Inspiration for my paintings comes from nature, adventures, and stories.
When painting, I breathe life into my work, focusing on the careful, color-infused strokes on my canvas. Through my art, I share my mind and soul. My mission is to share my images to inspire and help others.
– Amanda Caitlin Zirzow
Amanda Zirzow captivates her audience with her unique artistic style and bright imagery.
She is an active member of her community, biology professor, and artist.
Amanda Zirzow is a contemporary expressionist artist who is drawn to the interconnections of art, science, and nature. Her interest in painting started in high school and she began combining elements of science and biology shortly thereafter. Her interests in skeletal systems are reflected in complex anatomical figures featured in some of her art. Amanda’s “Day of the Dead” themed art features vibrant tones, rich textures, and surreal elements that are added as a way to celebrate the life and death of humans and animals, found in titles such as “Espiritu” and “Hummingbird and Flowers in the Afterlife”. Her art has been featured in exhibitions and galleries in Florida and it has been featured in local news articles.
Amanda was born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., where she was influenced by exploring the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, Hirshhorn, and the outdoors. Amanda studied four years of art and art history at George C. Marshall High School, where she earned the highest scores in art and biology and earned her International Baccalaureate degree. Her art teacher and talented peers inspired her to make art a major part of her life’s work.
Amanda then earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biological Sciences from George Mason University with post-graduate work at Georgetown University. She led research projects, conducted fieldwork, and taught college courses including general biology, genetics, and microbiology.
Amanda moved to Florida in 2016 to pursue work in art and teaching. Her educational experiences in the sciences continue to inspire her artistic studies of the natural world. When Amanda is not painting, she can be found on various adventures, cycling, hiking, or diving.
Amanda has a passion for engaging students in active learning in the biology classes she teaches at Florida SouthWestern State College. The key focus in her courses is to teach the fundamentals of life and living organisms including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Additionally, she helps students understand how we impact the environment and changes we can make to improve the sustainability of life on Earth.
While living in Tucson, Arizona, Amanda worked at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 Marine Science Lab. She maintained the marine aquariums, assisted with educational outreach, and learned to SCUBA dive in the 700,000-gallon ocean within the research facility. Amanda continues to get inspiration from diving adventures and is an NAUI certified rescue diver.
Amanda supports the protection and preservation of ecosystems in oceans and seas in order to prevent the exploitation of these resources. On her latest expedition, Amanda traveled to Costa Rica, where she worked with a non-profit organization, Innoceana. The purpose of the expedition was to learn about and assist with current conservation efforts which included 3D mapping of the coral reef systems, invertebrate inventory, water quality studies, reef monitoring, microplastic analysis, coral taxonomy, climate change survey, and sea currents monitoring.
Amanda balances her time between family, work, and giving back to her community. Amanda volunteers for the nonprofit Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. The museum connects people to the natural world through their love of shells and the animals that create them. As a Shell Ambassador, Amanda is a certified shell expert trained to identify over 60 Southwest Florida shells. When volunteering, Amanda wears her blue Shell Ambassador shirt to the beaches of Sanibel which indicates to beachgoers that she can answer questions and identify shells. So, if you see Amanda on the beach, say hello!