Pauli Zmolek emphasizes the value of crafting art as a counterpoint to an increasingly digital world. She believes that the intrinsic value of art comes from the sharing of “ideas, dreams, visions, and passions.” Her drawings and paintings are a window into maritime life on the Mid-Atlantic, replete with docked boats, laundry hung out to dry, and portraits of local residents. Describing her work, Zmolek says, “I seek to bring to life the spirit and dignity of different communities of people and their culture through art.”
Originally from Iowa, Zmolek currently lives in Ewell, Maryland, a small crabbing community on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Accessible only by boat, the island and its residents provide the content for much of Zmolek’s work, which she creates in a variety of media, including oils, watercolors, pastels, and charcoal. Outside of her easel paintings, Zmolek works as a restorer and decorative painter, creating elegant surfaces and murals, and preserving both the beauty and integrity of historic buildings in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.