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Zoey Pierce, a talented artist in encaustic painting, opened Z Galeria in 2013 in Sayulita. At the time, there were only two art galleries in town, and the opportunity to offer a unique type of art that wasn’t currently available excited her.
Why did you choose Sayulita to open Z Galeria?
I always wanted to live by the ocean, and I came to Sayulita on vacation, and fell in love with the vibe of the town and the people. There was something so special about the Sayulita. I knew I needed to change my life and move here.
How did your passion for art develop?
As a child, I always had a very creative imagination and lived in a half fantasy world. When I started college, I didn’t know what I wanted to study, but I was always drawn to the art building and art students. So, I took an art class (art history), and it was really interesting. Art is everywhere. The world started with art. It was the way of communication and story telling. From there, I started taking practical art classes, such as welding, drawing, painting, and printmaking, and got comfortable with doing all types of art.
What did you get your degree in?
My first degree is a bachelors of fine arts, with an emphasis in printmaking and sculpture, and a minor in psychology. After undergrad, I continued my education and got a masters degree in art therapy and counseling.
How did you get your professional start in the art world?
After I finished graduate school, I worked as an art therapist. I was happy with it until one day I saw an advertisement for an art teaching position. I applied for the job, was hired, and discovered I really enjoyed teaching and had found my passion. It really resonated with me since I discovered art later in life (in college) and didn’t have a natural talent for it.
When I discovered teaching, I realized I could help people find their creative potential and inner artist.
I think we all are artists. The trick is finding an art medium that enables you to communicate it.
Do you still have that passion for teaching? Do you continue to teach?
Yes, absolutely! I offer encaustic workshops. Encaustic is a unique medium (technique) that I work in, which is also known as hot wax painting. It consists of natural beeswax and dammar resin (crystalized tree sap). The medium can be used alone for its transparency or pigments can be added to create color. (I typically paint with colored wax, which is how I achieve the vibrant colors of blue in my wave paintings at Z Galeria.) The wax is applied hot with a variety of tools, then cools and hardens within seconds. The encaustic medium is one of the most versatile forms of art. This type of medium offers many possibilities, allowing an unlimited range of creative freedom.