Working with a labor-intensive process that merges sculpture with painting, Marela Zacarias fabricates forms out of wire screening attached to wooden supports to which she applies layers of plaster to create undulating forms. Through sanding, polishing, and painting, she creates sculptures with the quality of fabric, filled with movement and expressive quality. She then paints the sculptures with original patterns and geometric abstract shapes that are inspired by her research.
Her work is characterized by an interest in site specificity, socially committed history and current events.
Marela Zacarias has had solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum; Praxis Gallery, and the National Arts Club, all in NY; and at the Brattleboro Museum, Vermont. She has taken part in group exhibitions at the British Society of American Art, Praxis Gallery, Y Gallery, Rush Arts Gallery and El Museo del Barrio, all in NY. The William Vale in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the American Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico, have commissioned major works from the artist. Her murals can be found in Washington DC, Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Mexico and Guatemala. Zacarias has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson; University of Connecticut; Storrs; and at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC, among others. She was profiled in the Art 21 New York Close Up Series in 2013, 1214 and 2016. Zacarias received her BA from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, and her M.F.A. from Hunter College, New York.