About Amanda Zirzow Scholar, Writer, and Visual Artist
Born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., Amanda Zirzow grew up with parents who encouraged both scientific discovery and creativity. Some of her favorite childhood memories include weekend trips spent on enriching visits to museums, being amazed by the animals at the National Zoo, and freely exploring the outdoors.
She graduated valedictorian from George C. Marshall High School with an International Baccalaureate degree, earning top scores in the subjects of biology and art. Following in her father’s footsteps, she then pursued a career in the sciences. She began by earning a bachelor’s and Master of Science Degree in Biological Sciences from George Mason University.
Subsequently, her career path led her to some diverse and unforgettable professional experiences. Amanda worked in the functional genomics laboratory at George Mason University where she co-invented a novel method for the use of nanogenomics for medicine. At the National Institutes of Health, she worked in the field of glycobiology, using human and animal models to study cardiovascular disease susceptibility. She learned to SCUBA dive at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 while working in the marine biology laboratory educational outreach program. Additionally, she has taught college-level biology, microbiology, and genetics.
Throughout much of her career, art had remained her quiet, creative outlet that she turned to outside of work. She has always been intrigued by famous painters who combine emotion and unique insight on the world through their artistic vision and brushwork. Some such influences include Vincent Van Gogh, who depicted a sense of urgency, movement and even turmoil through his thickly laid paint and vivid brushstrokes, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, with his highly charges compositions and intense use of dramatic lighting (chiaroscuro), and Salvador Dalí, who evoked his dreams and hallucinations in unforgettable, dreamlike images.
In 2020, Amanda decided to dive into the art world professionally. The primary catalyst that made her a professional artist came during the COVID-19 pandemic, where she felt compelled to paint and to connect with the community, which in turn further fueled her artistic growth. What started as sharing her work on social media transitioned to selling in virtual art galleries. Her work was featured on the cover of the October 2020 edition of Happenings Magazine of Southwest Florida. Now she is proud to offer her work in physical gallery spaces and art exhibitions. As a full-time artist, she loves to engage viewers and share experiences, deep thoughts, and emotions processed through her paintings.
In 2021, Amanda held her first solo art exhibition at the Arts for ACT Gallery, curated by Claudia Goode. The show’s theme “A Starry Night in May” was an exhibit inspired by the artist’s dream realized. In the fall of the same year, Amanda’s work “Plight of the Owl” was recognized as an exhibition winner at the Cape Coral Art Center. The following year, the City of Cape Coral selected Amanda’s artwork, “Burrowing Owls in the Starry Night,” to be on permanent display in Downtown Cape Coral as a part of their Utility Box Beautification Project.
Amanda continues to captivate viewers with her one-of-a-kind bold and colorful paintings. She values informal self-education, surrounding herself with remarkable people, do-it-yourself projects, and creative experimentation. With her passion for art and background in biology, she often brings exacting details of the subjects in her paintings and infuses them with color, a unique style appreciated by collectors worldwide. She has a loving husband and partner, Mark, her children Kaiden and Charlotte, and her stepson, Mark III. Amanda attributes her success as a scientist, teacher, and artist to her dedication and enthusiasm, but more importantly to family, friends, and community.