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Marty Robbins Recreation Center hosts Valentine’s Day Arts & Crafts Fair

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Marty Robbins Recreation Center hosts Valentine’s Day Arts & Crafts Fair

Jaqueline Martinez, Contributer

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El Paso Parks and Recreation hosted a Valentine’s Day Arts and Crafts Fair Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Marty Robbins Recreation Center.

The market consisted of 10 different vendors that provided a variety of homemade gifts and crafts. The vendors each took the time and used specific skills to make unique gifts for loved ones for  Valentine’s Day.

Nuvia Espinoza, a recreation specialist for Marty Robbins Recreation Center, hosted a variety of events in 2018 that have united the community with different holiday-based markets at various recreation centers in the city.

Lluvia Espinoza set up her business “K & A Innovations” at the market for Valentine’s Day.

“I’ve had this little business for a little over a year. Its barely starting; it’s getting there,” Lluvia Espinoza said. “We do any type of bouquet, floral or candy bouquets and make giant personalized balloons. We make acrylic tags, customized tumblers and stuff like that.”

Many of the local artists and handcrafters at the fair are retired and or have dedicated their time in creating, intricate, handmade items, from jewelry, customized bouquets, crocheting and portraits.

Local fairs, like the Valentine’s Day Arts and Crafts Fair, provide local artists an opportunity to be recognized throughout the city by sharing their work with the community and offering unique items that most wouldn’t normally find at stores.

I think there is a passion that you lose with store-bought items. They’re just hand-cranking stuff out. Craftsmanship is pretty much at the all-time low and they’re trading craftsmanship for money now,” said Esteban Chavez, leather artist.  “It’s not the fact that things are worth anything no more, now they’re just marketing stuff to people to buy.”

Chavez combines leather with repurposed jewelry and beads that he finds at flea markets to create earrings.

“ I live in a slide-in truck camper, so all I do is do crafts and travel,” Chavez said. “I’ve done leather for 12 years, so this whole kind of concept is just trying to find the beauty in the simple things. There’s kind of a primitive way that we’ve all gotten away from and we need to get back to.”

After 25 years of teaching, Bertha Schattschneider now dedicates her time to making jewelry.

“I used to teach at St. Joseph’s School, 5th grade, and that’s how I started with beads. I used to make alphabet bracelets for the kids at fairs, and they liked it. After a while I went to the Tucson Gem fair and bought the real gems there,” Schattschneider said.

Martha Quesada’s table consisted of “scratch-art” aluminum portraits of artists like Frida Kahlo and reproductions of works by Diego Rivera.

“Scratch art is made on aluminum. Its scratched on using different blades of different sizes and in each portrait depending on the drawing. It can take from three to four months on each one,” Quesada said.

Many of these hand-craft artists were first timers at the Marty Robbins while others have been in the business for a few years now. They can be found in local arts and crafts markets around the city and will participate in future Marty Robbins Recreation center events under the El Paso Parks and Recreation Department.

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Marty Robbins Recreation Center hosts Valentine’s Day Arts & Crafts Fair