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    ATC Exchange

    Our Artist Trading Card Exchange!

    ATCs from Judy Gula's collection

    A number of years ago Artistic Artifacts hosted Diane Herbort, a nationally-known quilter/fiber artist and teacher, for her Medley of Metallics class, and after her lecture and demonstrations, the group dove in and began the creation of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) and scheduled an exchange date. The event was popular enough to decide to hold it monthly, in conjunction with the Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) meetings. We hope you’ll join us!

    Participating in our ATC exchange is open to anyone interested and begins at 1:00 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month (please visit our calendar to check for any rescheduling of JAMs due to a conflicting holiday). From 1 to 1:30, members trade ATCs, socialize, shop, peruse the free table of materials (bring your unused/leftover supplies to pass on!) Anyone not already a member of JAMs is welcome to stay for the meeting, which begins at 1:30. JAMs members represent a wide range of chosen mediums, and all ages and levels of expertise are welcome to join in the fun!

    ATCs are exchanged one for one, i.e., if you bring 10 cards to exchange, you will receive 10 in return. You can create your ATC according to whatever concept or style you wish, using whatever medium you wish (specific themes may be announced for the following month). Pictured here are ATCs from Judy Gula’s collection: Clockwise from top left, created by Jean Trammell, Liz Kettle, Barbara Boatman (middle), Theresa Koenig and Kelsey Grandy.

    There are only a few rules to ATCs (and approximately a kajillion web resources to learn more and be inspired by):

    • Each card must be 2½" x 3½" (64 mm × 89 mm). Corners can be rounded or trimmed if desired, and your art can be portrait or landscape in orientation.
    • Cards can be in any handmade medium, including collage, mixed-media, fiber, felt or cloth, painting, drawing, ink, Zentangles, etc.
    • The cards you bring for exchange can be all the same (an edition or series) or all different... or any combination of the two.

    There are many rubber stamps created expressly for the reverse sides of ATCs. You can also create a custom computer printed label, or write info in by hand — whatever you prefer. At a minimum, include your name on the reverse; the following information is suggested for inclusion:

    • Contact information: email address, website, blog address
    • Date of creation of the card, or of the exchange
    • Edition number, within a limited edition or series (i.e., 1 of 20, 2 of 20, 3 of 20...). Cards that are unique can be described as ‘OOAK’' (one of a kind) or numbered 1/1, if you’d like.
    • Your signature

    “M. Vänçi Stirnemann, the artist who came up with the original concept of Artist Trading Cards, felt that the trade was everything. Making contact, shaking hands, meeting another artist, and then looking through their work and choosing something that is special to you and then, trading. That is the whole purpose behind Trading Cards for Vänçi and lots of other people like him, making contact, making the trade.... There is something really special about trading something that you made with your own hands, with someone else who has done the same.” [Quoted from The How-to's Of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)]

    ATC trading falls into the category of “the more, the merrier,” so please pass the word along to any of your friends or to other art groups you might belong to, and join in the fun!