Stephen Zeifman

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About Stephen Zeifman

Stephen Zeifman graduated from The University of Toronto in 1970 with a double major in English Literature and Art History. In August of that year he moved to the South of France, Tourrettes-sur-Loup, where he wrote a novel, The Unsung Ballad of Ned, and a book of prose and poetry. That book, Harlequin Rags, was adapted for the stage by Zeifman and produced at The Factory Theatre Lab in Toronto in 1973. While in France Zeifman worked closely with Robert Roussil on a large sculpture project that was eventually exhibited at the Musee de Beaux Arts in Montreal.

Back in Toronto in 1973 Zeifman accepted a job teaching art and English at Bishop Strachan School and in time became the Head of Art developing a unique and successful program that was recognized by post secondary art institutions throughout North America as providing an exceptional skill and conceptual foundation for young artists. Later he initiated a studio program for adult learners at BSS as well. During the years there he wrote and published three novels comprising The Toronto Trilogy and a novella, Peripheral Vision. As well he produced a significant body of work using Polaroid SX 70film as the medium of expression. This work was shown in Toronto at Idee Gallery and in the US at Spaces in Cleveland.

Finding it difficult to work intensely in two areas of expression while teaching full time and raising a family of three boys Zeifman stopped painting in 1988 to concentrate only on his writing. Needing a visual dimension though he picked up a camera in 1995 and began working on a series of black and white landscapes, portraits and nudes. Some of this work was shown during Contact 2006 at Lipman Contemporary on Queen.

In 2001 on a trip to rural Newfoundland the raw power and the beauty of the landscape took hold of Zeifman and would not let go and by 2007, when their children had either graduated from college or were living away from home he and his wife decided to sell their house in Toronto to finance the building of a house and studio in Port Rexton, Newfoundland. Mill Road Studio, an art school, under Zeifman’s direction was founded when the construction was complete. At this time, no longer teaching in Toronto, with a house and studio on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a major shift and intensification of Zeifman’s artistic practice occurred which continues to this day.