Art Market at El Camino Lodge? the entire story you need to know.

Remember the ARTAOS mission?
“The ARTAOS mission is to compliment the existing beauty of Taos, New Mexico by creating community supported art installations and rural art education. We rally for increased exposure for artists, local businesses and enhanced art experiences for residents and visitors.”

WE WANT A LOW COST, ARTIST RUN, LOCAL ART MARKET AT EL CAMINO LODGE!

(ok, inside voice…) This is YOUR TOWN, this may be a LONG STORY but it affects EVERYONE in Taos, so please read this through.


If you already know this story, please just come to the Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 11th at 3:00 PM. 400 Cam De La Placita, Taos, NM 87571 if you have an opinion and want to express your support or concerns.

There is also a petition for opinions about this project, please sign it even if you do not agree with our project: PETITION LINK

To contact Taos Town Council members directly, follow this link:

ARTAOS has partnered with Russ Harper, the new owner of the El Camino Lodge (the former Whitten Inn, for you Taos lifers) to allow ARTAOS to create and manage a weekly art market in the parking area belonging to the Lodge.

YAY!!! RIGHT??? This creates the opportunity for local artists to sell their art to visitors in a low-cost, beautiful location, stimulate economic development, generate GRT revenue, expose visitors to Taos businesses that usually just get local dollars and give our visitors something else to do in this historic “Art Colony” How difficult could that be?

Well… We presented the idea of an Art Market close to Taos Plaza to the Town a few months ago and were met with the usual “folks try this every few years…” speech. This frustrated us a bit, considering that Taos is internationally know as an Art Mecca. PLUS, we have a weekly Farmer’s Market that is thriving…  why wouldn’t the Town of Taos support a weekly Art one?

So we found a private partner, Russ Harper and the El Camino location seemed like the next best thing. Even more high traffic visibility than the Plaza. He agreed immediately to the project and deputized us to research the steps needed to make the dream a reality.

With the support of Town Council Member, Darien Fernandez, an early supporter of our idea, we were guided through the steps necessary to work with the Town of Taos to assure that everything would be planned and executed according to Town code and standards.

We were quickly informed that the zoning necessary to allow a market was not in place at El Camino, (coincidentally, the TOT controls every single area on Paseo zoned to allow any type of market on…) curious no? However, we were told that the TOT was planning a new zoning “overlay” plan and we tried to understand it the best we could (we are NOT town planners, just artists…) this plan, we were told could be adjusted to allow the zoning for our Art Market idea. So we were told to proceed by furnishing the TOT with a list of documents about the project.

We provided a detailed explanation to Rick Bellis, TOT Manager and also cc’d everyone on the Town Council with information on the site intended to be the Art Market with measurements and a letter of intent in a professional and timely manner.

During our meeting with Rick Bellis, I asked out of curiosity how many artists that sell at TOT hosted Art Fairs were actually from Taos or Taos County at least. his answer was “ZERO” (he actually made the hand symbol “0”). If all of those vendors were from out of state, then they were just coming to Taos to make $$$ off of our tourists, collecting 8.5% GRT (possibly reporting it? I don’t know how TOT would even keep track of that data.), then going back to their states and stimulating THEIR local economic growth with the spoils of their Taos art excursion.

So we figured were definitely starting something potentially POSITIVE for Taos by at least keeping those dollars in New Mexico!

So we waited to see how the progress of the zoning overlay plan was going.
……..
Finally! We got a response from Darien Fernandez of the Town Council. His reply was actually two emails sent between him and Rick Bellis, here they are, unedited:

—–Original Message—–
From: Darien D. Fernandez
Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 8:17 AM
To: Richard Bellis <RBellis@taosgov.com
Subject: ArTaos

Rick,

What was the outcome of the discussion you had with Jason Rodriguez? What are your concerns and recommendations? Also, what are your thoughts on a twice-monthly downtown art walk Friday or Saturday evening, encouraging galleries and shops to stay open, and allowing for table and booth vendors?

Darien Fernandez
Taos Town Councilmember
(575) 779-6792
———End of Message—–

 

—–Original Message—–
From: Richard Bellis
Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 1:00 PM
To: Darien D. Fernandez <DFernandez@taosgov.com
Subject: RE: ArTaos

Councilman,

The outcome of the meeting was that Mr. Rodriguez seems to be adverse to any of the alternatives already in place that I proposed (use of the park, an event or temporary vendor permit, establishing a relationship with a property owner or organization in the zones where the activity is permitted, etc.) and instead is fixed on requiring that he be permitted to have the activity every weekend at the hotel location on the paseo. I indicated to him that I would need a description of the activity (hours, days, area required and number of parking spaces proposed to be used for the activity and parking for the event) as well as a written commitment from the property owner pledging the required space. While I received the attached information within 48 hours, I have not received any confirmation from the owner of the property and have some concern that this may not yet have been approved by the owner , but is just a concept being floated, starting with us.

