Category Archives: In the news

More media: Chosen as “Woman to Watch”!

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!

Interview with Her Rochester at 1570 Art Gallery

Peggy Martinez

Peggy Martinez  /  Michelle Inclema

Written by
Michelle Inclema

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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

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.”


Stars Among Us

One of the best organizations in my community is “Latinas Unidas“, they truly live up to their mission about empowering women. I proudly served on the Board of Directors for a few years, chaired the “Reconocimiento Awards” in 2008 and have proudly taken part in other events such the East High Iron Chef the first year it was organized. These ladies have been there for me through the ups and downs of life, specially when I chaired the “Reconocimiento Awards” in 2008. This beautiful event   took place in November, one month when after 27 years with a financial institution the recession hit and my position was eliminated. They were there for me and supported me through one of the most difficult times in my life. Expertly led by Daisy Rivera Algarin, she is “Latina Unidas’ and has slowly developed this organization from an idea to one of the best non-profit in our community. I’m thrilled to be featured today in “Stars Among Us” and the launching of their new website, it looks marvelous darlings!

Latinas Unidas networking at Frontier

ps. I’m proudly doing a painting for the next Reconocimiento, more to come…


“Gift Of The Rose” makes front page!

Gates-Chili Messenger Post front page

Thank you to James Battaglia for the wonderful well-written interview! I honestly have a difficult time reading about “me”, I was explaining this to a great woman I admire and is a mentor to me in many ways. She has been in the news and media quite a bit and could relate to what I was saying, she explained to me that it’s humility. I finally, overcame that sensation and read the article. James did such a wonderful job with the interview transforming my vision and words to the community that I’m truly humbled, thank you Jim and the Gates-Chili Messenger Post!



How I made front page!

Gates-Chili Messenger Post front pageSunday I received a telephone call from a friend who informed me that I was on the front cover of the Gates-Chili Messenger Post, a local newspaper! Now, I obviously interviewed with the editor and had photos taken, but being on the front page wasn’t a sure thing. I was also interviewed by “El Mensajero”,  a local bilingual catholic newspaper and “Imagen”, a beautiful color bilingual magazine. I’m grateful for the opportunities to be able to talk about my first solo art exhibit and most important create Asthma Awareness, as the exhibit is dedicated in memory of my beautiful sister who suffered from asthma.

I will admit I had never done a media kit and was quite nervous about creating one. I then came across a wonderful article by Maria Brophy, “How to get Free Press – The Art of the Press Release” and followed her advise. I also purchased “How to be press friendly” by Tara Reed, but have not had the time to read it, I’m sure that it has plenty more tips and I can learn a great deal. I spent an entire day writing my first Media Kit and sent it out to various local newspapers and media sources and then “nothing’! I was disappointed, but I didn’t give up, so I revised the same Media Kit, made a few changes and sent it out again…this time I got three interviews and photo shoots, not bad!


Since the Gates-Chili Messenger post went out this week, I have received emails and phone calls for demonstration and group talks! I know I have a lot more to learn about the media but I’m glad I didn’t give up, it gives me more encouragement to talk to more people about asthma management specially in the Latino community and following your passion and heart!

Although mine wasn’t perfect, I did the following:

  • I created 2 pages; one with images, contact information and title of the exhibit. For the  second page, I tried to keep the most important details to one-page, more than one and you’ll probably lose the editor.
  • My second page: was to point, a good headline (very important), what the exhibit was about, why I was doing the exhibit, since it involves asthma awareness, I included research statistics. Followed by date, time and place.
  • Most important advise- make every word count!
  • Be persistent, learn more and never give up!

Thank you Annette, Diana, Jim and Maria for helping me in more ways than you can imagine.

In The News: “Imagen” Magazine

Thank you Diana Chapoy from Imagen for a great interview and helping me share my story, art and asthma awareness with the latino community in Rochester!

Arte con causa

Publicado por  | Publicado en July 18, 2012

Peggy Martínez presenta su primera exposición plástica, bajo el título “Gift of the Rose”, a beneficio de los niños con asma

Por: Miriam González Gutiérrez

Peggy Martínez recuerda cómo su hermana Margie luchó toda la vida contra el asma, con la esperanza de que algún día superaría esa enfermedad crónica, pero no lo hizo. “Trataron de todo, desde trasladarse a un clima más cálido, recetas caseras, innumerables tratamientos de alergias y medicamentos. Estaba harta de estar enferma”. Hasta que los 33 años sucumbió, dejando a dos niños pequeños (ahora de 20 y 26 años).

Ahora Peggy encontró en el arte no sólo una forma de expresarse, sino también de recordar a su hermana y de hacer algo por la gente que, como Margie, lucha día a día contra el asma. A propósito de su primera exposición individual “Gift of the Rose” (en español “Regalo de la Rosa”), Imagen NY platicó con la artista nacida en Rochester, pero de raíces boricuas. La muestra pictórica se presenta en la Galería 1570, en el 1570 East Avenue, en horario de 9 de la mañana a 5 de la tarde.

