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Born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, he has dedicated his artistic endeavors to create positive social change through the arts. The artist has exhibited his sculptures and masks in Mexico and throughout the United States. He has painted over 45 mural projects nationwide and has had his retrospective exhibition of over 200 pieces of art featured at the Northern Arizona Museum in Flagstaff.

He is the founder of Xicanindio Artes and the Cultural Coalition, two of Arizona’s most important grassroots arts organizations. He has been instrumental in the development of community Arts programs statewide. In 1984, PBS broadcasted nationally a one-hour documentary about his art entitled The Mask of El Zarco. In 1986 he won the prestigious Japan Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and spent one year in Kyoto, Japan, studying the Noh Masks.

In 1993 he was awarded Arizona’s Governor’s Arts Award for his artistic contributions to the community.

Zarco has completed 6 major public art commission AZ: In 1998, he completed a larger-than-life size bronze sculpture of Farm worker Leader César Chávez commissioned by the City of Phoenix installed at 35th Avenue and Baseline. In 2000 he completed the Olmec Head for permanent exhibition the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa.

In 2008 he dedicated a life size César Chávez sculpture for the City of San Luis, Az where César was born and died, on the occasion of leader’s 80th birthday. He was the principal artist at El Rancho del Arte Housing Complex in Mesa where his cut steel mandalas and poetry gates adorn the buildings. Zarco received the honorific title of Master from the Southwest Folklore Alliance in 2015.


In 2020 Zarco inaugurated the Portal to the Past for Pueblo Grande Museum and is presently working on designing and fabricating the Valley Metro Light Rail Station at Central Ave and Baseline in Phoenix, AZ.

Fine Art Gallery