“On Taking the Road Less Traveled: The Bill Martz Story,” will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, January 6, at Northumberland Public Library, 7204 Northumberland Highway, Heathsville.
His wife, Theresa Martz, will tell the story at the request of Dolores Daly, who asked Martz and his wife to speak to her home-schooled group after a Martz show some years ago.
The talk inspired the parents as well as the youngsters, said Theresa Martz. After attending Bill Martz’s final show on November 12, Daly asked if the story could be told to the public as she felt it would be encouraging to so many—not just artists— but anyone who has within them the desire to follow a path that is different from one of the majority.
Martz and his wife came to the Northern Neck totally unknown in 1978 with $80 and the seemingly impossible dream of supporting themselves with Martz’s artistic abilities.
In spite of almost insurmountable odds and decades of scarcity, their goal was finally recognized.
Over the years, various Northern Neck publications noted Martz’s “unprecedented popularity” and credited him with bringing to life “the magic that is the land throughout the Northern Neck.”
Honored posthumously in May by the James Monroe chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Martz was credited with doing more to preserve Northern Neck history than any single individual.
Martz was commissioned to create commemorative prints for four Northern Neck counties. With numerous private commissions, Martz recorded well over 135 historic homes. His Chesapeake Bay Watermen print recorded for future generations the watermen during his watch.
Founder of Virginia Waterman’s Association, Doug Jenkins, spoke at the unveiling of that print, noting that “Bill has captured the true watermen in this print and it’s a work that should be cherished and admired by all people.”