New Main Street Arts show illustrates ‘Heroes Around Me’

MARTINEZ, Calif. – A new art exhibit opening this month at Main Street Arts lets students illustrate “Heroes Around me.”

The show is a partnership with the Martinez Council of PTAs, whose PTA Reflections chairperson is Colleen Gianatiempo. She is organizing the show’s Jan. 12 opening reception.

Gianatiempo is a Martinez fine artists, graphic and interior designer, photographer and arts educator who is a volunteer on the Council of PTAs’ Board. She is a 2017 Master of Fine Arts graduate of the Academy of Art University.

Her mural, “Small Town with a Big Heart” in the Main Street Plaza was a collaboration with Dena Betti as a thank you from the Betti family for how residents supported them after the loss of their 14-year-old daughter, Jenna, who died in a train accident in 2014.

Reflections is a national PTA arts program that gives students opportunities to employ their creative talents, and this year’s theme is “Heroes Around Me,” according to the show’s announcement released by Main Street Arts.

Students can submit various types of visual art, photography, literature, music composition, film and dance choreography, and the program’s “special artist” category is for those students who have disabilities.

Beginning at the local level, Reflections lets local PTAs organize school contests, then choose the works that progress to the city level, with the opportunity to advance to state and national levels.

Reflections encourages schools to keep their art programs, and Gianatiempo contends that many who wouldn’t question keeping reading and mathematics in a curriculum may not realize the importance of art and creativity in a child’s development.

“The importance is paramount,” she said in the Main Street Arts announcement.

“Arts and creativity nurture well-being and assist learners in creating connections between subjects. Kids who participate in art programs gain fine and gross motor skills, knowledge of history and culture, develop problem solving abilities and achieve mental wellness through healthy emotional responses,” she said.

The exhibit will open Jan. 11 and continue through Jan. 31 at the Main Street Arts Gallery, 613 Main St.

The opening reception will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 12 at the gallery, and a face painter will be available to paint faces of children during the reception.

Those interested may visit the Main Street Arts website,

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