Harold Zisla, American painter, Died at 90


Harold Zisla was born on June 28, 1925, and died on March 18, 2016.

He was an American abstract expressionist painter and art educator.

During the year 1968, Harold Zisla became the founding chair of the Fine Arts Department at Indiana University South Bend, where he taught until his retirement in 1989.

Zisla graduated from the Cleveland School of Art and Western Reserve University.

Harold Zisla moved to South Bend, Indiana in 1952, where he worked first as a designer at Uniroyal.

From 1957 to 1966, Harold Zisla directed the South Bend Art Center (now the South Bend Museum of Art), prior to accepting the professorship at what was then called the South Bend-Mishawaka Campus of Indiana University.

After four-year degree program he had just been authorized in 1965, and Zisla had the responsibility of hiring new faculty.

Zisla said about painting that it “should be, more than anything else, a liberation into the spirit of the artist, and to have presence, impact, dynamism, freedom from the trite, the contrived, the boringly dead.” Paintings, he said, “must be alive.”

Doreen became his wife on August 13, 1946.

The couple had two children, Paul Zisla and Beverly Welber.