In g d taste
“THIS YEAR WE PLAN TO BREAK A MILLION,”
said Deborah Fritz, co-owner of Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art and ARTsmart board member. The money manifests itself in the form of realized dreams for various local arts-education entities and allows the 18-year-old ARTsmart 501(c)3 nonprofit — the group that plans and oversees the annual ARTfeast fundraiser — to distribute donations and other funds to area organizations and schools.
Since the first ARTfeast Edible Art Tour in the late ’90s, ARTsmart has donated around $835,000 to public-school art programs, scholarship programs, Fine Arts for Children & Teens, and other arts-related organizations that benefit local youth.
In 2010, ARTsmart raised and distributed $111,000 to Santa Fe public schools and other organizations, topping its 2009 contribution by $20,000, according to ARTsmart president and Peterson-Cody Gallery owner Martine Bertin-Peterson. $40,000 of 2010’s funds went directly to public schools, and the remainder was distributed among ARTsmart’s general endowment fund ($20,000), Fine Arts for Children & Teens ($5,000), ARTsmart art projects and artist mentors ($10,000), scholarships and scholarship endowments ($28,000), and reimbursements to student artists ($3,000). In 2010, ARTsmart awarded its $4,000 Art Changes Lives scholarship to Rebekah Birken, a senior at Santa Fe High School who now attends classes at New York University’s Department of Arts & Art Professions. Also in 2010, ARTsmart awarded Santa Fe High School senior Christopher Montoya a $250 Envisioning the Future college stipend for books and art materials.
“One of the high points of my job is working with ARTsmart,” said Santa Fe public schools arts education coordinator Amy Summa, who is in her sixth year collaborating with the nonprofit — “and the work with them and the students starts pretty much the first day of school each year.” On Feb. 17, the William & Joseph Gallery hosted an “I Made It!” reception, which showcased 100 ceramic plates created for auction by area elementary-school students.
“The first thing we do when school convenes after the summer is talk about plate designs, and then the students — a thousand of them — create laminated place mats,” Summa said. “A hundred designs from the place mats are chosen to become plates, and the students are always excited to see which designs are selected for a ceramic makeover. It’s a huge deal to them. What I try to play down, though, is whose designs are chosen. Instead, I try to instill in the kids the knowledge that they’re participating in art and in this important thing called community service.” The plates are fired, and a jury selected by ARTsmart chooses winning designs before the winter holiday break.
Jean Wells: Coke, Hamburger, glass mosaic tiles, 2010; David Richard Contemporary
Top left, Juan Kelly: Dolcezza, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches; Nüart Gallery