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Artful expression

November 23, 1999






What: 13th annual Christmas show and sale

When: To Wednesday, Dec. 22; Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. There will be a gourmet bake sale Friday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A raffle for a full-size rosemary standard from Paisley Herb Gardens also will be offered.

Where: Boarman Arts Center, 208 S. Queen St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

Details: The center will be open Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving. There is no admission charge.

For information: 1-304-263-0224.

Related story:

Boarman Arts Center's 13th annual Christmas show and sale


By MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

A passion for making the arts accessible to the community fuels Patricia Perez in her position as executive director of Boarman Arts Center.

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A former manager and buyer at The Village Finery in Shepherdstown, W.Va., she is particularly interested in introducing children to the arts.

cont. from lifestyle

Perez says kids who have a solid, good-quality arts component in their curriculum do better in school.

"It gives them a voice" without being judged, Perez says. Young people have access to so much information, she says, and art gives them an arena through which to share it.

Art also is a vital component in community development, she says. Perez says parental involvement in budding artists' lives is important and can help get the community involved in children's lives.

Perez says her oldest daughter is proof of the benefits of art. She has a learning disability and struggled with traditional academics but found her niche in the arts. Now she is doing graduate studies in art education.

"We saw how vital it is for young people to express themselves," Perez says.

The Boarman, in downtown Martinsburg, W.Va., offers after-school programs for children. They are taught by interns from Shepherd College. The center is hoping to borrow space in the area so more young people can participate, Perez says.

A young artists' summer program is offered each year, and another is expected to be offered in the spring, Perez says. The center also sponsors Youth Art Month each year in March with Berkeley County Schools.

Perez became Boarman's executive director in May.

Before establishing herself in a career in the arts, Perez was busy raising her five children, who range in age from 12 to 26, and volunteering in various organizations.

"They (my children) finally grew up, and it was time to do something creative," says Perez, 47, of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va.

She majored in marketing and minored in art at Marymount College, now Marymount University in Arlington, Va. She took additional art courses at Monterey College in Monterey, Calif.

The Boarman position just seemed to fit, says Perez, who during a recent interview was stringing lights on a Christmas tree, taking phone calls and helping artists bring their works in for the center's 13th annual Christmas show and sale.

"All of this chaos is a very comfortable place for me," she says.

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