Digital art’s unlimited potential excites Hanzl couple


Jerry and Cher Hanzl are happy to return to the Art Gallery of Viera.

Klinton Landress

Digital art is an emerging and misunderstood medium right now.

That’s the opinion of Jerry Hanzl who, along with his wife, Cher, is a digital artist and photographer.

“There are so many different ways you can push the digital medium, so many different ways you can output it now on metal, canvas, photographic prints, giclée prints,” said Jerry Hanzl of Rockledge.

“It’s painting with photography on a digital camera.”

With Cher’s blessing, Jerry quit his job as a computer hardware teacher 10 years ago and began freelancing on art-related projects. Cher, an administrative secretary at Brevard Public Schools, lent her photographic skills to his art projects.

“I learned photoshop from him. It was a challenging program. I did three, four pieces with him, and then broke off on my own,” Cher Hanzl said.

Jerry, a surrealist at heart, said Salvador Dali is a huge influence on his work. Jerry’s art has a dreamlike, surreal quality, without Dali’s bleak landscapes.

Jerry Hanzl’s “Birth of a Man” is a Dali theme that Jerry recreated with photography. In it, a man breaks out of a green and white egg, resembling the world. Outside the egg is a whippet, J.J., their 1½-year-old shelter dog.

“The Taylor Panels” he created is on permanent display at the Brevard Museum of History and Science at Cocoa. It is a triptych collage created from historic photos.

“The Taylors were an early pioneering family settling in Cocoa at the turn of the century. The panels were created from their personal photo albums and other historical photos,” Jerry said.

Cher’s art is a mix of playfulness and bizarre, realistic imagery. Some of her digital art was featured in March in The Orlando Museum of Art’s “The Power of She.”

In one, “Ironing Out Wrinkles,” a woman is melting as she sits on an ironing board and irons the pants she’s wearing. Folded in the clothes basket, waiting to be pressed, is a man (modeled by Jerry).

Jerry Hanzl, one of the founders of the Art Gallery of Viera, and Cher left the gallery shortly before it closed and joined Carolyn Seiler and Friends Artists Co-op in Cocoa Village.

He said the Co-op is a “wonderful gallery,” but he is excited to join the Art Gallery of Viera when it reopens.

“It’s like coming home again. It was a tight-knit little group. They were basically our second family,” Jerry Hanzl said.