Arts in the Park returns to Marion

Jul 10, 2021

MARION — The Marion Art Center held its annual Arts in the Park outdoor artisan market on Saturday, July 10 bringing together 40 local artists practicing a wide variety of mediums.

The event also featured live music by Yesterday’s Country, a kids’ craft activity, lunch from the Oxford Creamery food truck, and a raffle that included one item from each artist at the fair.

After having been limited to under 25 vendors last year with no music or activities and social distancing guidelines enforced, the mood was light and inviting this year, bringing out locals and tourists alike.

“We’re loving it,” said Lance and Joni Maliszewski, who said they stumbled across the event while in town visiting family. The couple from Nashville, Tennessee are seven weeks into a four-and-a-half month RV trip they’re taking to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

Jim Soden, a Marion resident, said he and his wife missed the event last year but was happy to be back out socializing in the community again.

“We’ve met lots of friends and neighbors we haven’t seen since the pandemic,” he said.

Vendors too were happy to be out showing their art, though several said they were new to the event.

Ryan Laperle, who makes cutting boards from wood and epoxy resin, said he only moved to Marion recently and was selling at the fair for the first time. Though Marion residents may recognize him as a local on-call Firefighter and EMT.

New Bedford resident Kori Ellis was also a first-timer at the fair. Her booth featured garments hand-dyed with natural, homemade dyes made from things like flowers from her garden and onion skins, a process she has been working on for about a year.

“It started as a hobby,” she said, “but luckily I have a mother-in-law that’s a textile artist.”

Other artists said they’ve been coming to Arts in the Park for years.

James Gallagher, who hand-carves folk art style flying fish, shared a booth with his friend of over 70 years, William Judd, who makes Nantucket lightship baskets. Gallagher said he has been selling his fish at the fair for about 12 years, while Judd has been coming for about five.