Born in Argentina, Guillermina Zabala is a San Antonio media artist, filmmaker and photographer. She graduated from Columbia College-Hollywood with a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema. Currently, she is the Media Arts Director at San Antonio’s SAY Sí. In October 2008 she received the San Antonio Artist Foundation Award for her documentary project Juanito’s Lab (in post-production) and in November 2006 she was awarded the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant for the same project. She served as Curator for the 28th Annual CineFestival in San Antonio and for the 9th LA Freewaves Festival; and she is an alum of the 2007 NALAC Leadership Institute, the 2007 Creative Capital Artist Retreat, and the 2017 Community Arts Leadership Program.
Recently, Guillermina was selected to be part of the 2017 Contemporary Art Month Perennial at the Southwest School of Arts. Her mixed media photography piece 9/16 will be on display throughout May, 2017. In September 2016, her series I Am Black featuring portraits of African American community leaders was part of the exhibit Caras III at Centro Cultural Aztlan. From August to October 2015, Guillermina was one of the participating artists at the Printmaking Exhibit “25Veinticinco” at the University of Texas in San Antonio. This exhibit included 25 original prints of prominent Latino artists. In 2014, Guillermina had a solo exhibit at the McNay Art Museum in the Octagon Gallery. Her video I, Me, Light was on display from August 19 through December 14, 2014.
In November 2013, she was selected by the City of San Antonio to write and direct a short film based on a poem by SA Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla, which premiered in March 2014, and in October 2013 she wrote and directed the music video for “A Night in December,” a track composed by Joël Dilley for his new album Lullaby of the Flatlands. In March 2012, Guillermina had a solo exhibition at the Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center, and that same year her mixed media 10-panel piece La Inmigrante was shown at Centro Cultural Aztlan. In March 2011, Guillermina was selected to be one of Luminaria’s featured artists with her video installation I, Me, Light. In June 2010, Guillermina exhibited a piece of her latest series Autumn Triptic [phototransfer on wood] as part of the Mujeres de Aztlan exhibit at the Centro Cultural Aztlan; and in September 2009 she was part of Mujeres de Vision where she showed her experimental video Shanti and a series of ink drawings on paper. In May 2009, Guillermina was invited by San Antonio Museum of Art curator David Rubin to be part of the Waterflow exhibit with the media installation Progress, created with Laura Varela; and in July 2009 her experimental video Recollection was selected to be part of Ars Latina in Havana, Cuba.
In January 2009 Guillermina exhibited the 3-channel installation State of Disunion as part of the All Female Video Review at the UTSA Satellite Space. That same year, Guillermina curated the On Screen at Artpace Film Series; each screening included a short presentation by the artist exploring the major themes in the film that have influenced her practice. Additional exhibits for 2009 include three exhibits in Spain: be Artv (Monzon), Sexto Continente (Barcelona) and Emergent Art (Zaragoza); and El Mundo Zurdo at Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio.
In July, 2008 Guillermina exhibited a photography series and the video installation Volver as part of Fotograma with Martín C. Rodriguez at Galería Ortiz Contemporary; and in April, 2008 the multimedia installation Ready to Wear as part of the exhibit Arte Latina: Roar at Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center. In November 2007, Guillermina did an artist-in-residency in Moenchengladbach, Germany where she, along artists Laura Varela and Vaago Weiland, developed and created three multimedia Día de los Muertos altars and a series of lectures at the Niederrhein University. Also, in 2007 Guillermina showcased several projects: her photos Still Lime I and II as part of the MASA Show at Centro Cultural Aztlan, the photo series No a la Guerra at the gallery Art Attack in Bonn, Germany; the photograph El Flaco (Flaco Jiménez) at UTSA’s Institute of Texas Cultures as part of the exhibit Conjunto; and the videos for Victoria Suescum’s Tremendo Manicure and Andy Benavides’ Somos, created along Laura Varela, at the Museo Alameda del Smithsonian for the museum grand opening on April 12 through June 10. In September, 2006 Guillermina presented a multimedia installation as part of the exhibit Sound Gallery: de Ushuaia a San Antonio at UTSA’s Downtown Art Gallery and the video installation Progress at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.
In November 2005 she exhibited, with Laura Varela, True or False: Video Altar Dedicated to the Muertos of the Iraq War and the documentary Pan de Vida: Bread of Life at the Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center.
Guillermina’s short film The Hot Room premiered at the 2000 Showtime Latino Filmmakers Showcase. Her photo Diesel o Nafta? (Gas or Diesel?) was selected by Formato Digital, an annual Argentine exhibit organized by the La Plata University. Other projects include A Dinky Flavor: A Matter of Existence (writer/director, 16 mm), Copper Women (director, 35 mm) and A Voice From the Edge (writer/director, 16 mm).
As an editor, she worked on numerous projects, including KordaVision (Best Documentary winner of the NY Latino Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film festival and San Francisco Latino Film Festival, among others) and the Bolivian feature film The Most Beautiful of My Very Best Years, which won Best First Feature Film at the 2006 Guadalajara Film Festival.
Presently, Guillermina is in post-production of Juanito’s Lab, a documentary that explores the life of blind musician Juanito Castillo, 23, proficient in 14 instruments.