Since the 1980s, Zachary’s has proudly hosted a pizza art contest. The winning entries decorate the walls of the restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley, San Ramon and Pleasant Hill.
The initial idea to host an art contest came from Zachary’s founder, Barbara Gabel. Shortly after Barbara, and co-founder Zach Zachowski, opened the Solano Avenue Zachary’s in 1984, Barbara considered ways to “create a fun ambiance” and “honor local artists” all while changing the art periodically. Thus, the Zachary’s Pizza Art Contest was born!
According to Barbara, “I wanted local artisans to have a place to show their talent and to have it reflect our company. I also knew that in order for customers to truly see and appreciate the art it had to be huge so I chose to require all entries to be 3′ x 4′.”
As everyone can see as soon as they enter Zachary’s, many local artists have contributed lots of amazing pieces. According to Barbara, “I am always humbled by the time and talent the artists devote to each piece. It’s a reflection of how much they respect Zachary’s.” Please visit our online art gallery to see some examples!
The pizza art contest creates an excited buzz around Zachary’s. Customers routinely share their ideas for a winning piece. The Zachary’s crew members try to sneak a peak of each submission that comes through the doors. Little ones, who have been working so hard on their entries, eagerly hand in their artwork and proudly share their creations with the crew. It’s a special time at Zachary’s.
“A final thing I want to mention is how attached we are to each piece (especially when one of us has the opportunity to meet the artist face-to-face)… There is such a wealth of talent in our area… We deeply appreciate the artists, all of whom are our beloved customers,” writes Barbara. “I never come into the restaurants without scanning the art and smiling at the joy behind it.”