Orange County Communications Division

FusionFest Art Winner Sculpts Success from Diversity

Orange County, Fla. – Interdisciplinary artist Mär Martinez earned a big win at this year’s FusionFest, receiving the $1,000 grand prize in the event’s Visual Art competition. A panel of expert judges named Martinez’s sculptural paintings the best artworks on display at the two-day festival, which took place in downtown Orlando November 30 and December 1, 2019.

FusionFest is a yearly showcase of what makes varying local heritages unique and why cultural diversity makes our community stronger. It is a project of the Downtown Arts District, with support from Orange County Government, the Orlando Downtown Development Board and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

An artist of both Syrian and Cuban background, Martinez chose to explore the pressures faced by Arab women in her award-winning entries, the oil-on-wood Aboudaken and the acrylic-on-canvas Teta.

“My work explores systematic power dynamics that breed dominance and aggression based on gender, ethnicity and sexual identity within our society,” explained Martinez. “Historically, it’s been difficult for women, especially minority women, to access autonomy and freedom of expression within both Western and Middle Eastern cultures.

For Martinez, originally from New Mexico, the event showcased a unique blend of cultural variety and artistic opportunity.

Example of artwork from winning artist at FusionFest

“This region values diversity,” she asserted. “FusionFest is a prime example of the desire to open a dialogue where all voices can exist within the conversation. There were a lot of extremely talented artists representing their heritage, and I’m proud to have participated.”

Approximately 15,000 people attended the second annual festival; the third one is scheduled for November 28 and 29, 2020.

To see more of Martinez’s work, visit or follow her on Instagram: @meatvoid. For media inquiries, contact Terry Olson, director of Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs, or 407-836-5540; or Thali Sugisawa, Business Maven, FusionFest at or 407-574-1312


About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.

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