Arts in the Park paints profits for small businesses

Jul 10, 2022

MARION – On Saturday, July 9, Bicentennial Park was bustling with people who perused the wares of 45 different vendors

The first hour into the event, Marion resident and ceramics artist Nancy Rolli had already sold all of her large bowls, with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army.

“Pottery is my passion, not my profession,” the sign above her booth read.

Rolli has attended Arts in the Park for three years, taking a few years off during the pandemic, and claims this as her busiest year.

Patrons were able to enjoy the acoustic guitar of Marion local Jon Fernandes, set up on a stage in front of the Marion Art Center. Marion singer-songwriter Richard Lewis would take the stage after Fernandes’ set.

Oxford Creamery set up their ice cream truck by noon, and the Marion Art Center provided free donuts and coffee to earlier patrons.

Many visitors also took the time to stop in the Marion Art Center and view their newest exhibit that opened on July 1, Mary Ross: A Retrospective, featuring decorative floral collages.

“It’s a great turnout,” said the Marion Art Center’s executive director, Jodi Stevens. It was hard to keep track of how many people showed up due to the fact that there was no singular entrance to the park, but it looked busy, she said.

Melanie Ungvarsky, a jewelry artist from Mattapoisett, kept busy with a steady stream of patrons passing by to admire her wares from her small business, Stone that Flows.

Amy Eldridge, a ceramics artist from Falmouth, was a first-time vendor at the event.

“It’s a wonderful, perfect day,” Eldridge said, adding that she hopes to continue to attend in future years. “I think this will become a habit.”

Stevens said the event’s success would not have been possible without the help of more than 20 volunteers from the Marion Art Center, who were setting up at the park by 6 a.m., and would work different shifts throughout the day.

“People are really happy about this event,” Stevens said. “It’s a really fun day.”