This documentary, produced by R. Michael Beatty and RMB Creative Associates, with the assistance of LEARN, is of the truly remarkable artist Harold Zisla (1925 - 2016). It shows the artist in his studio discussing his work, his working methods, his philosophy and his life.

The DVD is over one hour in length. The cost of the DVD is $12.95, shipping charges are an additional $3.00 (total is $15.95). Indiana residents please add 7% sales tax ($12.95 + $.91 = $13.86 plus $3.00 shipping = $16.86). To order click on the image to the right. You will be redirected to a retail location (

Artist Harold Zisla was born in Cleveland, Ohio, June 28, 1925, he died March 18, 2016. He enjoyed a career of more than 80 years. An artist from childhood, Zisla continued to study art in high school and at the Cleveland Museum of Art until 1943. From 1943-1946, Zisla served in the U.S.. Navy; upon his return he attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and Case-Western Reserve University. In 1950, he received his B.S.. in Art Education, and in 1951, his M.A.. in Art Education from Case-Western. In 1952 he moved to northern Indiana, taking a job as an industrial designer at Uniroyal in Mishawaka, IN. From 1957- 1966 Zisla served as Executive Director of the South Bend Art Center, in South Bend, IN.  For Zisla personally, this time saw an increased questioning of, and movement away from, the academic training and figurative style of his youth. From the late 1960’s to the mid 1980’s Zisla rose to Chair of the Fine Arts Department and Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University at South Bend. Retiring in 1989, Zisla devoted himself fulltime to his art. The 1990’s were a time for reexamining, reworking, refining and the evolution of Zisla’s mature style; the 2000’s saw a continuing growth in his work, a growth that continued until his death. For more information on Harold Zisla visit his website here:

From 87 Years On…Harold Zisla at Work by Judy Oberhausen

"When I visit in the Fall of 2012 I find his studio still overflowing with recent paintings and drawings demonstrating an energy and engagement with life… Unlike most of us he has not surrendered to the distractions of technology but has remained faithful to the muses who have always been his companions: Titian, Rembrandt, Picasso, Pollock, Guston, and Bacon. It is these artists with whom Zisla is on intimate terms.  They are the studio companions with whom he carries on a continuous conversation… From his accumulated experience with portraiture, still life, and figure drawing emerged a new style of gestural abstraction that reflected a new kinship with such Abstract Expressionists as Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning.  He was also influenced by Edward de Bono's text on lateral thinking entitled Mechanisms of the Mind (1968) that prompted Zisla to re-examine his notions of perception. … Of his many kindred spirits there is above all, Picasso.  Always Picasso…. Because Zisla now shares Picasso's longevity, the master's presence has become even more palpable in the studio...they are fellow age, in the restless quest for new forms of self-expression, and, yes, for immortality.  Like the master, Zisla has experimented stylistically with realism, expressionism, and abstraction.  It was, however, Picasso's cubism with its conceptual approach to the visible world that taught Zisla that reality has no fixed points.  It is this expansive approach to reality that is the enduring theme in both artists' work.  Today Zisla's work continues to be a constantly evolving synthesis of all he has learned from life, from art…."