ARTsmart President Connie Axton Retires, Passes Torch to Vice President Patrick Gendron

Connie Axton, ARTsmart president, stepped down in May to serve as an active board of directors member going into the future. Vice President Patrick Gendron has assumed the new role of president.

Axton, owner of Ventana Fine Art, was honored for her service at ARTsmart’s Annual Dinner & Auction in March with a surprise presentation of a gift decorated by ARTsmart art teachers Melinda Baker and Mariel Garcia. Axton played an instrumental role, along with the Santa Fe Gallery Association of which she is a member, in ARTsmart’s early development in the 1990s. President for several terms, she served from 2007 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2018. With her guidance, ARTsmart has undergone a merger with Fine Art For Children and Teens (FACT), two mission and vision statement evolutions, major building renovations for the ARTsmart Community Studio, the creation of a professional business plan, video and website development, along with new fundraising and Capital Campaign efforts.

When speaking about her many years of service, she offers the following statement:
“Dear Friends of ARTsmart;
Having served in many ARTsmart Board positions, including president for a total of six years, I’ve reveled in the challenges of guiding a nonprofit that does so much for children. I’m also excited about the vision and talent of ARTsmart’s new generation of leaders and teachers. Witnessing their passion for providing tools that make our kids the creative problem-solvers of tomorrow has been a gift. It’s been an honor to work with those of you who have contributed countless hours, generous treasure, and myriad talents toward reaching ARTsmart’s goals. I send each of you my gratitude and a glad-hearted goodbye … knowing that we’ve accomplished so much together and that we’ll continue to work together in the years to come. See you at the Annual Dinner & Auction in March 2019.
With love and respect,
Connie Axton”

Patrick Gendron of the Rikoon Group in Santa Fe writes of his new position as president of the board of directors: “I am truly honored to take on the role and I could not think of a more productive way to give back to my community.  As a financial advisor that focuses on finding socially responsible investment options, I gravitated towards ARTsmart. With school art programs being cut left and right, ARTsmart plays a pivotal role in supporting and meeting the educational needs of our Northern New Mexico communities.

My goal is to continue building off of the momentum gained by the folks who have come before me.  Although I will never be able to fill the shoes that Connie has left me, I am grateful that she has set the tone and provided such an inspirational example. I look forward to working hard to fulfill our mission to provide educational opportunities in the arts that promote confidence, self-discovery, and creative problem-solving skills.”

We at ARTsmart hold Connie Axton in the highest respect and thank her for her many years of service. We are very happy she will stay with us as our development and events chairperson. We are excited for the future of ARTsmart and wish Patrick Gendron the best as he dons the hat of presidency.

Art + Walk + Food Equalled Fun For All

ARTsmart’s 2018 Edible Art Tour was a superb evening of art, fabulous food, friends, and fun. Friday’s Canyon Road event had nearly 600 guests enjoying 21 galleries with restaurant pairings – crowds enjoyed samples including the “exploding balls of joy” (an exciting dessert of chocolate with flavorful burst of juice that popped in the mouth) by State Capital Kitchen at Wiford Gallery, the whole-plate-helping of Whole Hog Café at Zaplin-Lampert Gallery, and the famous margaritas at Barbara Meikle Fine Art. Saturday’s downtown galleries hosted approximately 500 guests enjoyed tasty bites like Joe’s Dining’s fresh-made mozzarella at Galerie Züger, TerraCotta Wine Bistro’s watermelon feta salad at David Copher Gallery, and savory tartlets served with New Mexico wines from Hervé Wine Bar at Sugarman-Peterson Gallery. ARTsmart thanks all who attended and participated in this fundraiser. Photos taken during Edible Art Tour on Canyon Road are by Gabriella Marks. Click on a photo to see full image.

Congratulations to Carly Trujillo, 2018 Art Changes Lives Scholarship Winner

ARTsmart is proud to announce Carolina (Carly) Trujillo is the winner of the 2018 Art Changes Lives Scholarship. Trujillo graduated from the New Mexico School for the Arts and will be attending the School for the Art Institute of Chicago in the fall. 2018 Books & Materials Scholarship winners are Rowen Brown, Holly Roper, and Celine Sandoval.

