March at The Buzz
Marilyn Santiago will have examples of her photography and silk paintings hanging at The Buzz, 128 N. Sequim Ave., during March. For more information, stop by The Buzz during the next three weeks.
by ASHLEY MILLER
for the Sequim Gazette
To Marilyn Santiago, her camera lens is simply a magnifying glass for all the beautiful things she already sees.
Feet. Faces. A fork stabbing into a blueberry waffle. Santiago photographs the images that catch her attention. She’s best known for her photo art cards of flowers and other “oddball” subjects.
“When I look at something, I zone in on a specific part of it,” said Santiago, a Port Angeles artist and registered nurse at Olympic Medical Center. “And then I take pictures of what I see.”
Examples of Santiago’s artwork are on display at The Buzz in Sequim through the end of March. Her photography also has been featured at the Clallam County Fair, Karon’s Frame Shop, The Carnegie Museum and The Itty Bitty Buzz.
In 2003, she won Best in Show for her photo “Potosi Arches.”
In 2010, she was handpicked by the Clallam County Historical Society for its annual benefit, raffling off her photo “Snowy Elwha River.”
Santiago’s passion for photography blossomed after her husband gave her a Pentax when their daughter was about 4 years old in the late 1970s. She’s been taking pictures nonstop ever since, including during 18 overseas missions when she volunteered on as a surgical nurse.
In addition to photography, Santiago has an active interest in painting on silk.
“I love the vibrant colors of the dye and the way the dye flows into one another to create beautiful and realistic art pieces,” she said.
Santiago describes herself as a “serious” genealogist — specializing in newspaper research — a hula dancer with the local group “Na Hula o Wahine I’likea” and a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization International.
During the summer months, Santiago often can be found kayaking and swimming in the lake with her grandchildren. The rest of the time, she enjoys taking art classes and working per diem at the hospital.
No matter the time of day or season of the year, Santiago almost always has her camera in hand, happily snapping photographs of the beautiful people, places and things she encounters.
“I see people taking pictures and then I see how beautiful the pictures are that they take and I can’t help but acknowledge that there are so many photographers who are more talented than I am,” Santiago said. “They just don’t always do anything with their photographs because they don’t realize how beautiful they are.”
“Anybody who likes to take pictures can do what I do,” she said. “Give it a try, print out some cards and stationary — you might be surprised at the interest.”