Sunday, January 15, 2006

Artist Trading Cards

Originating in Zurich in 1997 the Artist Trading Card project was initiated by M. Vänçi Stirnemann as a “collaborative cultural performance”. That may sound a bit hokey, but the premise is simple; individuals create original works of art within the confines of a 2.5 x 3.5 piece of cardstock and they gather with other card producers in order to trade. For whatever reason, this idea has grown into an ongoing global event.

I began participating back in 2003 when the monthly exchanges were being hosted over at the Ontario Crafts Council. I wasn’t painting at the time and I found it kept my imagination active while I coasted through my dry spell. The sessions also allowed me to meet with other creative types that sat outside of my realm of experience. Fibre artists and furniture makers, painters and computer geeks, housewives and college kids…it’s quite a diverse group of strangers, which is exactly what makes it exciting. You wouldn't believe some of the crazy cards in my collection.

Toronto ATC sessions are now held over at the Gladstone Hotel on the third Wednesday of each month. All are welcome, trading is free, and no one takes attendance. :)

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