Fred Zappia

An Artist whose time has come

Zappia Athletic Products is a sporting goods store that everyone knows for their excellent customer service and products.  The business was started by Fred Zappia Sr in the 1940s.  It was originally called Triple Cities Sporting Goods and was located on Washington Avenue in Endicott (the downtown shopping center of the Endicott-Johnson and IBM heydays).  But this story is not about Fred Sr’s successful business but rather about his son Fred Jr and his undying passion for art.

Fred graduated in 1969 from Lehigh University.  “I chose Lehigh because Architecture seemed like a good Major for me.  It was my good fortune to be there right after Lehigh hired Richard Redd, an intellectual art historian.  He became my mentor.”   Fred’s intent was to pursue a Masters degree in Fine Arts but three years later, while taking graduate studies, his father went to Houston Texas for heart surgery. He never fully recovered so Fred was “elected” to run the family business.  “I put my art future on hold for 42 years”

Fred’s work is amazing yet he is someone who is too modest to brag about his talents and how much his work moves those who view it.  “My art is primitive in my estimation because of the 42 year hiatus from the art world and lack of training.  I follow my instincts when I paint.  I paint by feel.  Rarely do I have a preconceived vision of the colors, composition, mood, final result.”  As for how he plans to become known in the art world Fred said  “I try to expose my family, friends and others to my work in the hope of achieving a presence in the art community”.  His family includes his daughter Julie McLean who has an Arts History Masters and is presently employed by the Johnson Museum in NYC an the Smith College Museum in Northhampton MA.  Fred’s work is available to purchase on Etsy.