Everybody gets to be an artists at Arts Party in Finley Gym

Everyone – young and old – are artists when they attend the 16th Annual Community Arts party Saturday, Feb. 11, at Finley Gym. Arts and crafts, ranging from bottle blowfish to wire art, will be demonstrated and created throughout the day.

All the arts projects are run by local volunteers, either professional artists or people who love doing arts and crafts projects.

The Arts Party was originally founded by Ronna Kalish, Director of the New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series, and Becky Titus-Taylor, former Socorro artist.

“The idea is that hands-on arts and crafts workshops are not just for kids, but all ages,” Kalish said. “It became so well attended we added it to the PAS schedule. We wanted to provide meaningful arts activities that families can learn and do at home together; and to spend quality time together as a community engaged in the arts.”

Titus-Taylor, who has moved from Socorro to the Jemez area, is the artist responsible for the Festival of the Crayons installation each year during Festival of the Cranes.

She and her husband Mark Taylor, participate each year with a center-piece project, always something big and fun.

“I do something different every year. Last year we did 33 1/3 L-People, where we had warped vinyl record albums and painted faces on them,” Titus-Taylor said. “In the beginning we wanted to have the kids make one large thing together, like a show piece. But that became a problem with what to do with the thing afterward – who was going to be the one to take it home.”

She said this year she’ll be showing how to make Floating Dawgs and Caterpillars.

“We’ll have long helium balloons, over two feet long and six inches wide, and decorate them to look like caterpillars and wiener dogs,” she said. “Kids can decorate them with markers and add legs, heads, feet, noses, out of tissue paper or cellophane. Then we’ll put them on a string and float them.

“Ronna and I started this because we thought that there should be an arts event in town that everybody could take part in; a place where artists could participate and bring in fun things to do,” Titus-Taylor said. “The City of Socorro supported the idea by letting us Finley Gym. It’s the perfect venue.”

She said the first party was a hit.

“It was well attended right off the bat, and pretty quickly it mushroomed,” Titus-Taylor said.

The first Community Arts Party drew about 600 people, and last year the event was attended by “well over one thousand,” filling the floor of Finley Gym, Kalish said.

Some of the projects and artists include:
Beading – Peggy Lopez
Bottle Cap Magnets – Darleen Torres
Bucky Balls – Joe Martinic
Buttons – Mike Fort
Candle Dipping – Beth Schmidt Crowder
Clay Creations – Georgia Raymond and Francie Deters
Clay Hearts – Georgia Raymond and Francie Deters
Corn Starch Mush – Michael Hanauer
Crayon Soaps – Gerry K. and Girl Scouts
Eskimo Art Cards – Deborah Treder
Face Painting – Dana Chavez-Baca
Floating Dawgs & Caterpillars – Becky Titus
Flower Fairies – Karyn De Bont and Bev Hansen
Leather Works – Nathaniel Whitehorse/Socorro Leather
Mice Hearts – High School Interact
Mono-Prints – Gwen Roath
Mr. Squiggley – Becky Titus
Mug Decorating – Theresa Rosales
Mural Painting – Erika Burleigh
Papier Mache Hearts – Rena Cowan
Play Dough – Karin Willaims
Rock Painting – Maggie, Rose and Matti
Sand Art – Crystal Dupree
Scrapbooky/Journally Something – Laurie Gregg
Sunglasses – Elise and Gina
Swirling Colors – Ginese and Deanie
Tie-Dye – Antonio Sanchez and Loretta Lowman
Tissue Butterflies – Becca and Moni Apodaca
Valentine’s Cards – Barbara Sanchez and Vicky Gonzales
Whimsical Wire Wonders – David Burleigh and Friends
Food – Jenelle Partridges

Other projects include:

Flip Books To You-Tube
Glitter Galaxy
Graffitti Boards
Tile Painting
Tote Stamping

Coop Nursery School Bake Sale