Kara "Zuzu" Zupancic received her BA in Studio Art and Art Education from Saint Vincent College in 2007. She continued her education at Edinboro University and earned her MA in Art Education in 2012. She maintains a professional career as an arts educator while pursing her work as a professional artist. Working within the Propel Charter Network, Zupancic supports and advocates for teachers and students through curriculum implementation, classroom instruction, and classroom management in her role as Fine Arts Coach.
As a Pittsburgh based ceramic sculpture artist, Zupancic makes both smaller, functional art (like mugs with hand-sculpted embellishment) as well as large sculptures. Her one-of-a-kind sculptures are inspired by animals, women, and narratives from her lived experiences. To further deepen her skills, Zupancic attends workshops held by a variety of independent studio artists. She also traveled to Bali, Indonesia to complete a workshop with artist Allesandro Gallo. She connects with other sculptors through her membership in the Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors.
Especially an animal lover, the creatures Zupancic chooses to sculpt are often images that reoccur in her life... like spirit guides. She loves all animals and "would sculpt every animal if she could." The furry creature that inspires her artwork the most can be found in her home. Zupancic explains, "I have one cat in particular who I don't think she knows she's a cat! She's very loving and she's got a really small head on a big body and big eyes. She's very expressive and I kind of call her my therapy cat. If I'm in a bad mood or if I'm crying she'll just come over and lay on me. She's a big inspiration for the expressions on many of my sculptures." Animals drive her artwork. Intentionally chosen, Zupancic relies on their calming energy to tell humanistic and personal stories. Her sculptures draw you in, asking you to look beyond an initial impression for interpretation. Animals are a non-threatening way to engage an audience in an experience of allowing for multiple perspectives and self-reflection.