The second annual "People's Choice – a unique art exhibit in historic downtown Farmington" took place from March 15 through the Spring Art Walk on April 4. It appears to have been a very successful event. Sixty-eight Four Corners artists showed a piece of their work in one of the 15 participating downtown businesses. The public was invited to vote on their favorite piece. The artists with the most votes were awarded cash prizes at the Civic Center on Saturday, April 5.
This event was designed to give area artists exposure, to welcome more folks into the downtown businesses, and to invite conversation about art. In essence, People's Choice is about creating a more vital downtown Farmington and was inspired by a similar event, ArtPrize, which takes place annually in Grand Rapids, Mich.
As a People's Choice committee member, I would like thank all who supported this event. Thank you to my fellow committee members, Janet McHaley Burns ("my invaluable assistant"), Charles Stacey, Sue Johnson, and Crystal Hazen. A very special thanks to all of our sponsors. This project was funded in part by: the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation, the Northwest New Mexico Arts Council, the Farmington Downtown Association (a grateful thank you to Elizabeth Isenberg of the FDA for all of her help with the event), the Farmington Civic Center, the Daily-Times (a special thanks to publisher, John Elchert, and event reporter, Hannah Grover), the San Juan College Fine Arts Committee, and artist George Duncan – first prize winner People's Choice – 2013. Thank you to Bart Wilsey and the Farmington Museum for hosting the Kick-Off. Thank you to the 15 participating businesses: The ARC of San Juan County, Artifacts Gallery, B & B Bridal, Bedrooms Plus, Dusty Attic, the Farmington Civic Center, the Daily-Times Community Center, La Petit Salon, Mikasa, Mon's Spanish Grill, Sherrie's Studio, SnS Skate Shop, Studio 116, Three Rivers Art Center, and Wal Art. Thank you to Lisa Hutchens, supervisor at the Farmington Civic Center for hosting a very lovely reception for the awards ceremony. Thank you to all participating artists, and last, but not least, thank you to all who came out to view and vote on the art.