‘Art in the Park’ showcases crafts in pleasant atmosphere

ARLINGTON — The Arlington Art Council's ninth annual "Art in the Park" event Sept. 10 offered visitors to Legion Park an opportunity to beat the heat, as the summer's weather stuck around for early fall.

ARLINGTON — The Arlington Art Council’s ninth annual “Art in the Park” event Sept. 10 offered visitors to Legion Park an opportunity to beat the heat, as the summer’s weather stuck around for early fall.

“It’s my first time at this art show,” said Kathy Stanford, an Arlingtonian who purchased photographs from event coordinator Roberta Baker. “I’m usually out of town this time of year. I’m having a ball.”

Stanford was seeking to decorate her reading room and guest bedroom. Having recently visited Bandon, Ore., she appreciated Baker’s landscape shots of that area.

“Everyone likes seeing Northwest scenery and the water, although the Southwest is popular as well,” Baker said, when asked which of her photos were most in demand. “Folks go for a variety of images.”

Baker estimated that about half of this year’s vendors came from outside the existing membership of the arts council, which is an increase from previous years.

“Our foot traffic was a little slow during the first half-hour, but then it picked right up,” Baker said.

Among the new vendors was Rosa Armendariz of Marysville, who handcrafts papier-mâché floral arrangements, as well as jewelry out of sculpted clay.

“It’s a traditional form of art in Mexico,” said Armendariz, who learned the craft in her homeland from her mother more than 30 years ago. “I like creating the fine details. It allows me to express myself. It’s like therapy for me.”

Donna Aney of Everett is a veteran of the Arlington Street Fair and the Marysville Homegrown Festival, but this marked her first time as a vendor in Legion Park.

Aney bought her first spoon bracelet half a dozen years ago, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that she followed in the footsteps of her artisan sisters by making silverware jewelry of her own.

“I do custom jobs for other people, but I’m also searching for flatware for myself,” Aney said. “You can’t really find the quality you need in just regular stores. You have to raid the thrift and antique shops. There’s a lot of patterns that I like in those old pieces that I’ll probably never come across.”

Aney appreciates that silverware jewelry allows people to wear what might have been family heirlooms. She was also pleased by the brisk business she was able to do in Legion Park.

“I’ve had several sales,” Aney said. “I go down to Arizona every once in a while, and the arts and crafts fairs they’d had have been horrendous for me as a vendor. Here, you have nice music and everything is so pleasant. I wish all the fairs were like this.”