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August 28, 2012 > Artist reception at Mission Coffee

Artist reception at Mission Coffee

By Jessica Noel Flohr

Inspiration and beauty are often borne out of the difficulties of life. Such was the case for local budding artist, Antoinette Martinez. A child of the '70s, Martinez spent her early childhood years in Pacifica. Today, she divides her time between her work at a professional services company in Los Gatos and furthering her artistic endeavors. During the month of September, Martinez will be featured in an exhibit and special reception at Mission Coffee in Fremont.

Martinez describes her childhood as one filled with days of fishing and hanging out at the beach with friends. The leisurely days changed once the family moved to Hayward when she entered junior high school. Adult life brought its own hardships with the tragic loss of her brother and two job layoffs. Though Martinez loved art as a child and took art classes all through high school, she became world-weary with the devastating losses she experienced. "The light goes out when tragedy hits. You lose your gifts. They're still there, but lying dormant."

Martinez's interest in becoming a professional artist began when she studied Graphic Design at Silicon Valley University. She designed some logos for a few jobs, but then got mired in the details of life, being a mother, and working. At one point she found herself back home, living with her parents after 20 years of being out of the nest. Martinez chose to use this time well, writing regularly in a journal of all the dreams she hoped to accomplish one day.

The light is coming back now for Martinez, who is successfully rebuilding her life. She has experienced a new awakening and is rediscovering her gifts as an artist. That journal list now has many items checked off. One of the most amazing accomplishments for Martinez came in the form of a trip to New York. Martinez entered the Art Takes Times Square competition produced by Artists Wanted, an online professional portfolio site for artists to share their work. Art Takes Times Square drew tens of thousands of artists from all over the world, and Martinez's work was chosen for recognition and is being featured in the publication on the event.

Last fall, Martinez had the privilege of participating in a San Francisco art-based rally, Artists Against Rape, sponsored by San Francisco Women Against Rape. The painting she produced for the rally portrayed a woman who became one with her oppressor, smiling through tragedy, as is sometimes the case when victims feel they must hide their feelings of shame. This work is also being published in a book based on the work of the San Francisco group.

Martinez's work is vibrant and full of life. She says of her art, "What drives me is my love of color and of the world and everything I see." Her strong faith flows as a theme through several of her paintings. She says that she felt an inner impression, the leading of God, guiding her towards painting. Initially trained in watercolors, Martinez has branched out to acrylics and is trying a new technique for the paintings that will be displayed at Mission Coffee throughout September.

A special reception is being held on Sunday, September 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wine, coffee, and music will tempt the taste buds and soothe the soul as participants mingle and meet the artist. Tickets for an auction of one of Martinez's paintings will be available for $5. As art programs in local schools dwindle, community support of local artists becomes more crucial. Come by Mission Coffee and meet a gifted, glowing local artist!

Art of Antoinette Martinez
September 1 - 30
Mon-Fri: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Artist Reception
Sunday, September 9
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mission Coffee
151 Washington Blvd., Fremont
(510) 693-0627

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