Zel Brook

3555 NW Polk Ave
Corvallis, OR 97330


Artist Statement

The Threatening and Dangerous Cane series is a result of being disqualified from running events because I ran with a cane. I was called “threatening and dangerous” which became the title of this work. I challenged the USA track and field ruling and, after years of effort, succeeded in becoming eligible as a qualified disabled runner. Now there is a national process for disabled runners to participate.

Artist Bio

Zel Brook is a disabled, female artist who was born in Seattle, WA on Thanksgiving Day. November 28th. She lives and makes art in Oregon. She has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Arizona.

She has run marathons with a cane and leg brace. At he last marathon she did four 22 miles runs training for the Portland Marathon, then broke her foot doing housework. Unable to run Portland , She registered for the Seattle Marathon after getting medical clearance, switched from full marathon to half marathon and ran it with a cane, leg brace and a taped up broken foot. She ran past Seward Park, her childhood campground. She has been wearing body cameras while running and is working on a video. She has painted portraits of walkers and runners for each mile of a half marathon.

She has exhibited at the National Press Club, received a fellowship to paint at the Corcoran museum of art in Washington D.C., has had 10 residencies, did an internship at the Center on Creative Photography.

She has organized and curated exhibitions and is the recipient of a Strauss award. She also exhibited in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Georgia, as well as many other national venues. She has been featured in numerous publications, including Calyx, Journal of Art and Literature.

She has been working on night photography, shooting pictures at night until her fingers are too cold to keep moving the camera.