Art Gallery of Grande Prairie

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What are Artist Trading Cards?

Artist Trading Cards are a popular activity for artists all over the world. These individual, original works of art are the size of a playing card at 2.5″ x 3.5″. Collecting cards is a fun way to own original works of art, and artists find the small scale pieces a good way to experiment. They are made with a number of different mediums, including paint, paper collage, rubber stamps, wax crayons, photography and are fast becoming popular with fabric artists and quilters. Trading sessions allow artists to meet, discuss and trade their own Artist Trading Cards. The number one rule of ATCs is that they should never be sold, only traded.


History of Artist Trading Cards

 
The concept of Artist Trading Cards began in Zürich by artist m. vänci stirnemann. In May 1997, stirnemann held a gallery showing of 1,200 cards at the INK.art & text bookstore in Zürich, Switzerland, where he collaborated with artists Cat Schick and Gido Dietrich. Visitors who attended the show were told that if they wished to have one of the cards they must bring one of their own creations to trade for it. Canadian Don Mabie (a.k.a. Chuck Stake) attended the first trading session in Zürich and brought the first North American Artist Trading Card Session to Calgary in 1997 (in collaboration with stirnemann) at The New Gallery in Calgary, Alberta. Monthly trading session are held at The New Gallery where as many as 75 people have attended. Regular trading sessions are held all over North America at various art galleries, schools and colleges.


Artist Trading Card: Open Studio Workshops

Artist Trading Card: Trading Session