Más allá del arte Peggy explica con preocupación, que “aproximadamente uno de cada diez niños en edad preescolar son diagnosticados con asma”. Señala que “el asma es la principal causa de visitas al a urgencias en el hospital y de ausentismo escolar”. “La tasa de asma entre los puertorriqueños es 113 por ciento mayor que en los blancos y un 50 por ciento mayor que en las personas de color. La prevalencia de los ataques de asma es mayor entre los puertorriqueños”, confirma. Por eso, Peggy Martínez anima a la comunidad “a ser conscientes del hecho de que los hispanos tenemos una tasa muy alta de asma, y que hay maneras de controlarla y muchos recursos disponibles aquí en Rochester, como el Mary Park Center. Nosotros los puertorriqueños hemos aceptado el asma, casi como un resfriado común”. Dice que al presentar “Gift of the Rose” tiene un doble objetivo: “Crear conciencia y recaudar fondos para el Centro de Asma Pediátrica. En mi exhibición de arte, los fondos de uno de los cuadros serán donados al Hospital de Niños Golisano, para apoyar el programa de asma pediátrica”.

Tiene un blog titulado al igual que su exposición, en el que invita a la comunidad a compartir historias y poemas sobre los colores, los significados o todo lo relacionado con las rosas. “Mi objetivo final es publicar un libro con la recopilación de cuentos y poemas, junto con mi obra de arte y donar las ganancias de las ventas del libro”. Los cuentos o poemas se pueden compartir en el blog: http://www.giftoftherose. com.

Su pasión Peggy Martínez recuerda que empezó a dibujar desde muy niña, pero ya a pintar en formar cuando estaba en la universidad. Después de graduarse, se dedicó a su carrera en los bancos y a criar a sus dos hijas como madre soltera. “Encontré mi pasión otra vez hace 14 años y la retomé, asistiendo a clases de educación para adultos, con libros de la biblioteca, me uní a un club de arte y muchos talleres más”. Revela que con sus obras trata de expresar su punto de vista sobre la belleza de la naturaleza, en concreto de las flores, “yo quiero que los espectadores casi tengan la oportunidad de oler las flores”. Concluye que para ella, el arte visual se define como “una pasión para crear y transpirar lo que imaginas en un lienzo. Y agrega: “si puedes imaginarte trabajando en lo que amas hacer, eso es lo que significa para mí ser un artista visual”.

In The News: “El Mensajero”

Thank you Annette Jimenez for giving me the opportunity to share my story and raise asthma awareness!

Artist strives to helps others breathe easier

Artist strives to helps others breathe easier

By Annette Jiménez/EMC

When Peggy Martínez was a young girl, she noted how her sister was allergic to everything.

Doctors here diagnosed her sister, Margarita Martínez, with asthma and recommended that her parents move the family back to their native Puerto Rico to help her breathe better. Asthma is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs, and allergies can exacerbate the condition, Martínez explained.

They lived on the island for 10 years and then returned to live in Rochester, she said.

“The heat (of Puerto Rico) made it worse. She never outgrew it,” Martínez said of her sister’s asthma.

In fact, Margarita Martínez lost her battle with asthma in 1999 at age 33, leaving behind two young children.

To honor her sister and raise awareness of the prevalence of asthma in the Latino community, Martínez has created an art exhibit and blog, both titled “The Gift of the Rose.” Her sister loved roses, she noted.

Martínez, who previously had worked nearly three decades in banking, took time off about a year ago to pursue her art, which has been her passion since she was young. The life change also gave her the chance to do something meaningful with her art, she added.

“I always wanted to do something in her memory,” Martínez said of her sister. “This was the perfect opportunity.”

As part of the project, Martínez also held two painting demonstrations prior to an opening reception on July 13. All proceeds from the sale of the paintings — which feature roses in red, yellow, pink and green hues — will benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. If the blog produces enough stories and photos for a book, Martínez said that she will donate those proceeds to benefit Golisano’s pediatric asthma unit.

Martínez worked on three paintings at a time in her home studio in Chili during most of June to prepare for the exhibit, which will be held at the art gallery at the Box Factory in Fairport.

“I’m just so happy … being able to paint without distractions,” she said. “This has stretched my skills to boundaries I never thought possible. … That is one message I would send out: Follow your passion.”

Martínez’s project shows her commitment to improving the community, said Daisy Rivera-Algarin, president of Latinas Unidas. Martínez is a longtime member of the organization.

“Whenever I see one of our members, especially a former board member, branch out and pursue her dreams, I immediately think of our mission: Latinas Unidas fosters opportunities that will promote unity, cultural identity and the presence of the Latina woman in the community,” Rivera-Algarin wrote in an e-mail. “Peggy embodies our mission to the fullest.”

Any kind of increased awareness of asthma triggers and the tools available to manage the condition are beneficial to the entire community, but especially ethnic populations living in urban environments who are exposed to many environmental asthma triggers, noted Jan Schriefer, as assistant professor of pediatrics at URMC.

“They have the disadvantage of being in a lower socioeconomic situation,” she said. “It hits (these families) much harder.”

