I’m thrilled to be in todays’ Democrat and Chronicle under “Her Rochester” were I was chosen as “Woman to Watch”! Great piece, thank you Annette and Michelle for the opportunity to share my vision for Asthma Awareness and my beautiful art!
Peggy Martinez / Michelle Inclema
When Peggy Martinez, 51, of Chili, decided to leave her 29-year career in banking to pursue artistic dreams, she had two goals in mind: to present a solo exhibit and to have her art published in American Art Collector Magazine.
“It’s like Sports Illustrated for artists,” says Martinez, who accomplished her goals in two years with no previous background in the art world.
In May, an oil painting of a yellow rose and bud titled Tenderness, was featured in American Art Collector. Then, she led her first solo exhibit at the 1570 Gallery on East Avenue. The exhibit, called “Gift of the Rose,” debuted in June and ran through Aug. 24.
“I love to paint flowers; I see parallels between the flower and the bud and a mother and child,” says Martinez, “It’s about nurturing.”
She also wanted to honor her sister, Margarita ‘Margie’ Martinez, who died at age 33 from complications of chronic asthma, leaving two young children behind, now 20 and 26. Drawing inspiration from a photograph of Margie surrounded by roses, Martinez decided to focus on rose varieties for her exhibit, and collaborated with Golisano Children’s Hospital to benefit pediatric asthma support.
“One in 10 preschool children will be diagnosed with asthma,” says Martinez, who notes that about 3 million Hispanics in the United States have asthma. Of these, the majority are Puerto Rican, and many members of the artist’s family are affected, including her 9-year-old daughter, Rebecca.
She also plans to publish a book of prints from the exhibit alongside stories and poems from the community about the meaning of the rose. She is still seeking submissions and plans to donate all proceeds.
To view artwork or submit a story, go to giftoftherose.com.
Martinez has also been commissioned by Latinas Unidas to create a painting in honor of the group’s Reconocimiento Awards, which recognize local Latina women. The painting will be unveiled at the awards luncheon on Nov. 2. and a limited number of prints will be available for sale.
Personal: Age 51, of Chili, married with three daughters (Francesca, 28; Jasmine, 25; Rebecca, 9), and one grandson, Xavier, 7.
Community activities: I support Latinas Unidas, they live up to their mission of empowering Latinas; they are my sisters that have supported me through the ups and downs.
My favorite thing to do in Rochester: Visit and paint local gardens.
Biggest challenge I’ve overcome and how I did it: Learning how to maneuver through computers. … I challenged myself to learn the most I can, I’ve come a very long way including creating a website, a blog, and I love social media!
One thing I’ve always wanted to do but never have: Paint in Tuscany.
If I could change one thing about myself it would be: Stay focused! I have a creative mind and it doesn’t stop.
The talent I would most like to have: Be a great writer.
The one thing I can’t live without: Coffee and art supplies.
My favorite movie: Dances with Wolves.
One of my favorite sayings is: “Keep doing the same things, you keep getting the same results.”