The Town of Marana is receiving an extra dose of culture this month with the Marana Art Expo.
Hosted by parks and recreation, the expo will feature local artists Robin Parnell, Jerry Gwin and Anja Leigh on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27 at the Marana Community Center, 1325 N. Lon Adams Road.
The family-friendly event is free and open to the public, and will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.
“We’re trying to reach a new group of people,” said Julie Mudd, recreation coordinator for Marana Parks and recreation. “What better way than to utilize the talent from our senior program.”
Along with the art displays, there will also be a poetry reading from Anja Leigh at noon on the Friday the 26th. The artists will have pieces available for purchase as well.
Photography, poetry, theatre, there’s not much in the artistic realm that Leigh can’t do. She was one of the first women photographers to be displayed at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. In her 50s, Leigh decided that one thing she had never done was go to college. So she went back to school, earning a master’s in creative writing. Her poetry has been featured in several journals and her photography has been displayed in galleries throughout Southern Arizona and beyond.
Parnell has been an artist all her life. She said when she was young she would get in trouble at museums for trying to touch the art. Now she creates art that makes the viewer want to do the same.
“What I love is color and texture,” Parnell said. “I like to incorporate natural or everyday things into my art.”
Gwin has been woodworking in Southern Arizona since 1972. Gwin’s Company, The Woodpeckers Custom Woodworking Inc. designed furniture and cabinetry for Tucson Electric Power, Kelly Electric, the University of Arizona and more. Gwin has been active in the community volunteering with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, the Marana Food Bank and The Town of Marana.
Chandler Donald is a University of Arizona journalism student and Tucson Local Media intern.