A native Texan, Mauro Zamora (Cert. ’99, MFA ’04) was studying at Texas Wesleyan University when an art professor suggested he visit PAFA. Within a year, Zamora was enrolled in the Certificate program at PAFA, where he said “you learn how to become an artist.”
For Zamora, that learning environment was fostered through his interactions with a lively artist community PAFA’s wealth of research materials. “The school has an amazing library, covering such a wide range of artistic ideas. I got my hands on as many art history books, criticism, that I could possibly read. It was a resource I never had before that opened me up to a lot of ideas.”
Currently teaching at the College of New Jersey, he finds his continued relationship with PAFA helpful in maintaining a dialogue about artistic practice. This dialogue comes through in his teaching, and in a collaboration he calls PLM associates. Zamora and his wife, Anita Allyn, have designed a “fictional think tank” focusing on “end-capitalism and peak industry strategies.” Through this, the husband and wife team aim to encourage “reflection on corporate rhetoric … and ruptures with the capitalist system.”
For Zamora, collaboration is “a way of working that gets you out of your own head.” Collaborations during his years in the Certificate and MFA programs at PAFA made the transition to collaborative work easy. “Each person thinks of an idea, they bring it to the table and talk about it. It forces you to think about how someone else is seeing the same information.”
Through these collaborations, he has also worked with non-artists, such as a recent project PLMA created with Drexel University sociologists. With PLMA, who recently had a solo exhibition at SOMA Contemporary Gallery in Waterford, Ireland, Zamora, a 2008 Pew Fellow, is currently at work on a series of drawings and a series of two-dimensional works.
As for future collaborative endeavors, Zamora seems renewed by interactive work. “When you make a mark, it’s interesting to see what mark will be made next.”