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Meet Jenna Zapata of Zig Zag Galleries in Denison

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenna Zapata.

Jenna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always viewed photography as an art form and expressed a keen interest in learning about it from an early age. In 2006, I started to experiment with my point and shoot camera and then as I progressed, I began working with a digital SLR camera. Through the trial and error process, I developed my talent and saw the beauty, colors, and shapes in nature while eventually manipulating those into my own visions and ideas. I have been fortunate enough to receive numerous awards at local, state and national level competitions. I sold my first photograph in an art gallery in seventh grade. I couldn’t believe someone would to purchase my art, let alone want to display it in their home. At that point, I started to wonder why other kids my age weren’t entering art galleries. I realized that there was a huge misconception about art galleries and artist culture in Frisco.

Often times, people feel as though art is an exclusive community for collectors and elitist, but art galleries allow for a space in which is tangible, creative and diverse–allowing anyone to participate no matter their age or monetary status. After realizing the fallacy between art and everyday people, I made it my mission to help guide and inspire other artists. I wanted people to feel comfortable growing and promoting themselves as artists regardless of age or talent. I worked with middle and high school students in the Frisco Independent School District and helped them understand how art galleries function while also assisting students in entering shows. I was amazed at their individual transformations and from then on, changed my goal from being an artist featured in galleries to becoming a curator.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely has not been the easiest road to navigate. I would say that the hardest challenge I faced was attending a university in which closed its doors to its students following my freshman year. I attended Santa Fe University of Art and Design to pursue a degree in Business Art Administration, and unfortunately, the school closed unexpectedly in the fall of 2017. Following the closure of my school, I found myself without a university nor a degree. However, I took this setback as an opportunity to grow in my field, and I eventually received my associate’s degree in art from Collin College in Frisco. Everything happens for a reason and I am proud of myself for taking a complicated situation and turning it around.

Please tell us about Zig Zag Galleries.
Zig Zag Galleries is a contemporary and fine art gallery that features art from a variety of mediums– representing artists from the community and beyond. Zig Zag Galleries represents Zapata Image Gallery and Zapata Art Gallery. We focus on allowing the freedom of expression while starting complex conversations about art. We do all of this for our community which inspires us to share our love for art with one another. We want to provide the best artistic experience we have to offer.

The vision of Zig Zag Galleries is to work with artists within the community– regardless of age, sexuality, gender, race or levels of experience– in order to create a safe art space that allows people to experience in every way possible. Zig Zag Galleries is open to all types of artists whether established or not. I established the gallery with the desire to allow all styles of visual arts and allow them to have a place to be exhibited and celebrated. Zig Zag Galleries will encourage our community to grow with art. We will help teach the community about the necessity of art and expand on art growth. We will provide a location for artists to collaborate and share their experiences visually. The store will also have a small shop of fun, handpicked and handmade vintage finds and gifts. Along with a workshop space for collaborative events and classes.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t think I would necessarily call it luck, but I do believe everything happens for a reason. While it was difficult to imagine a constructive future following the unexpected closure of my university in Santa Fe, it was equally as fortuitous when I found the building for the future home of Zig Zag Galleries in Denison. The situation worked itself out and I am ecstatic to bring my dreams to life in this space. I have met a handful of amazing people who have been kind enough to support me through this journey– I couldn’t do it without them. I think we meet people at the right time when we need them in our life. I have been fortunate enough to serve the community and volunteer my time for numerous art events here in town, along with being the Vice President of the Denison Arts Council. At the end of the day, my joy and inspiration comes from helping grow the arts in Denison and watch everyone’s passion for it grow alongside mine.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Adriana Mandt

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Sponsor Shoutout:
Laine McCandless of DFW Kid’s Directory is hosting a Summer Camp & Activities Expo on February 22nd and 29th. There will be over 40 vendors at the event, parents can meet one on one and get information about so many amazing camps all in one spot. It’s an extraordinary event and one that makes us very proud of our city. Tickets are free. Info and RSVP here: Dallas & Frisco

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