I also would need to calculate how many excess spaces the hotel would be able to spare and still be in compliance with the code requirements.

This might require the hotel pledging to not rent a specific number of rooms in order to free up those spaces, and this would have to be a permanent agreement as I don’t want staff to be in the position of having to go every weekend to police compliance, or to create a safety issue. I doubt very much that a hotel wants to give up rooms on Friday and Saturday during peak tourist season at the rate they can get in exchange for some nominal rental fee for the parking area.

Mr. Rodriguez would like us to amend the zoning code to permit outdoor arts sales in the Highway Corridor Commercial Zone along Paseo. As you may be aware the prior two Councils went through a rather lengthy process to crack on unlicensed and unregulated vending, especially along this corridor, as it was getting out of hand, creating safety issues and there were complaints from the brick and mortar businesses.

I would advise against changing the zoning now that we have a grip on it. I also cannot legally change the zone for just that one property. Instead, we could create an overlay that allows the outdoor sale of art within a specific area that has some rational basis for that decision, leaving the underlying zoning intact. But, again, you are going to get flak from the businesses and the vendor would still need the permission of the property owner, sufficient parking, a CRS number, Business Registration, etc. Typically an overlay adds additional restrictions or incentives to the underlying code, or to grant relief to one or more restrictions (such as height or setback) as an incentive or because of difficulties (a Floodplain or Redevelopment Overlay) or unique attributes of an area (such as a Historic District), but is not used to allow uses not already permitted by the underlying zoning.

As a matter of practicality, until I receive some written acknowledgement that the property owner is seeking the use or that he has transferred that right through a lease agreement to the proposed activity, I can’t proceed any farther.

If this is received and the property owner or renter seeks such remedy, they can either request a zone change from the Planning and Zoning Commission, or Council can decide if they want to initiate a change and direct staff as to how to proceed, that that would be a policy decision.

My final recommendation is that if we want to encourage the arts, we should probably approach the arts community through some of the already existing organizations and well established long-time stalwarts in the arts community as to what is needed, ask for their input and partnership and develop a long-term and comprehensive approach, rather than react to the demands of a single for-profit business. I have pushed every year for getting funding back through the State for the Arts and Cultural District and a Main Street program, to no avail due to politics, and maybe we just need to go ahead and develop the programs and fund or find funding for them ourselves.

As regards the Art Walk idea, I can look into it. I know similar efforts have been tried in the best, with varying success. The idea, when set up as a tour based around an event, seems to have had some modest success for museums and galleries. It seems to have been less successful and had less participation and longevity when done as a campaign to stay open or for merchants to collaborate on any kind of on-going basis. This is another area where the Arts and Cultural District and a Main Street program would be very helpful, as we simply don’t have the staff to organize these events ourselves on a regular basis

I do know the galleries flip out at the idea of allowing independent vendors to set up tables outside their stores, so I am not sure we will have a lot of support for that.

Let me talk with a few people and get back to you on that idea.

Sincerely,

Rick Bellis

Rick Bellis
Town Manager
Town of Taos
Phone: (575) 751-2002
Cell/Text: (575) 770-2606
Email: rbellis@taosgov.com

ARE YOU STILL THERE TAOS? GREAT!!!
KEEP READING PLEASE.

 EXCERPT FROM EMAIL  ARTAOS RESPONSE
“I indicated to him that I would need a description of the activity (hours, days, area required and number of parking spaces proposed to be used for the activity and parking for the event…” (BELLIS)  Those documents were provided to the entire Town Council in a professional and timely manner. Links to each Doc 1 / Doc 2
 “as well as a written commitment from the property owner pledging the required space…”  We were told we would need that “eventually”, NOT “immediately.
” …and have some concern that this may not yet have been approved by the owner , but is just a concept being floated, starting with us.” (Bellis)  
 “I also would need to calculate how many excess spaces the hotel would be able to spare and still be in compliance with the code requirements.” (Bellis)  We were asked to provide this information and we clearly did this exactly as asked weeks ago.
 “This might require the hotel pledging to not rent a specific number of rooms in order to free up those spaces, and this would have to be a permanent agreement as I don’t want staff to be in the position of having to go every weekend to police compliance, or to create a safety issue. I doubt very much that a hotel wants to give up rooms on Friday and Saturday during peak tourist season at the rate they can get in exchange for some nominal rental fee for the parking area.”  I’m sorry, I had to put this in. First off, it sounds a bit intimidating. But secondly, and most importantly, it seems that this man, based on the last two statements didn’t even read the documents we provided him (in a professional and timely manner)

Just sayin.

