Alison Zapata has been working as a visual artist and art educator throughout Pittsburgh for more than fifteen years. She works primarily as a painter, with a focus on portraiture, murals, and multi-media collage. Her paintings are collected throughout the United States. My interest lies in building community and interpersonal relationships through the exploration of art. Experienced and versatile in the classroom, Alison has a natural ability to create a dynamic, organized, and warm environment in which students thrive in their creativity and love for learning. Having obtained a BA in Art Education at Carlow University, Alison has developed engaging, child-centered arts programming in classrooms throughout Pittsburgh in various populations since 1998. Her ability to communicate concepts creatively and effectively extends to her students, parents, colleagues, and the school community. 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 Artists in Education program through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Creative Aging Roster. She was awarded participation in and studied Contemporary Art in Rio De Janeiro and Salvador, Brazil with the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Art and Society: Brazil/U.S. Educational Partnership with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and the Andy Warhol Museum. She was awarded a grant for a long-term TAP- Teacher Artist Partnership- with South Fayette School District to implement art and technology integration with a focus on STEAM. She is an educational consultant and instructor at the PA Council on the Arts TAP Summer Institute. She was the keynote speaker at the Sayre Learning Early Conference in 2015. At Familylinks, she teaches visual art experiences weekly for students with severe developmental or behavioral disorders, including an Autism Support Classroom. She works with staff to create lesson plans and projects connecting art history to social studies. She has professional experience in educational leadership. Her expertise lies in visual arts, painting, portraiture, murals, sign painting, collage, and arts integration with a focus on STEAM. She is the owner/ lead artist of Zapata Studios. Alison’s paintings have been featured in Good Housekeeping and Pittsburgh Magazine. She has a B.A. in Art Education from Carlow University.