… the very happy Ms. Perin McNelis, a Patagonia resident and familiar face to patrons of the Borderlands Restoration Native Plants program. Thanks to the generosity of local artist Bob Bergier, his original acrylic “Sonoita Creek” will find a place of honor in the to-be-built home of Perin’s dreams.
Interested in the backstory that led to her lucky day? It began in the spring of 2022 when the Museum collaborated with the Patagonia Creative Arts Association to display Bob’s work as a featured “Artist-in-Residence”.
As a Museum board member and a 4th generation Patagonian, Bergier’s interest in the community led him to offer a painting to be raffled off as a fundraiser for the Museum’s student docent scholarship program. Needless to say, our answer was a resounding “YES, PLEASE”.
Ticket sales began at the grand opening of the show on April 22nd and culminated with the drawing on June 3rd. It’s obvious from the smile on her face that Perin was thrilled, not only with the painting but, as she commented, with the opportunity to support a program that benefits the youth of our community.
The Museum Board deeply appreciates Bergier’s donation as well as the support coming from the many members of our community who purchased raffle tickets throughout the month. Those contributions will replenish our scholarship fund which was diminished due to a lack of fundraising opportunities during the pandemic years.
The scholarship program, which was started by Tom and Linda Shore, is in its fourth year with Nick Dekhtyar and Elizabeth Urias currently serving in the student docent role. Prior scholarship recipients include Patagonia High School graduates Gianna Martin, Hannah Young, Brianna Young and Carolina Quiroz.