MARTINEZ, CA (Aug. 30, 2023) —The diversity present at the 52nd annual Art in the Park was palpable Sunday at Martinez’s Susana Park as a wide range of art, music and food and libations were on offer, making for a full day of communal fun and fellowship.
The Martinez Art Association (MAA)-sponsored event again drew a crowd in hundreds as organizers were blessed with a palate of near perfect summertime conditions for the gathering.
Artists and artisans with their wares ranging from painting, jewelry and leather goods, ceramics to weaving and cloth fabrics, and photography, printed apparel, and items fashioned from wood and plaster, and so much more, welcomed inquisitive visitors in hopes of enticing just that one more sale.
“Again, Martinez shows how we celebrate our diversity,” said Dorrie Langley, MMA’s current president.
It was actually 54 years ago that the first event was held. And, except for the two recent Covid years when the event underwent an unplanned hiatus, the central park setting has been abuzz with all things Art in the Park every summer.
Bigger and better
Touting the 65 vendors on hand for visitors stroll through and browse, Langley, looking around at all the diversity on offer, was all smiles to see crowds just continuing to come back – making this year bigger and better than ever.
“We as a community celebrate each other,” said Langley. “This community knows how to celebrate.”
The silent auction table, featuring art created and donated by local artists, is the highlight of the event and this year $1,500 was raised. Those proceeds and accepted donations to the “Purge a Tory” reused art supplies giveaway, both go to support the arts in the Martinez Schools. Some funds also go to support the Cathy Riggs Scholarship, named for the MAA’s long-time president who helped found the Martinez Art Gallery, as well as teacher grants.
David Scholz is back in journalism as a freelance writer and photographer after nearly two decades in education. Prior to moving into teaching in 2000, he worked as a full-time journalist since 1988 for rural community and small daily newspapers in Central Ohio and Northern Nevada, and later in California with The Business Journal in Fresno and dailies in the Bay Area, including The Oakland Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle. More recently Scholz also worked in an editing, writing, and page layout role with the Rossmoor News.