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Getting To Know ...

Springfield resident Marni Maree is a fixture on the local arts scene, through her involvement with the Loft Gallery, the Springfield Art Guild and the Arts Council of Fairfax County and many other organizations. She has lived in the area for over 20 years, and she is this week's People Profile.

Years in the community:

I'm originally from Philadelphia, but I lived in Alexandria for one year, Burke for five years, and now Springfield for 15 years.

Family:

My husband, Ron, and I have been married 21 years. We have three children: Paul, 20, attends Savannah College of Art and Design; Patrice, 18, attends Roanoke College; and Sean, 16, attends West Springfield High School.

Education:

I have a bachelor of fine arts degree from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia.

Current job:

I consider my primary job to be a mom, the hardest but best job there is. I also paint watercolors to exhibit and sell at the Loft Gallery and other venues. I also do commissioned artwork.

Achievements:

* I have been able to paint while raising a family!

* I painted a panda for the 2004 Pandamania Project, in Washington, D.C.

* I have been a member of the Loft Gallery for seven years.

* I was president of Springfield Art Guild for three years.

* I finally learned how to create and maintain my own Web site at www.marnimaree.com.

Activities/interests/hobbies:

I am a member of many organizations, including Moms in Touch, the Springfield Art Guild, the Vienna Arts Society, the Fairfax Art League, the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, the Virginia Watercolor Society, the Arts Council of Fairfax County and the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society. I am a fund raising person for the West Springfield High School band. I also play handbells at Peace Church in Alexandria. I also enjoy traveling (I went to Greece in November) and going on mission trips to Haiti.

Favorite local restaurant:

Milanos, Asian Grill and Green Olives.

Community concerns:

This area needs a Cultural Center, a gathering place for all of the arts, with gallery space, a theater, music, classrooms, etc.

What brought you here? Marriage and my husband's job in 1985.

Community hidden treasure:

Green Springs Garden Park in Alexandria. It is a beautiful historic site with wonderful gardens and programs offered to the people of all ages. I love to paint there.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you "grew up?"

Either a nurse or an artist. After a few years of candy striping, I decided to be an artist.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to have a studio in the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center and be teaching classes.

Personal goals:

My goal is to paint everyday, get three children through college, and sell enough artwork so Ron can retire and travel! He deserves it.

Do you know someone who should be featured in the Connection's People Profile? Send your nominations to Jon Whiten at jwhiten@connectionnewspapers.com or call 703-917-6422.