ARTsmart Community Studio Closed For Renovations Due to Flood Damage

Rainfall fell overnight on Monday, July 23, in what The Santa Fe New Mexican described as “a hellacious deluge that nearly washed away the City Different.” The flood turned roadways into rivers and damaged many homes and buildings. The ARTsmart Community Studio (ACS) was no exception.

Damage to the mural inside Studio 1

On Tuesday morning, Senior Art Instructor Melinda Baker arrived at the ACS to prepare for the second day of her Incredible Creatures summer ARTcamp class only to discover water and mud throughout the building. Watermarks on the kitchen wall reached up to three inches above the floor showing the storm’s peak during the night. All carpet and tiled surfaces were affected, as well as walls, interior doors, and a garage door. Children’s art lay warped and soaked. It was obvious that class would have to be cancelled.

ARTsmart staff phoned parents of the emergency closure and turned away those who had come early to class. Program Director Rebecca Chornenky secured a replacement venue for the remaining two and a half weeks of summer ARTcamp. “ARTsmart offers our heartfelt thanks to the Southside Public Library Branch Manager Leslie Simmons, John Pinkston, SFPS Executive Director of Operations Kristy Wagner, and to the staff at Nye Elementary for so quickly responding to our need for a safe and enjoyable educational space to hold summer camps. Imaginary Creatures, Bookmaking, and Cartooning/Graphic Novel summer ARTcamps were enjoyed by 60 students. We extend our gratitude for such a wonderful community,” says Chornenky.

Damage to the ACS was so extensive that the building remains closed until repairs can be made. ARTsmart administrative staff is working from home and temporary offices, and all off-premises programming is being conducted as usual. Fall ARTreach classes in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe County Schools will continue.

Fans drying out Studio 2

ARTsmart Executive Director Amanda Thomas said, “This setback is saddening, as we have come so far in offering a wide variety of ARTcamps, workshops, and exhibitions at the ARTsmart Community Studio. But, with thanks to our amazing staff, board, and community, we will have the ACS site open again soon, so that we can continue to offer exciting services and programming.”




Ruined carpet is removed from ARTsmart administrative offices

ARTsmart has finished the mitigation phase and is planning to rebuild. Currently, we are getting bids from contractors. A very large amount of restoration lies ahead. Items needing to be replaced throughout the whole building are floor tile, carpeting, drywall, baseboards, and a garage door. Insurance coverage fell $3,000 short of the mitigation expenses and will not cover restoration. We, at ARTsmart, are concerned that we will have to resort to using funds allocated for children’s art programming to re-build our studio. The expenses are high and any donation is greatly appreciated to help through this difficult and costly time.

What you can do to help: ARTsmart is raising funds for expenses associated restoration or replacement of items lost in the flood. Your contribution will help us greatly. We have set up a campaign or you can simply click the blue donation button at the top right hand of your screen. ARTsmart does not have space to collect or store any in-kind donations of art supplies or books at this time, but we will gratefully accept them in the future. Thank you to everyone in our community that has reached out to us in our time of need.

Update: KQRE News story on the flooded ARTsmart Community Studio: on September 3, 2018:

ARTsmart Workshops Support Students at the Santa Fe Youth Development Program in Creating Large-Scale Artworks that Celebrate Personal Identity

ARTsmart’s latest youth arts education project at the Santa Fe County Youth Development Program, a detention facility that provides programming for incarcerated youth, has residents depicting vibrant aspects of their personal identity in a large-scale, collaborative triptych of brightly colored acrylic paintings that feature interlocking puzzle pieces.

Garcia writes, “The involvement from the students has been focused and excited. They are focused on expressing self-identity in a positive way. The students are guided to dig deep into their creativity and to focus on aspects of themselves that make them feel good and express their strengths. It has compelled the majority of the students to go further in their art than they usually do, creating a collage of youthful expression.”

We thank Joanne Peña for creating such a positive culture and continuing ARTsmart’s long-standing community partnership.

Spotlight on Hattie Flynn: Summer ARTsmart Studio Assistant

Hattie Flynn was one of our hard-working studio assistants for ARTsmart’s 2018 summer ARTcamps. A dedicated athlete, artist and health advocate, Hattie brought a caring and committed presence to assist in the children’s ARTcamps this summer working alongside ARTsmart instructors. When asked what she learned working as a studio assistant, she replied, “I learned, while being a studio assistant at ARTsmart, that every young artist is unique in his or her own style and technique. This discovery has allowed me to become aware of new opportunities in my own life. I also have learned various techniques to grow as an artist.”

About her future, Hattie says, “I am looking forward to experiencing my senior year at St. Mike’s High School with both friends and family and continuing to grow as a student as well as a student athlete. This school year holds new experiences as well as memories. I will be captain of my school’s Drill team and will hopefully lead us into another national champion title. I am also an active member in my school’s student wellness action team (SWAT). After my senior year, I am striving to attend Arizona State University. There, I plan to study to become a physician’s assistant and I want to be a member of their dance team.”

ARTsmart is proud to have studio assistants like Hattie and wishes her well on her senior year of high school and beyond. If you know of a young adult with an interest in art and working with children tell them to inquire about becoming an ARTsmart studio assistant.

Meet the Artist: Mia, Age 10

Meet Mia, a superstar ARTsmart student who attended four week-long summer ARTcamp sessions: Creative Café, Classic Creators, Bookmaking, and Cartooning/Graphic Novel.

Mia was an excellent helper staying after hours to clean up and assist teachers in the ARTsmart Community Studio. She was a good sport when the ACS was flooded and adjusted to ARTcamp at the replacement venue, Nye Early Education Center, without complaint.

Here she is enjoying Cartooning/Graphic Novel camp with a cartoon strip about her character, a robot who is worried about being eaten by an Arctic fox.


ARTsmart Events

ARTsmart Student Work Featured at Museum of Encaustic Art
632 Agua Fria Street, Santa Fe
Ongoing through September 2, 2018
Tickets: Museum admission ($6-$8) for the Global Warming is Real exhibition but viewing ARTsmart children’s art is FREE –inquire at front desk.

ARTsmart Annual Dinner & Auction at La Fonda On the Plaza
100 E San Francisco Street, Santa Fe
March 2, 2019, 5:30 pm
Tickets: Available Soon

ARTsmart’s Edible Art Tour
@ Various Downtown SF and Canyon Road Galleries
June 14-15, 2019, 5-8 pm
Tickets: Available Soon


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Click HERE to view the emailed version of ARTsmart’s August 2018 Newsletter.