Alison Zapata is a Pittsburgh-born, second-generation Mexican-American visual artist and art educator. She works in oil, acrylic and watercolor. Her expertise lies in painting, portraiture, murals, collage, and sign painting. She is the owner/ lead artist of Zapata Studios. She has studied fine art/art education at Carlow University and is currently in the process of obtaining a teaching artist certificate at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She recently exhibited her work with Aqui, the Latino visual arts collective, in the Capitol Building, Education Department and the Vault Gallery at Susquehanna Museum of Art in Harrisburg PA through the invitation of State Representative Leslie Acosta as a part of Latino Heritage month. Her Sea Turtle painting was the featured image for the children’s tents at the Three Rivers Arts festival. She assisted on the mural, Lend Me Your Ears, in East Liberty. Alison has developed engaging arts programming in classrooms throughout Pittsburgh over the past eighteen years. Yearly, she leads several visual art residencies for students, including an Autism Support Classroom. Alison has received art education training through Gateway to the Arts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Lincoln Center’s Aesthetic Education, and Wolf Trap Institute. She is a resident artist in the Lifetime Arts and the Artists in Education program through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She was awarded participation in the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Art and Society: Brazil/U.S. Educational Partnership. She has professional experience in educational leadership. She is inspired to make art to build community and start conversations about identity and heritage.