Hispanic children with asthma are hospitalized twice as often as white, non-Latino children, according to an Environmental Protection Agency study at Asthma rates in general have increased worldwide and skyrocketed 75 percent in the United States from 1985 to 1994, affecting more than 6.5 million children, the report states.

And Puerto Ricans disproportionately suffer from higher rates of asthma than any other ethnic group, with 12.8 percent of adults and 18.4 percent of children diagnosed as compared to 8.2 percent of white children and 14.6 of African-American children, according to a report at

“Some children may inherit a tendency to develop asthma,” states the Environmental Protection Agency’s report. “Racial and ethnic differences in the burden of asthma may be related to social and economic status, access to health care, and exposure to environmental triggers.”

Exposure to secondhand smoke in a household is one of the biggest triggers for children or adults with asthma, Schriefer said. Other environmental triggers include dust mites, mold and cockroaches, she added.

Through a program called “Breath of Hope,” URMC partners with such community agencies as the American Lung Association, the Jordan Health Center and the Rochester Community Asthma Network of the Finger Lakes to educate families and help them reduce those triggers, she added. The program also works with schools to disseminate information about how to manage asthma and resources families can turn to for help, Schriefer said.

Reducing secondhand smoke in a home is one of the program’s primary goals, she said. Many pediatricians who participate in the Breath of Hope program have referred parents and grandparents to a quit smoking hotline run in conjunction with the state, Schriefer said.

“It’s been really rewarding,” she remarked. “I’ve had a lot of pediatricians say that the parents or guardians have been able to stop smoking, and it has really improved the children’s asthma. Of course, it improves the caregiver’s health as well.”

Martínez said that she has dealt with the challenges of addressing asthma triggers when her now 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed about a year ago. She had just carpeted her entire house and had to rip it all out as well as get rid of stuffed animals, which collect dust, Martínez said.

“She’s getting a lot better,” she said of her youngest child. “These are the little things you can do to make them breathe better.”

Other family members including her mom and another sister also suffer from various types of asthma, which can vary from mild to severe, Martínez said. They also were another catalyst for creating the “Gift of the Rose” project, she added.

She hopes more Latinos learn about the many asthma resources available to them, which in addition to Golisano’s programs include the Mary Parkes Asthma Center in Henrietta, Martínez said. The center has been a great help to her older sister, Linda Santana, in managing her asthma medications, Martínez added.

“My focus is … if I can make a child’s life easier,” she noted.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information about Peggy Martínez’s exhibit and asthma initiative, visit

Artist Spotlight by Dynasty Brush

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Karyn Meyr-Berthel, a writer for Dynasty Brush and Ampersand Art Supply, here is the wonderful post where you can learn more about me. Looking forward to questions!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Peggy Martinez

Gratitude Pink Rose, in oil
“I have found my strength emerges in my art through my love for painting nature’s garden. The beauty and grace of flowers are never ending and sustain my imagination with an infinite resource of inspiration.” ~Peggy Martinez
Painter Peggy Martinez was brought up in central New York and Puerto Rico, finding her passion for painting emerge during her full-time career in banking.  Learning from books, attending workshops, and practicing her skills has honed Peggy into a gifted floral artist and instructor.  Though it wasn’t until other artists started asking Peggy to teach her own workshops that she realized it was time to give herself the title of professional artist.
Quality materials, or lack thereof, has been a recurring theme in Peggy’s journey.  She has found through numerous channels that using poor quality art materials will make painting into a struggle rather than a joy.

Iris, in watercolor

Peggy began her work in watercolors as a way to have more social interaction, yet found it to be a frustrating experience due to poor materials.  But, she stuck with it, seeing the potential of the medium and began taking workshops, reading books and studying other artists. Her hard work paid off.  Recently, Peggy’s practice has been focused on the basic foundations of color, value, composition, and design in order to improve her practice with the tools at hand– both brushes and a limited palette.  “A good brush will literally paint itself and you will rediscover the joy of painting,” she explains.
Her inspiration comes from the flowers and gardens around her, connecting the life of a person with the journey of a flower.  Finding that flowers mimic human events, like life, survival, motherhood and death, Peggy pursues painting the exquisite folds and curves of florals in both watercolor and sometimes oils or acrylics.  She finds high quality brushes for her work, using separate brushes for each medium, and even some mop goat hair for clean water washes only.  Finding that many brushes are suited best for individual types of mediums, Peggy has noticed that acrylics are hard on brushes and that her oil brushes do well with walnut oil as a medium and cleaner.  Keeping them clean is essential for helping them last and for getting clean color in each use.  She uses a heavy duty laundry bar soap, Fels-Naptha, for cleaning brushes, sharing that it also smells great and is good for the skin.

Tenderness Yellow Rose, in oil

Peggy’s upcoming exhibition, Gift of the Rose, is her first solo exhibition, dedicated to creating awareness of Asthma and in memory of her sister, Margarita Martinez, who lost her life to the disease.  The exhibition is at the 1570 Art Gallery in Rochester will run from June 29-August 24, 2012.

To see more of Peggy’s work, check out her website at:
Keep Painting,
For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.


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