EL CENTRO – The NoCCA April Artist of the Month is Pastor Frank Zazueta who was presented with his award by North County Coalition for the Arts and the Desert Review at Christ Community Church in El Centro where he is an associate pastor.
According to Jim Shinn, one of the nominators, there was a terrible graffitied wall running on the north side of I-8 for about 100 yards. Shinn took the initiative to divide up the wall in increments and invited churches to “re-decorate.”
“Frank and his crew did a wonderful work on their part of the project. Later, his painting skills redecorated “God’s Gang” which is out by Dogwood and I-8. My favorite piece is on 8th street in El Centro, just south of the fire department. It shows Christ at the time of crucifixion,” Shinn said. “And what’s so beautiful is that he uses it for the glory of God. Frank’s very own life is a picture of God’s artistry work through Christ; He makes something beautiful out of nothing.”
“Before I came to Christ,” said Zazueta, “I did a lot of artwork in the community. I also burned a lot of people. I took advantage of the gift that God had given me for my own benefit. When I came to Christ, I recognized the gift I was given. From that point on I decided that I would only use my gift for God’s glory. For the last 20 years, that is all I have done, just using my gift for church activities.”
Zazueta has been at Christ Community Church since 1994 when he was a part of New Creations.
“There were about 60 men in the men’s home,” said Zazueta. “The families all came for family day. The families of 60 men added up to a lot of people. After much prayer, Pastor Walter Colace decided to start a church and Christ Community Church was born.
Another nominator, Grayce Lopez, secretary at Christ Community Church said, “In the beginning God created…. and he continues to bless men and women with amazing gifts. Pastor Frank Zazueta of El Centro is one such man. His gifted mother said that he and his siblings all loved to draw at an early age and that Frank excelled with his drawing.”
In 6th grade, his peers started taking notice, too. He had a teacher that encouraged him to pursue an art education and he received a scholarship to take art classes. His post high school education was short lived, but he did continue to use his artistic capabilities, and his downward spiral.
Several years later after accepting the Lord and getting his life on track was when he realized a gift like his could be a blessing or a curse. He decided then that he would no longer charge for his artwork, but use it for ministry related projects.
He painted several murals around the valley, and to his knowledge, none of them, including one of his earliest works in Calexico on the side of a church wall that faces onto Hwy 98, have ever been defaced or gratified.
He uses his gifts daily at Christ Community Church in a wide range of creativity, including immense sanctuary backdrops and set designs for themed series, painting classroom wall murals, electronic graphics for logos, banners, custom Sunday bulletins, funeral programs, slide shows, newspaper ads, and sermon-themed formats, event printed packages, and the CCC website design.
He does this in recognizing that God created him and that his gift should be used for the glory of God, his creator.
How to nominate an individual artist: To nominate an artist, the artist must be an Imperial Valley resident of any age. The nomination must be emailed to either or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the following information for consideration: Name of Nominator with a phone number and email address, Name of Artist with a phone number and email address, and a short paragraph of the Artist’s talent and why they should be recognized as the Artist of the Month (no more than 250 words). An artist may nominate themselves. The Artist must agree and be available for an interview and/or photo shoot, within one week of accepting the recognition. A press release must be signed by the artist and, must be signed by a parent and /or guardian if under the age of 18. Nominator and/or Nominee may be contacted for further information to help determine the selection of the Artist of the Month. The deadline to nominate a local artist is the last day of each month.
For further information please contact NoCCA at (760) 791-3802 or email: email@example.com