Amy Summa Retires After 19 Years of Service


For over 19 years Amy Summa has been Arts Coordinator for Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS) and an integral part of ARTsmart programs. This month she will retire from SFPS. We interviewed her to tap into what it was like working with ARTsmart and where retirement will take her.

ARTsmart: How long have you been involved with ARTsmart and what was it like in the beginning?
Amy: I have been involved with ARTsmart since I worked as the Arts Liaison at Sweeney Elementary back in the last century around 1999​.  That was before we had art teachers or any kind of budget for art materials in our schools.  My position was paid for with community grants.  The only money that teachers got for art supplies was from ARTsmart.  Eventually SFPS got funds to hire art teachers, but ARTsmart continued to pay for most of their art supplies.

ARTsmart: How have ARTsmart programs (Visiting Artist Program and Children’s Painted Ceramics Project) evolved since you’ve been involved with them?
Amy: Originally the Visiting Artist Program, where working artists come into classrooms to teach students and teachers new art techniques, was paid for by the school district.  When those funds were cut, ARTsmart stepped in to help pay for this important program.  ARTsmart is the perfect sponsor of this program because it supports our community’s artists and arts education in our schools.

Since ARTsmart moved into their new space, we have the Visiting Artist Open House there at the beginning of the school year so that teachers can see what our community’s teaching artists have to offer.  We have art teachers coming from all over northern NM. The Children’s Painted Ceramics Project has also really benefited from ARTsmart’s new, beautiful space.  It is great to have the room and support from ARTsmart all in one place.  The children love it there.​

ARTsmart: Do you have a comment about working with ARTsmart for the past 19 years?
Amy: I have loved working with ARTsmart for all these years.  I feel like we are family.  ARTsmart has evolved from a tiny one-person office that raised funds for arts education into a community-arts hub.  I will continue to stay involved with ARTsmart through volunteering and attending their many wonderful events. ​

ARTsmart: Do you have a favorite memory that you’d like to share?
Amy: From painting plates with children to attending elegant galas, ​I have so many wonderful memories with ARTsmart that it is impossible to pinpoint just one.  I think my favorite event has ​always been the Children’s Painted Ceramics Project Reception because I get to witness how proud the children and their families are of their artwork.  It makes me understand how the work we do for kids really does make a difference.

ARTsmart: What will you miss the most?
Amy: I will miss the lovely friendships that I have formed with the art teachers, my colleagues, and community members.  But I plan on staying in touch with my favorites.  I will definitely be volunteering for ARTsmart so I am able to hang out with children and all of my old friends.

ARTsmart: What are your retirement plans?
Amy: For the time being I plan on relaxing and taking life one day at a time.  I have quite a few trips planned to visit friends and family around the world.  I will play a lot of tennis, have leisurely lunches, and catch up on some home projects.

ARTsmart: Whoever replaces you will have some pretty big shoes to fill. Do you have any hot tips for them?
Amy: Treat the art teachers and community partners like gold, especially all of you at ARTsmart!

Amy Summa will be deeply missed by ARTsmart staff. Operations Manager Sharon Peterson says, “Amy is enthusiastic, loves what she does, and is a delight to work with and we think the Children’s Painted Ceramics Project won’t be the same without her.” Executive Director Amanda Thomas says, “Amy will be dearly missed. Her collaborative efforts have helped ARTsmart programs grow in the number of students we are able to serve and the impact we can make on each of them. Amy is a true advocate for both the SFPS students and the art teachers. She worked hard to bring enriching artistic experiences to the students of SFPS and she always supported the teachers with encouragement and leadership.” Congratulations to Amy on her retirement! We wish her the best of luck and look forward to having her visit and volunteer – if she has time between globe-trotting and tennis matches.


Art Teachers Shine in 1st Annual Salon de Santa Fe Exhibition


ARTsmart’s Community Studio hosted the first annual Salon de Santa Fe on May 4th. The “salon” of fine art from Santa Fe Public School art teachers included oil paintings, ceramics, fused glass, watercolors, printmaking, and mixed media. Thank you to participating artists Kindle D’Arco, Elaine Duncan, Brenda Euwer, Anna Gibson, Kennan Girdner, William Johnson, Chris Lawrence, Susana Mireles-Mankus, Amber Paz-Csibi, Roni Rohr, John St. Peter, and especially Deborah Hawthorne and Grace Mayer, who organized the event. Salon de Santa Fe exhibition in the gallery at ARTsmart Community Studio 1201 Parkway Drive, will be open M-F 10 am to 4 pm until May 23. Proceeds from art sales will go directly to the artists.

Art + Walk + Food = Fun! Edible Art Tour June 8-9

Don’t have dinner plans for June 8 and 9 yet? Join ARTsmart and 36 galleries and restaurants as we attempt to walk off what we consume in calories while contemplating fine works of art. Each gallery hosts a restaurant that will be serving tasty samples of its most popular concoctions. Friday night is for galleries of Canyon Road and Saturday night features downtown galleries. Come see why the Edible Art Tour is ARTsmart’s most popular fundraiser. New features for Friday night include a parading New Orleans-style brass band and, for the comfort of our guests, “luxury” portable restrooms located near the bottom of Canyon Road at Ventana Fine Art. Don’t miss the Kick-Off party at 5 pm at Gallery 901, the event’s underwriter. FREE Official Edible Art Tour posters (pictured) signed by artist, Deborah Gold, will be available and 10% of sales from her art exhibition from June 8-11 will be donated to ARTsmart. Tickets, $35 each, are good for one or both days and are still available ONLINE, at ARTsmart, or Ventana Fine Art.

 Last Chance to Register for Summer ARTcamps

Summer ARTcamps begin June 4. Register your young artist for week-long themed camps such as Passport to the Arts, Creative Café, Classic Creators, Animalia, Book-Making, and Cartooning. All camps are from 8 am to noon and $125 registration fee covers all materials and healthy snacks. Register online or contact Program Director, Rebecca Chornenky, at 505-992-2787 or for more information.

Meet the Artist: Atalia, Kindergartener

This is Atalia, an artist in ARTsmart’s after-school ARTclub program. She says she loves art, especially painting. She is always very focused on her artwork and uses a lot of bright colors. Here she is working on an untitled watercolor-resist project where she is exploring shape and color. We asked her: “What is your favorite thing about ARTclub?” “Painting,” she said. “Do you have a favorite color?” “I like all of them,” she exclaimed. “How does art make you feel?” “Happy.” Judging by the look on Atalia’s face (pictured below as our “Amazon Smile girl of the month”) as she holds up her completed painting,  it’s true.

ARTsmart Events

Salon de Santa Fe Exhibition
Ongoing through May 23, 2018: ARTsmart Community Studio 1201 Parkway Drive, Santa Fe
Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm. This is a free community event.

ARTsmart’s Edible Art Tour
5 – 8 pm June 8-9, 2018: Canyon Road and downtown Santa Fe galleries
Tickets: $35 ea. Available Online HERE or visit ARTsmart or Ventana Fine Art on Canyon Road

ARTsmart’s Annual Dinner & Auction
5:30 pm March 2, 2019 at La Fonda On the Plaza, 100 E. San Francisco Street
Tickets on sale soon.

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 May 2018 Newsletter.