(SUN PHOTO/ William Thompson) Mela Chavez, front, and Christy Benavidez look at masks fashioned by Tucumcari Middle School students at the Tucumcari Convention Center Friday.
The Tucumcari Art Festival is back at the Tucumcari Convention Center for the third year, with more than 30 artists participating. Everything from watercolors to bronze sculptures can be purchased from the artists.
A bronze armadillo can be had for $325. A large painting by local artist Doug Quarles goes for $4,000. It’s a view of birds along a utility-pole wire that looks uncannily real and alive.
Local farrier artist Jim Keith has the next priciest work of art, a three-dimensional steel and aluminum landscape of Tucumcari Mountain. Keith will part with it for $2,500.
For those on a more limited budget, artists Marjorie McKenzie and Jon Birdsong have brought a number of flowery watercolors that sell for about $275 each. Tucumcari public school students have works on display as well.
The Quay Council for the Arts and Humanities has organized the festival with the sole intent of getting exposure for local artists according to director Judy Hiner.
“All the proceeds go to the artists,” Hiner said. “The only money the arts council gets is from our wine and cheese party. We will use that money to buy a work of art to put on permanent display at city hall.”
About 100 attended the festival’s wine and cheese party Friday evening at the convention center. Gail Sanders stopped by Friday to look at watercolors.
“I like all kinds of things that catch my eye,” said Sanders. “I’m not looking at the prices. If I like something I will try to get it.”
Matt Posinski said he and his wife buy bronze pieces from time to time and he had his eye on a piece at the festival Friday.
“I’m impressed with this year’s show,” Posinski said. “There’s a lot of good talent here and I don’t think a lot of people know about it.”
Posinski said the purchase of a pricey bronze piece is good for at least two reasons.
“It supports the community,” Posinski said, “and it adds to the enjoyment of the home.”