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Erin Boley has found a way to combine her love of art and her desire to serve the community.
Boley, a sophomore at Elizabethtown High School, shares her artistic talents with elementary students attending the Panther Place after-school care program in Elizabethtown Independent Schools.
She runs an art club for fourth- and fifth-grade students in the program.
Boley has loved to draw since she was young. She recalls copying pictures out of books at her grandmother’s house.
“Art is just always something I’ve loved and been interested in,” she said.
It was when she took an art class in middle school that she recognized she had a talent for the craft.
“I realized the more I did it the better I got,” she said.
Boley began working with the art club at Panther Place last fall. The partnership was formed through the district’s gifted and talented program.
Boley instructs students in art history and in different mediums. The students choose to be in the club, and Boley said it’s enjoyable to work with kids who share a similar passion for visual arts.
Panther Place Director Kathy Francis said the students enjoy working with high school volunteers.
“They definitely respond well to them,” Francis said.
Francis said Boley is an asset to the after-school program.
“She’s very good and she’s very mature,” she said.
Art is not Boley’s only passion. She plays basketball as well, which competes heavily with drawing for her time.
“Basketball is a huge part of my life,” she said.
Being both artistic and athletic “makes me different,” Boley said, and she’s never wanted to give up one for the other.
“They’ve always just been both something that I’m really interested in,” she said.
Amid her practice scheduled, she makes time for the art club because she wants to give back to the community.
“Whenever I started (the club), I just realized how much I cared about it,” she said.
It’s a challenge to find time to continue to improve her skills, but the ability to create isn’t something she can abandon.
“I just love being able to come up with new ideas and new ways to interpret things,” she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or email@example.com.
Favorite film: "Love and Basketball"
Favorite band: Maroon 5
Favorite artist: Raphael
Favorite artistic style: Impressionism