Founded in October 2018 by Jake Prendez & Judy Avitia-Gonzalez, The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery is a multi-use multi-cultural accessible arts gallery grounded in the Chicana/o Latinx arts traditions. We are located on the border of West Seattle and the White Center neighborhood. We host monthly art exhibitions focused on marginalized communities and communities of color. We offer an ever growing gift shop with unique collection of apparel, jewelry, handmade gifts, and amazing works of art by local and national artists. The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery also serves as a community space for events such as arts related lectures and workshops, open mics, and community forums. The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery serves as the Latinx/Chicanx arts hub of Seattle. We strive to provide a welcoming space for community to celebrate cultura
Nepantla is a Nahuatl (Aztec language) term which describes being in the middle or the space in the middle. The term was popularized by Chicana writer/scholar Gloria Anzaldua. Most often the term references endangered communities, cultures or gender who due to colonialism/marginalization or historical trauma, that engage in resistance strategies of survival. Nepantla becomes the alternative space in which to live, heal, function and create.
Our goal is to make art an accessible experience. The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery brings voice to our community, it allows us to share our story to the larger Seattle Community. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Jake Prendez was born in San Jacinto California but raised in Bothell Washington. He returned to California after receiving his Bachelor’s in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington to work on his Master’s in Chicana/o Studies from CSU Northridge.
Jake is a strong advocate for youth empowerment and the power of positive reinforcement. He became involved in gang culture as early as middle school. Later he began to turn things around and became heavily involved the Chicano Movement and orgs like MEChA.
Today, Jake Prendez is a renowned Chicano artist exhibiting his art and lecturing across the country. He is also the owner/ co-director of the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery where he runs the day to day operations and art exhibitions.
His oil paintings and digital artwork are created with a specific focus on themes relating to Chicanx and Indigenous culture, social justice, pop culture, and satire. Jake’s work is an amalgamation of my life experiences. It represents his Chicano background, his life lived back and forth from Los Angeles and Seattle, it represents love and heart break, oppression and resilience, laughter and tears. It’s as if I took all his life experiences, put in a blender and poured out onto canvas.
Judy Avitia-Gonzalez was born in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents. Her family moved to Seattle in the early 90’s and settled in White Center. She attended Highline Public Schools and South Seattle College studying business and health care.
Judy is a mother of 3, raising a son and two daughters in an era of COVID-19. Judy handles the administrative logistics at the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery as well as community outreach and in store purchasing.
Judy hopes the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery will create a welcoming space for community, especially for our youth, something she feels she did not have in this community when she was growing up.