Paul Zelanski was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1931. When he was 10, his sister saved up and gave him an oil paint set — the most memorable and important present of his life to that point, as his childhood was during the Great Depression and holidays were for getting socks and underwear. He attended Hartford High, and was the first resident of Connecticut’s capitol city to be accepted to Cooper Union. College was interrupted by two years spent in the Army during the Korean War, but Paul returned and earned his certificate (all that was offered at Cooper in those days) in 1955.
After Cooper Union, Paul went on to study under Josef Albers at Yale University. It was here that Paul began his life-long passion for color theory. When Paul finished his BFA at Yale in 1957, on recommendation from Albers, he attended Bowling Green State University for his master’s degree in painting. Always knowing that he wanted to be an educator, after finishing school he taught at North Texas State University from 1958–62, and then moved north to teach at the University of Connecticut, where he would remain until his retirement in 1995. Paul continued to make collages every day in his studio in Connecticut until his death in July of 2015.
Paul married artist Annette Zelanski in 1965 and they had three children together, one son and two daughters. This website is designed, curated and maintained by his two daughters.