful work, please visit her website.