Friday, January 30, 2015

For the Love of Art Month

It’s that time again.
Today marks the beginning of 28 days focused on celebrating what some take for granted here, and many of us appreciate all year long.
It’s For the Love of Art Month, an enduring tradition that has thrived for nearly two decades, thanks to dedicated volunteers in its sponsoring nonprofit organization, ArtForms Artists Association of New Mexico.
We should all doff our hats (which really should be handmade this month, or at least festooned with handcrafted hatbands, pins and broaches) to those dedicated souls who envisioned the celebration and the stalwart souls who have kept it going.
I have fond memories of some of those seminal meetings at the Mesilla Park home of multimedia artist Myriam Lozada-Jarvis. She and sculptor and multimedia artist Kelley Hestir were among a core group of talented founding artists that also include Roy van der Aa, who continues to be involved in coordinating and promoting the unique event.
Their mission has also been embraced by more recent proponents of FLAM, including sculptor John Northcutt and David Jacquez, a retired educator, artist and gallery owner who has served as FLAM president for two years.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that it’s a lot of work to wrangle artists and arts events into some semblance of accessible order for this ever-evolving month, with a cast of characters and venues that change every year.
I’ve also been in on FLAM since the beginning and my colleagues will attest that I can get a little crabby and exasperated just trying to round up and write about everything that’s happening. Like many dedicated arts aficionados, I don’t want to miss anything, and I don’t want you to miss out either.
The FLAM volunteers do a great job of producing an annual guide that lists official ArtForms FLAM events, FLAM Artists Studio Tour weekend locations and participating galleries and other venues. Pick it up this month at art galleries and other sites around town, or download your own copy from the group’s website,
But success begets success and it has come to pass that the official guide is just the beginning.
Just about every official arts organization tends to identify with FLAM spirit, and even the overworked ArtForms volunteers agree that’s a good thing. I’m thinking we should all send a check to ArtForms this month and become members, whether we have an official event to promote or not.
In the meantime, the Sun-News is working to keep you informed about as many arts happenings as we can, from popup galleries and art exhibits to plays, concerts, poetry readings, dance and performance art pieces and lots more.
And don’t let the proliferation of events stop you from plotting your own. As always, feel free to organize an office gallery show, a Valentine’s Day caroling group in your neighborhood or participate in my continuing cause: FLAM-WAPP (For the Love of Art Month Wearable Art Promenade and Parade). Just dress up in some kind of wearable art (raid your closet, or better yet, buy something new from a regional artist) and strut your stuff.
Next Saturday, Feb. 7, is always a good FLAM-WAPP occasion, at the Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market on Main Street, where I’d be on the lookout for a surprise art happening, or at For the Love of Art Day in Mesilla.
Don’t miss Friday’s Ramble, either.
Be romantic and artistic on Valentine’s Day.
And what the hey, why not go full-tilt and get down with your artistic self and amigos all month long?

S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at, @DerricksonMoore on Twitter and Tout, or call 575-541-5450.

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