Dennis Ziemienski

Growing up in California and taking car trips with my family allowed me to see a lot of this imagery. By the 60’s and 70’s, I noticed that much of it was starting to fade away. All of the things I witnessed then started to make me think that some day I would like to record those things. So now I am.

Dennis Bio Photo

Dennis Ziemienski


Dennis Ziemienski was born in 1947 in San Francisco, CA. He graduated cum laude from the California College of Arts & Crafts in 1972.

Ziemienski juxtaposes the classic cowboy life with the increasing influence of Modernism. The scenes in his work accurately depict Western life at the beginning of the last century when railroads, vehicles, motels, and rodeos began to dominate the western landscape. “I like that period of time because it hasn’t been well recorded,” Ziemienski said. “You don’t see a lot of paintings of cowboys sitting in Model T Fords. But they did – and right alongside their horses.”

Ziemienski has had studios in California and New York. Traveling to Europe frequently, he has acquired an affinity for the architecture, lifestyle and light of the Mediterranean. His strong and richly colored images borrow much of their inspiration from early 20th century paintings and posters.
He has won numerous awards and has had commissions by Time-Life, Levi-Strauss, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, in addition to Super Bowl XXIX, the 2006 Kentucky Derby, and the Sonoma Salute to the Arts. Churchill Downs selected Ziemienski as the Official Artist of the 2006 Kentucky Derby. Most recently, Dennis’s painting Tall Drink of Water was added to the Whitney Western Art Museum’s permanent collection as the recipient of the William E. Weiss Purchase Award at the 2015 Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale.