Zach Ross '21
Art major drawn to remote, wild places
As art major Zach Ross '21 has learned at Whitworth, art is all about taking risks. An oil painter, Ross says one of the most important lessons his professors have taught him is to not be afraid to change or mess up a painting.
"Every now and then I can still struggle with this," he says, "but I have become a lot more confident with taking risks and trying to improve something rather than leaving it because I don't want to make a mistake."
Perhaps the biggest risk Ross has taken as an artist was to change his major and explore art as a career path. "I originally was majoring in biology and thinking about the medical field or wildlife biology," he says. "I eventually made the switch to art because I was so passionate about it. I love how painting challenges my mind to think creatively as I attempt to create something beautiful and meaningful."
So far, Ross' decision to follow his passion has been a rewarding one. A Wyoming native, he has won the Gilly Fales Fine Art Award, part of Cody's Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, each of the past two falls. The award has provided him with scholarships and the opportunity to sell his Western-themed paintings.
"The first time I won the award, it enabled me to enter a painting into the show for sale alongside paintings done by famous wildlife/Western artists," Ross says. "It was the first painting I sold and a great encouragement to me. It showed me that people want to have my art and inspired me to continue to keep learning about painting and getting better."