That not all of the artists were "old hands" to the art scene was another symbolically loaded element and metaphor for inclusiveness to remind us that, like buses, there is always another artist coming along. And maybe that worker bee not thought of as an artist could be one. Art worlds, as Becker reminds us, are constituted by EVERYONE involved in getting art out there to the public. Jess mounting & shrinkwrapping, Roy talking to the mayor to get it all rolling, and Vel Gilley wanting to bring art and artists more to the fore are all part of the Mountainair art world. Yeah, and I guess I am for writing about it too, despite occasionally thinking of it as enabling, complete with dysfunctional relationship connotations.
I've had a couple of calls to reproduce the letter I wrote to include with the montage. Doing that now. I'm still waiting for Town/Mayor to say thank you for our effort.
We hope you have enjoyed both your visit to our town and the conference of mayors. Please accept this reminder of the occasion. We artists feel honored to have this opportunity to demonstrate support of our town – and especially pleased to do it through art.
Mountainair may be a small town in size and population but not in talent, spirit, nor self-expression. Our decision to present a montage of Artists Trading Cards is symbolizes that sentiment: small in size yet spiritedly expressive. Further, a montage allows more artists to participate, mirroring the collaborative ideal that makes for community.You’ve seen the sights and toured the town. Now it is time to return home to your own town - but not empty handed!
Let us explain our choice of gift by telling you about Artists Trading Cards or ATC. They are a new idea on the local art scene. We hope that ATC by local artists could even become a hallmark of the arts in Mountainair - something to stick in visitors’ minds and make visits even more memorable.
As their name indicates, ATC are collectibles, an art version of sports trading cards. Artists Trading Cards must be 2.5"x3.5.” They can be any medium: pencil, watercolor, acrylic, oil, collage, scratch board, mixed media - anything the creative mind of the artist can think up. They are as diverse as our population.
Traditionally, an ATC is exchanged, not sold. The purpose was for artists to meet and exchange works, in the process meeting other artists and benefiting to exposure to new ideas. So was it with your mayoral meeting – meeting and sharing ideas. This montage is Mountainair’s gift to you, our “trade” for the honor of your company and the ideas you brought with you.
Mayor Vel Gilley and the Artists of Mountainair