Ed Zuniga to be featured artist at May First Friday
By Ann Cantrell
Ed Zuniga has spent a lifetime devoted to precision and detail.
This attention to detail is represented in his pen and ink depictions of antebellum homes, old farmhouses, old automobiles and other scenes from the southern countryside.
Zuniga said that he loves antebellum homes, particularly in the county. The Greek and Roman columns that are found in this architecture are attractive to him. His education and different careers instilled in him a care for the fine details that enabled him to accurately portray this architecture.
For 43 years, Zuniga worked as a mechanic for two different airlines, Eastern and Lockie. The employees of these airlines were taught to be extremely accurate in order not to jeopardize the lives of the people inside the aircraft.
“You had to endeavor to be perfect,” said Zuniga.
Zuniga traveled with the airlines throughout the 70’s and was able to get several pictures of the aircraft to work with. Eventually, a friend asked him to do a painting of the Eastern aircraft.
At the time, there was an advertisement for Eastern Airlines, “The Wings of Man.” Zuniga changed the title to “The Wings of Eastern” for his depiction of the different aircrafts.
One thousand copies were made of the piece and Zuniga sold every one of them.
Before Zuniga ever started working as a mechanic, he was already putting together things with his hands. Growing up, Zuniga did not have many luxuries. His father often struggled to provide for his family and Zuniga had to build any tools or toys he wanted.
His skill for working with his hands and his inquisitive nature came from this early period in his life.
“I accredit most of it[skill] to my father, who was very influential,” said Zuniga.
Zuniga also gained some guidance from his high school art teacher who emphasized the importance of detail. Besides the education from this teacher, Zuniga is a self-taught artist.
He has worked with acrylics and oils, but now primarily uses pen and ink because they lend themselves to the depiction of old antebellum homes and various other scenes. Zuniga captures these subjects by first taking a picture of them and then taking this picture back to his studio.
After retiring from his work as a mechanic, the artist has had more time to spend in his studio, devoted to his artwork, or what he calls “his renderings.”
He said that he is very thankful to be able to display his work at the Icehouse Underground and have the opportunity to have more people see his artwork.
Zuniga also had time to build his own home on Lake Oconee, another project that Zuniga enjoyed.
“I had my own hand in it, and finished it off with the help of my friends,” said Zuniga.
Zuniga’s “renderings” will be featured at the Icehouse Underground by the Madison Artists Guild. The opening will be on May 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include wine and refreshments.