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Lena Marquez's passion for art is visible in her wide variety of work

Sunnyside native Lena Marquez will display her talents at the upcoming artist showcase to be held at the CEU Prehistoric Museum Art Gallery in September.

Lena Marquez, is a local girl who grew up in Sunnydale which is now known as Sunnyside. When Marquez was 40 years old she was visiting an artist in her studio. Here she expressed a desire to learn to paint and borrowed a book from the artist. The rest, as they say, was history.

Marquez has been in and out of art books, videos, and classes. Not one to shy away from a project, she experimented with oil paint and watercolor.

Basically self taught, she came to the realization that "if you don't paint you won't learn to." So she began painting continuously.

Very intensely involved with the act of painting, Marquez did not realize at first, the scope of talent, and quantity of paintings that she had.

One day Marquez built up her courage and timidly approached Stacey Himonas of Annastasia's Gift Shop and asked if she would be willing to sell her work there. Himonas saw what Marquez had, and became a great advocate of her work. Himonas kept Marquez busy with requests for more pieces. This was inspiring to Marquez.

The busy artist has dabbled in stained glass, furniture refinishing, creative gardening, and home decorating. She designed her kitchen from scratch and it is in constant artistic change.

Her dining room is her studio, all her tools are out and ready to pick up on a whim. She keeps her art study close at hand so that she can work whenever the feeling arises to create.

"If it is not right there I might wander off and forget what I wanted to paint." And paint she does, even the walls in her home are all hand painted.

Her sense of color and perspective are amazing. A new passion for Marquez is murals. Her friends are currently building their dream home and asked if Marquez would consider doing a mural in their daughters room.

At first, Marquez was hesitant to just paint from scratch on their beautiful new walls. That's when Marquez's husband Tino, ever the instigator, suggested she set up the projector and do it in smaller scale on her dining room/studio wall first. It was a success and gave her the confidence to do it in that dream home.

Ever the experimenter and willing to try new ideas, Marquez would love to be painting full time. With a creative mind that is always churning out new ideas, and a drive that would put a 20 year old to shame, she may just do it.

Marquez's work will be on display in a group exhibit, entitled the Art and Culture of Castle Country. The work will be on display at the CEU Prehistoric Museum Art Gallery.

The show will feature art and folk art from the area and the committee is now seeking artists to be part of the exhibit. Passing down of art through the ages is the theme. Pearl Oliver is guest curator for the three month show which is scheduled to kickoff in October.

Some of the other artists that have already signed up includeJohn Barnett, Max and Vera Finley, Jesse Cook, Mike Ireland, Karen Templeton, Gail Raby, Erica Kardelis, Marie, Dot and Bud Fausett.

"We are looking for art that expresses the many faces and cultural diversity of Carbon and Emery Counties," stated Oliver. The registration deadline is September 13.

The show will include a broad range of art work, including three dimensional art and possibly literary works. Local artists are encouraged to call Pearl Oliver at 637-2770 or the Prehistoric Museum with questions or to receive an application.

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