|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Couple creates art for Miners Hall Museum

  • Art and history go hand in hand, especially for artists Holly Boyd-Martinez and her husband, Antonio Martinez, Phoenix, Ariz.

    When the couple returned to visit her family in Afton, Okla., her brother, Jordan Boyd, Miners Hall Museum intern, couldn’t resist driving them to Franklin to show off the museum.

    • email print
  • Art and history go hand in hand, especially for artists Holly Boyd-Martinez and her husband, Antonio Martinez, Phoenix, Ariz.
    When the couple returned to visit her family in Afton, Okla., her brother, Jordan Boyd, Miners Hall Museum intern, couldn’t resist driving them to Franklin to show off the museum.
    Inspired by what they saw, the couple created works of art that they donated to the museum. The paintings were unveiled during a reception Friday evening for the museum’s supporters and donators.
    “My brother brought me by in August, and we came back in November,” Boyd-Martinez said. “We met with Linda Knoll, who talked about how it would be a great thing to share stories. She shared her play about the Amazon Army, union leader Alexander Howat and how things evolved and changed.”
    Her husband said that, in the beginning, they weren’t sure what they were doing or where it would go.
    “Then we did some research and started doing some sketches,” he said. “We had a good collaboration with Linda.”
    Their paintings were inspired by images from the area’s coal mining heritage.
    “Linda kind of shaped the idea behind this, and certain pictures in the museum stood out to us,” Boyd-Martinez said.
    She created “Outspoken Persistence,” a set of six paintings inspired by the courageous acts of individuals such as Marie Merciez, who volunteered to supply red pepper from her independent grocery store for the women of the Amazon Army to carry during their 1921 protest march; Mary Skubitz, march organizer; and Alexander Howat, president of  United Mine Workers of America District 14. She also included scenes depicting the collective lives of the miners and their families.
    Her husband was taken by a photo of miner Perugia Palazzari, his face black with coal dust, sitting with his lunch bucket. The result was a work in charcoal  Martinez titled “Working for the Man,” with Palazzari’s face with a background showing the environment the coal miners worked in, capturing a moment in time of how the coal industry influenced the people and the environment.
    The work has been placed above the door to the museum’s collection, and Knoll said she believes it will be the defining piece for those entering the museum.
    “Kathryn Lancellotti, Fort Scott, Palazzari’s daughter, was  so moved when ‘Working for the Man’ was unveiled that she burst into tears,” Knoll said.
    The artists kept their paintings secret until the unveiling.
    “Holly wouldn’t even let us see them before the unveiling,” said Susan Boyd, Afton, Okla., her mother.
    She said that her daughter had been drawing since childhood.
    “I have a self-portrait she did when she was 5 that’s amazing,” Boyd said. “One day I grounded her to her room, and she spent the day drawing on her door. It’s still there, I  won’t take it off.”
    Page 2 of 2 - She said that her daughter met her future husband while they were attending Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Both are 2008 graduates of the university with bachelor’s degrees in traditional art and computer graphics.
    “She stood up in class, he had to draw her and they fell in love,” Boyd said. “They rented the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and got married there.”
    Boyd-Martinez is a studio artist who said that, to her, it’s all about the process and problem solving. She describes herself as a color addict.
    Her husband is a studio and graphic artist and also  a web designer. He said that his interest in art also began early with an interest in comic books, which later grew into a fascination with murals and graffiti.
    “We do a wide range of art,” he said.
    Boyd-Martinez said she does more abstract work, while her husband does a lot of portraits, along with mixed media abstract paintings.
    Both are delighted to have their work be part of the Miners  Hall Museum.
    “This is a smaller museum, but it stands out to me because everything has a story,” Boyd-Martinez said.
    “Thank you for letting us be part of this,” her husband said. “We want to give back to the community. It’s a passion for us.”
    Knoll said that the art will shed a little light on the rich and no longer forgotten history of the southeast Kansas coal industry and those who labored in it.
    “This is a gift that I know many generations before us have been waiting for,” added Linda Grilz, chairman of the Miners Hall Museum Board of Trustees.

        calendar