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Sunday Brings Art To City Park
Local artist Carol Earle paints a picture of two butterflies on a flower. She based this painting on a photograph she brought with her to the Sunday in the Park art event in Escalon. - photo by Chris Hunter/The Times

Sunny skies and warm summer temperatures on Sunday, Aug. 10 provided the canvas as Escalon had its ‘Sunday in the Park’ event. This month many local artists were featured, there was live music, and there was free ice cream.

Some of the artists featured were: John R. Lenhart, Carol Earle, Corrie Davis, Randy Johnson, Jennifer Machado, and Jim Christiansen. They are members of the Oak Valley Art Society, which has its monthly meetings in Escalon, in addition to a twice-yearly art show staged at the Escalon library.

The monthly gatherings in the park, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, have included a variety of themes over the past few months and are geared toward bringing people downtown to enjoy the festivities and support local businesses and service organizations.

Artists this month had their work on display and also had some for sale.

J.R. Lenhart is retired but has pursued art as a hobby for the past 50 years. Lenhart sells original paintings as well as copies of his paintings. Of his art Lenhart said, “It can be really frustrating, so I’ll just pursue art as a hobby not a career.”

Carol Earle has been a prominent teacher in the area since 1988 and started painting in the ‘70s. Earle has taken honors, including a Best of Show at the Stanislaus County Fair. She does weekly art classes in Oakdale for kids. Contact Earle at 209-380-6288 for questions about her classes.

Corrie Davis started painting 30 years ago as a hobby while she ran a farm with two of her sons and their wives. Davis won a Best of Show award in 2007 at the Mariposa County Fair. Davis does commission work, and has sold ten paintings this year.

Randy Johnson has done art all his life, but started selling his work four years ago. Johnson sells his work for reasonable prices at small venues only. Johnson uses everything he can find, even broken tea cups, in order to make art.

Jennifer Machado is a comedian, and also started doing art in 2009. She won an award at the Delicato Vineyards Spring show, and has recently sold a painting of the Gallo Center.

Jim Christiansen has done art all his life, he was a professional poster maker at 14, and went to his first live drawing class at the same age. Christiansen does life drawing programs at Modesto Junior College, as well some workshops on drawing cartoons, the next one being in November.

Christiansen said of the Sunday in the Park event, “We have 500 to 600 working artists in the area, so it’s nice to have community events like this to make them known.”

Paparazzi, a company that sells home-made jewelry, also had a representative at the event while Miss Inspirational of this year’s 2014 Miss Escalon pageant, Julianna Antonacci, also made an appearance. Face painter Sonya Huff also went to the event to enjoy the art as well as to paint faces.

Organizers have not yet chosen a theme for the September Sunday in the Park, but said they will announce it soon.