Zoetic Tapestry Project weaves art into the community

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Isabelle Nunes

Art is put on display in the garden just outside the entrance to the Zoetic Tapestry Project art show.

To extend art beyond the limits of material beauty, the Zoetic Tapestry Project (ZTP) partnered with the San Mateo Arboretum Society to produce an art show that features local talent.

The ZTP displays the diverse work of various local artists to unite the community with nature and art during their second showcase this year. With different artists at every show, it aims to provide a new opportunity for expression. 

“The Zoetic Tapestry Project is a community-based organization that is looking to encourage local artists to find their voice and be discovered in the process,” said Alka Raghuram, a featured artist and director of the project.

Every eight weeks, the organization invites artists to join the project and display their work for the public to view and purchase. The show organizers don’t charge any commission fees, allowing the artists to keep all sales revenue. 

For many, the project is a powerful way to share their ideas and creativity. 

“I took an interest in creating art when I was 21, and it’s another means of expression to me. People have different feelings when they see my work, which is inspiring too. My art gives me a reason to create, try new things, and meet new people. It means progress,” said artist Constantinos Vorrises.

With each round of showcases, the organization hosts an artist talk where they discuss the personal meaning behind their work. These discussions allow the artist to explain their ties with the project and connect with visitors. Through this opportunity, the ZTP’s organizers hope to impress the importance of art in allowing communities to express themselves.

“Everyone is welcome to showcase their work here. We want to be a cultural center that showcases various interdisciplinary art practices,” Raghuram said.

One founder of the project, John Sutti, wanted to create the ZTP to push the boundaries of art’s function within the community. 

“Sutti has found a lot of success in design in the Bay Area and believes that art saved his life when he found mentorship at an early age. Now that he’s older, he wants to extend that and give back to the community,” Raghuram said.

To support Sutti’s goals, the show offers a space of expression for visitors and artists alike. The natural setting of the art show opens up the possibility for viewers to enjoy traditional and contemporary art with a fresh mindset.

“Being connected with nature brings a lot of peace and wholeness. You truly feel like you’ve been transformed into a different space,” Claudia Bovino, a visitor of the show, said. 

The ZTP wants to expand to other community organizations, like public libraries, to produce more impactful educational and artistic experiences for the community. The organization encourages freedom of expression for all artists looking to share their work. 

“It’s important because it’s interesting. It’s creative. It’s personal. We need something to escape from the routine of day-to-day life,” Vorrises said.

About the artists by Isabelle Nunes