If you know of a New Mexico student who is graduating next year and will be applying to a college or university with a focus in the arts, please let the student know about the Art Changes Lives Scholarship. Every year one student is awarded a four-year scholarship. The 2019-20 scholarship amounts are $5,000 for the first year and $1,500 for each three subsequent years. Art really does change lives.

Visiting Artists Share Their Talents with Students: Murals, Masks, and More

Print making with Catherine Trapani, box masks with Wise Fool, batik scarves and Nigerian culture with Gasali Adeyemo, camera obscura with Jackie Mathey, and “hand” painting with Issa Nyaphaga, name only a few of the projects and professionals in the ARTsmart Visiting Artist Program that worked with classrooms of Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS) during the school year.

The gift of a mural: In the spring of 2017 Salazar Elementary School students worked with Visiting Artist Paul White to create slumped glass houses for a mural. At the beginning of this school year, the 6th grade class brainstormed ideas for what the mural should look like with the glass houses. They were studying symbolic art, specifically Gustav Klimt, and decided to create a mixed media mural in his style by combining painting with the slumped glass houses. There is a tree bedecked with plenty of painted swirls to give it a distinct Klimt-look and the glass house shapes are gathered and stacked. “I pictured them as houses in a community and the kids figured out that they could build them up as a castle,” says art teacher Anna Gibson. “Our mascot is the Salazar Knights and it’s perfect!” The untitled mural is a parting gift of the 6th grade class and will grace the hallway of Salazar Elementary for years to come. Enjoy photos of the Visiting Artists at work in the classroom. Click on a photo to see full image.


Meet the Artist: Lily, Age 5

This is Lily, an artist in ARTsmart’s summer ARTcamp program. She’s been working hard on her artwork for Sculpture Factory week at ARTcamp and she’s very proud of her owl made from recycled fabric, paper, a CD, and other found objects. She is pictured painting her wood animal sculpture, a long-necked three-legged magical unicorn with beautiful eyelashes.




Point Five Percent: See How What You Buy Makes a Difference on AmazonSmile Impact

By Victoria (Tori) Brown

Recently, I was late-night-browsing on my smartphone on AmazonSmile and when I committed to buy a bag of cat food and a bathmat I got the usual: “Thank you, your order has been placed.” But something caught my eye. Besides listing the charity of my choice (ARTsmart), where .5% of my purchases are donated, there was a link that prompted me to “see your impact.” I clicked it. I was amazed by how quickly little bits had added up. It was so breathtaking that I had to share.  Amazon has donated over 80 million to charities at .5% per purchase. Please remember ARTsmart when buying online.

You can also find the donation impact page by clicking on “Your AmazonSmile” in the side menu. They make it easy to track what you buy and how it makes a difference. And if you’re like me and have purchased something on Amazon without bothering to switch to the site, guess what? Your items will stay in your shopping cart as you move from one site to the other. There is also a way to go directly to Rather than opt for the Amazon phone app or the icon that shows up on your home page, you can add this simple shortcut to shop while giving to your favorite charity.

Put a bookmark that looks just like an app on your phone by following the steps (see photo for reference): 1. When you are on the site after you have signed up and chosen your favorite charity, tap the share icon at the bottom of the window. 2. Tap the “Add to Home Screen” icon, then tap “Add” and it will place an icon (a bookmark) on your home screen. Now you can access all of your Amazon purchases and actively donate .5%. It adds up quickly.






AmazonSmile: Sign Up Today and Amazon Donates to ARTsmart

ARTsmart has partnered with AmazonSmile. By signing up and designating ARTsmart New Mexico as your charity of choice, AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of your purchases. Click HERE to get the same great products, prices, and services that you already enjoy AND donate to ARTsmart with this FREE service.






CLICK HERE to view the emailed version of ARTsmart’s June 2018 Newsletter.