By Jonathan Baca, Copy Editor | Photos by Jonathan Baca
On Saturday, April 5, the Art department and the CNM Employee’s Union will be putting on the second annual Arts Fandango, where dozens of artworks donated by students, instructors, and alumni will be auctioned off to raise money for the Ernest Garcia Emerging Artist Scholarship, said Union President and SAGE instructor, Andrew Tibble.
The event is scheduled to be held at SCA Contemporary gallery at 524 Haines Avenue NW. Doors open at 6 p.m., with tickets at $5 for students and $10 for the general public, which will include free food, drinks and music by instructor Patrick Houlihan’s classic rock band The Great Blue Whales.
“We’re really excited to be doing this event again, it’s a lot of fun and it’s for a great cause. You get to see a lot of really cool art. Most of the artists are there for you to talk to and the guys in the band are great,” Tibble said.
All the art will be sold the night of the event through a silent auction, and Tibble said there will be some great deals on lots of professional quality paintings, prints and ceramics, so he suggested that attendees bring cash or checks and bid on some pieces.
The matting, framing and setup is being done by volunteers from the Art department, and the food and music is being provided by the Employee’s Union, so all of the proceeds will be donated to the scholarship fund, Tibble said.
“If you come to the event, you can be sure that if you bid on some art, your ticket cost, every penny goes into the scholarship fund,” Tibble said.
The scholarship, which was created by the Art department and the CNM Foundation, is in its second year, and was named after Ernest Garcia, the school’s very first studio art instructor, and a founding member of the Employee’s Union, who died in 2012, only a few years after retiring, Tibble said. suddenly of prostate cancer
Full-time Art instructor Lynn Johnson, who was the school’s second studio instructor and helped to create the scholarship, said that the Art department as it is today was created by Garcia, who started as an Art History instructor and went on to create nearly all the curriculum for the studio art program.
“He was just instrumental in starting the studio side of the department. He really started a legacy, and I feel like without him we wouldn’t have the Art department. We really miss him dearly,” Johnson said.
Garcia, Johnson, and several others in the Art department had been trying to create a scholarship for art students for years, and when Garcia passed away, the school, with the help of the Employee’s Union, saw fit to name the new scholarship after him, Johnson said.
The scholarship has awarded around $400 a year to an art major, and with another successful fundraising event, they hope to increase that amount significantly and possibly begin giving out scholarships to several different students a year, Tibble said.
Full-time Art instructor Harley McDaniel said that in addition to raising money for the scholarship, the event is also the largest group showcase for the Art department, and helps to shine a bright spotlight on the work of the students and instructors.
“It allows people in the community to come and see the work that we make, that our students and faculty are making, and also to see the synergy between faculty, students and community. Everybody is coming together, and it just brings a great amount of exposure to the department,” McDaniel said.
Johnson agreed that the event was an important opportunity for the Art department to show off the quality of work that is being produced, and hopefully will lead to increasing the respect, profile, and eventually the funding of the Art department.
Johnson said that several pieces have been donated by alumni who have gone on to have successful art careers after graduating, and that last year collectors came out to the event, knowing that they could get some great deals on high quality works from up-and-coming artists.
“We really have incredible students coming out of the program. There is kind of a new respect that CNM is benefitting from based on the quality of the students’ art, and I really appreciate that,” Johnson said.
In addition to all the good that it does in raising money for the scholarship and showcasing the Art department, Johnson said the most important thing is that the event is a chance for everyone to get together and have a lot of fun.
“It was so much work, but it was also so much fun. We were all dancing and doing things we shouldn’t, I’m sure, but it was just a really great time. Everybody was really excited to be there, it was a blast,” Johnson said.