Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Al Zerries  1940-2009

by Lisa Sheppard

It is with  great sadness and sense of  loss that we pay tribute to one of our MPS members, Al Zerries, tragically killed in a hit and run accident while walking his dog one morning in early March near his home.

As an extraordinary artist, excelling in several mediums including pastel, watercolor and oil,  he will be sorely missed by the art community as a whole. We mourn the works unfinished and those not yet begun, only intensifying our feeling of loss for a man who's life so influenced others through his unique talents.

Born in New York and graduating as advertising major from the Pratt Institute, he later  worked as an art director, TV producer and creative director at several Manhattan ad agencies. In the mid–nineties he began to paint,  studying with Burton Silverman and showing his work in 2001. Since that time his paintings have been honored with 15 Best in Show awards and earned him Elected Member or Signature status in more than 30 distinguished art societies, including our own.  In the '07 Shades of Pastel Exhibition his  painting  Twenty Years a Dancer  received Second Place and in '08 The Eternal Redhead  was awarded Best Portrait.

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His wife, Jean and two grown sons survive Al Zerries. Upon hearing the sad news, the MPS sent flowers and condolences to their home on Long Island, New York. Continue to keep them in your thoughts, as we honor this man, his life and artwork.

Twenty Years a Dancer