Jenna Zapata, 22, is a social media manager, photographer, and soon-to-be creative director of Zig Zag Galleries in Denison. She moved to Denison 7 months ago with her fur baby Bentley, a 3-year-old Bernese mountain dog, from Frisco.
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. 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. Zapata 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 the community to grow with art. They want to provide a location for artists to collaborate and share their experiences visually, along with a workshop space for collaborative events and classes. The gallery will also have a small shop of fun, handpicked and handmade vintage finds and gifts.
“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.” adds Zapata
Jenna Zapata views photography as an art form and expressed an interest in it from an early age. She started with a point and shoot camera and then progressed to a digital camera and learned to develop her personal visions and ideas from the beauty she saw around her. She received numerous awards at local, state and national level competitions and sold her first photograph in an art gallery in seventh grade.
“I couldn’t believe someone would want 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,” adds Zapata
Jenna set out to attend Santa Fe University of Art and Design and to pursue a degree in Business Art Administration. Unfortunately, following her freshman year in 2017 the school unexpectedly closed. She found herself without a university or a degree. Not to be deterred she took the setback as an opportunity to grown her field and she eventually received her associate’s degree in art from Collin College in Frisco
“We actually found the building at that time. I believe everything happens for a reason and I am lucky to have friends and family who support me, and my dreams; especially my parents who have been my biggest supporters.” she says
Zapata feels that most people see art as 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.” says Zapata
Her family often traveled and explored little towns. Upon finding and attending the Dia de Muertos festival they became connected to the community and decided to make Denison their home and open the gallery here.
“Denison used to have many galleries and I am excited to add one to the community!” she says.
Zapata wants the space to be where the community can come, create and express their creativity. She hopes to constantly be growing and hosting many community events.
“I really have a passion for arts education and specifically in younger kids because I feel that a lot of times they can not find a space that supports their creativity and fosters growth. I was one of the lucky ones that were supported by friends and family at an early age and I would love to give back and be that for others,” says Zapata
After 3 years of hard work Zig Zag Galleries will have their Grand Opening on April 18th. To celebrate their opening they are hosting their very first exhibition Home, which is currently holding a call for artists. The reception will be from 5-7PM on opening day and work will be exhibited until May 20th.
For more information on Zig Zag Galleries, located at 125 West Woodard Street in Denison, and the exhibition please visit www.zigzaggalleries.com. They can also be found on Facebook and Instagram under Zig Zag Galleries.
Jenna Zapata photography can be found at www.jennazphotography.com