Art opened a doorway out of anxiety, depression


Five years ago Warwick artist Zach Prosser decided to rebuild his life. Under treatment for anxiety and depression, Prosser wanted to be less dependent on medication. He turned to a childhood love of drawing to help him. “Drawing and painting,” Prosser says, “distracted me from those issues.”

Prosser is largely self-taught. For the first few years, he experimented with different mediums and techniques and two years ago, had his first exhibit in North Kingstown at the Hive and later took a booth at the Barrington Art Festival. In these often anxiety-inducing situations, Prosser found comfort. He is at ease talking about his art and enjoys hearing other people’s perceptions and interpretations.

When he’s not at the easel in his Greenwood home, Prosser works full-time running the receiving department at the Home Depot in Coventry. He has a steady schedule that allows him time to paint before and after work with weekends off to pursue opportunities exhibiting and selling his artwork at art fairs and festivals.

His paintings are largely imagined landscapes that to Prosser reflect emotions and narratives about his life. Although he lives in a neighborhood filled with lush mature trees and a lovely meditative lake, none of his paintings are taken from the actual landscape around him. “Everything is from my mind,” Prosser explains. “The concept behind the black-and-white cityscapes was rebuilding myself, telling the story of my journey through life.”

The paintings are gestural in nature, loose large brush strokes indicate a building or the sun. They have the feel of a pen-and-ink sketch brought to life in a painting. The physical feel of the paint suggests emotions and feelings. He often uses strong color, but this series has a limited palette.

Prosser is serious about becoming a better painter. He reaches out to fellow artists at art fairs and on social media to learn about other people’s ideas and techniques. He spends long hours in his home studio and he’s had success selling his work. And the anxiety? Prosser has learned methods to help him control his depression and anxiety. Painting has helped give him the tools he needs to live a good life.

“Rebuilding: Paintings by Zach Prosser,” will be on exhibit at the BankRI Pitman Street Gallery December 5 through January 1, 2020. The branch is located at 137 Pitman Street inProvidence. Hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 574-1330 or check


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