By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — February may be the shortest month, but it will be packed with artistic activities. during For the Love of Art Month (FLAM).
Even those who don’t consider themselves culture vultures are likely to find some irresistible attractions and arts aficionados should be prepared to go into full-tilt fiesta mode.
Every year, there are more reminders of just how much the Mesilla Valley has to offer, with world-class artists and more venues and events that showcase just how rich our cultural community is, from theatrical performances and poetry readings to music, dance and visual arts in a variety of media.
ArtForms professional artists founders Kelley S. Hestir, Myriam Lozada Jarvis and others, deserve a lot of praise for coming up with the concept at a Mesilla Park backyard brainstorming session in the 1990s.
I sat in on those first sessions and have been pleased to see how FLAM has grown from a hopeful seed into a blooming, month-long fiesta that involves artistic souls from tots to seniors, all getting down with their artistic selves.
It’s always been clear to me that we’re a creative city that thinks outside the box, and during February, we always manage to outdo ourselves.
It’s become a Herculean task to organize and chronicle all the venues in time to put out an official directory of events and maps of artists’ studio tour sites. Kudos to Cheryl Fallstead and all the ArtForms volunteers and artists who make the event possible.
In true artistic spirit, the month is always full of surprises and some last-minute events that don’t make the officially-sanctioned guide.
This year, I’m especially looking forward to a first- time event organized by Jerry Ann Alt which will bring together singers from all over the community to the Las Cruces Museum of Art for some song among the sculptures on Feb. 26.
I hope you’ll feel free to burst into song whenever the spirit moves you before and after the event.
Mesilla artists have had their own little event on the Mesilla Plaza in recent years.
It’s never in the official guide, which is one reason I’ve decided to attach my own unofficial FLAM event to the date they choose.
So be on notice and save the date: For the Love of Art Month Wearable Art Promenade and Parade (FLAM WAPP), now in its second year, will again start out the morning of Feb. 12 at the Saturday Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market on the Downtown Mall, and then will move to the annual Mesilla For the Love of Art Celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Mesilla Plaza.
Your job is to don your favorite wearable art wardrobe items and strut your stuff on our favorite public plazas.
This gives you almost two weeks to get out your art supplies and sewing boxes and whip up something new to accent favorites from your closets and jewelry boxes.
Or get out their and discover some new artistic treasures for yourself and your Valentine.
I’m also issuing my annual reminder that there are a lot of talented artists our there, and they’re dealing.
I’ve lived in artists’ communities in good times and bad, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a single artist who was unwilling to negotiate with a fan who has fallen madly in love with his or her work.
I have it on good authority that the late, great R.C. Gorman once traded a fresh-caught Pacific salmon for an original painting and I know art-loving school kids in Santa Fe and Silver City who’ve acquired masterpieces by sweeping studios, engineering creative swaps or arranging very generous layaway plans.
Maybe you can strike a deal to acquire a treasure of your own. In the meantime, get out there and admire our visual and performing artists. Happy FLAM.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at (575) 541-5450