Tonia Marynell: Arts and Animal Advocate

Jonathan Jackson’s cover story in this month’s Sandersville Scene is a tribute to Tonia Marynell, a passionate voice for the arts and for animal rights.

I met Tonia Marynell via email a few years ago. She & I finally saw each other face to face in Augusta about a year & a half ago when she made a presentation about her equine art. And, since then, I’ve followed her on Facebook, and often via email. I have learned from Tonia that anything is possible if you want it enough.

Tonia lives deep in kaolin country. She’s leading a grassroots movement to persuade the Sandersville City Council and the Washington County Commission to transform the old school building into a cultural arts center. And she’s bringing resources together so that these leaders can see what other rural communities have done; and, the benefits they enjoy. Her next challenge is to persuade local businesses and other artists that they need to organize as partners to governmental agencies and explore the possibilities… art classes, theater performances, a satellite campus for a college, culinary expos, and special events…

Some of Tonia’s role models may well be the subject of a 2004 book – Buck’s Heroes – she illustrated. Buck’s Heroes tells the story of the dogs used by US military forces during the Vietnam war. They gave all they could so that their handlers and those for whom they served had the opportunity for better lives.

5 thoughts on “Tonia Marynell: Arts and Animal Advocate

  1. Tonia is my art teacher; she’s a wonder! In addition
    to being a beautiful person, she’s very dedicated to
    her students & always ready with a compliment where one is due, & always ready to assist when one needs help. Very few of us had ever drawn
    with pencil before her class, some had never painted
    either, but we now have art hanging in our local
    Fox’s Coffee Den & are receiving rave reviews. She
    has exposed us to so many venues to display our
    art & she’s always networking in our behalf. It’s amazing to us that she’s brought us so far so fast….the class will be a year old in March. Tonia
    is a fantastic artist & cares deeply for her students;
    she deserves any praise that’s given. Thank you for
    spotlighting her this way.

  2. Tonia Marynell is my sister and I am very proud of her. She is outspoken in her beliefs and very passionate about those beliefs. She received her first commission when she was in high school for $500 and has painted ever since. Her love of horses is well known. She is the visual artist in the family and I am the performing artist. She really keeps up with the arts in this state and emails me about events and websites that could help me. Buck’s Heroes is a beautifully illustrated book. I am glad that she is teaching others how to not only paint, but to appreciate the art around them.

  3. I have said it before and, I’ll say it again…it is an honor to know Tonia Marynell! She is an absolutely incredible artist and, person. Her passions, as well as her talents, are self evident. What an incredible and truly beautiful person she is!

  4. I am also one of Tonia’s art students. These last few months I have learned so much about art and have marveled at Tonia’s passion for animals. I knew all of the Marynell girls and graduated from high school with Cheryl. This family has always impressed me with their zeal for the arts. Their father really made an impression on me in the 8th grade. Tonia’s enthusiasm for promoting the arts comes from a long heritage. I for one hope that the city and county can come to some agreement to help in getting a cultural arts center so that more people can enjoy our aspiring artists’ work.

  5. Tonia is forward thinking and dedicating herself to creating an arts center that will serve the art needs of the community for many years to come.

    She is willing to give her time, talent and energy to making art available to a wider segment of the local citizens. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and look forward to working with her for many years in the future.

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