By DOMINIQUE WALD
“We’re in the midst of this thing called life, how did that come to be?” Zioli said. “When I look around at the amazing things that grow around us, I have to believe there are positive and motivating forces behind that growth.”
Zeoli spends most days making art installations and pieces out of his woodworking studio in Uniontown. On other days he works as an assistant at the technical design studio in the College of Arts and Architecture at the University of Idaho.
His latest piece, titled “The Ancestors,” is currently showcased in Coeur d’Alene on the corner of Sixth Street and Sherman Avenue in front of the Masonic Temple.
Zeoli said this project is special because the pieces are characters who represent the positive attributes of life through purity.
“Life is a process,” Zeoli said. “I got the idea for this project just from my own contemplation of life … I found inspiration in that.”
Zeoli said a dialogue eventually develops between his ideas and the material with which he works. Zeoli said he is constantly surprised by how things like grain and bark edges add their own life to his artwork.
Zeoli said he was born into a construction family who worked hard, made some things and fixed others. In that, he said, purpose was found and his interests shifted from working with cement — like his father did — to working with raw materials, like wood. After 37 years in this medium, Zeoli said he still finds beauty in the simplicity of his work, but completing projects is the most satisfying.
“I look at it as a personal accomplishment,” Zeoli said. “It has nothing to do with other people or society. It’s the most peaceful thing.”
Zeoli recognizes his art may be perceived as too abstract by some, but at the end of the day he hopes his work gets a response — good or bad.
“The whole idea for me is the awareness of self in the universe,” Zeoli said. “I think that’s what I feel in my soul in most days and I try to express it in my work.”