 “we could create an overlay that allows the outdoor sale of art within a specific area that has some rational basis for that decision”  “Rationalize” feeding a family as an unrepresented artist in Taos who can’t afford $250 for the Lilac Festival or $300 for Powwow vending.
 “…if we want to encourage the arts, we should probably approach the arts community through some of the already existing organizations and well established long-time stalwarts in the arts community as to what is needed, ask for their input and partnership and develop a long-term and comprehensive approach,” (Bellis)  These “existing organizations” have been in place forever and this idea has popped up for decades and Taos still HAS NO WEEKLY ART MARKET.

?

It is simply time for someone willing to do this to do this. We are really not asking the Town for anything more that to allow us to succeed or not succeed on our own merits and hard work.

“…rather than react to the demands of a single for-profit business” (Bellis) What does the TOT have against “for-profit” businesses?
“I have pushed every year for getting funding back through the State for the Arts and Cultural District and a Main Street program, to no avail due to politics, and maybe we just need to go ahead and develop the programs and fund or find funding for them ourselves.” (Bellis) A very “old-model” approach. ARTAOS is all about creating successful ART/BUSINESS partnerships that work. The term “to no avail” isn’t in our vocabulary because we WORK HARD and have COMMUNITY and LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORT already.

We are a “for-profit” for a very good reason: politics, policy and the long line of already established “non-profits” in this small town made us feel that we would never want to be competing for the same dollars as community-builders here long before us who ARE making a difference in our community.

“But, again, you are going to get flak from the businesses” When we heard this, we went out for two hours, door to door, to the businesses around the El Camino and told them what we were doing. We got 100% support (with owner/manager’s signatures) from the following businesses:

• Dominos Pizza
• Leonel’s Tamales
• Taos LifeStyle & Sleep Sanctuary
• Apothecarty Coffee
• Gearing Up Cycles
• Albertson’s
• Star Nails
• Bealls
• Sun Loan
• A&R Medical
• Metro PCS
• Heather Russell
• Larry Tibbets
• El Taoseño Restaurant
• Antigua de Mexico Imports
• Pro Shop Taos
• Popolo’s Games
• Taos Barbershop
• Fine Art New Mexico
• El Camino Lodge
• Que Chua
• T-Shirt Effex
• Buds Flowers (36 years in Taos)
• Aspen Custom Builders
• Taos Tack
• Stephanie Gilbert
• Taos Ski Valley

AND over 250 signatures from private Taos citizens who really support the idea.

“and the vendor would still need the permission of the property owner, sufficient parking, a CRS number, Business Registration, etc.” (Bellis) Again, it was clearly stated in THIS DOCUMENT ARTAOS, as manager would inform all vendors of the legal requirements to vend within the Town’s jurisdiction. We are not town code enforcement, that’s the Town’s job. And we cannot force or guarantee that people are honest with their taxes. That’s between them and the State and Federal Government, not our elected “civil servants”

Parking was covered already Rick Bellis, please find the time in your busy schedule read our document…please?

It would have taken less time than it did for you to write your rejection email to Darien Fernandez.

“we simply don’t have the staff to organize these events ourselves on a regular basis.” (Bellis) We do. We are ARTAOS. OUR TAOS
Not yours.
We want our Town back Town Council.

NOW, that you know (both sides) of this story, please just come to the Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 11th at 3:00 PM. 400 Cam De La Placita, Taos, NM 87571 if you have an opinion and want to express your support or concerns.

There is also a petition for opinions about this project, please sign it even if you do not agree with our project: PETITION LINK

To contact Taos Town Council members directly, follow this link:

We know you love Taos as much as we do.

ARTAOS

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3rd Annual StarTribe Festival – T-Shirt Pre-order DISCOUNT!

This reserves you a guaranteed custom print of over 20 designs at an UNLIMITED 25% DISCOUNT, LIVE PRINTED, on site! We will have various colors we are sure you will love (TBD).

In collaboration with StarTribe, ARTAOS is going to be “LIVE-PRINTING” Tee-Shirts at this amazing 3 day event!

Visit the Official Startribe website

We are offering this SPECIAL DISCOUNT, PRE-ORDER OPTION for the tribe!

Shirts will be $20 (at the event)
BUT ONLY $15 (if you pre-order by Wednesday, June 28th at Midnight)
ORDER HERE!

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Egon Schiele – ARTAOS

A showing of exquisite works by Austrian artist, Egon Schiele who was the protege of Gustav Klimt. A series of 24 lithographs published by the State Printing Office of Vienna, Austria will be on exhibit.

This launches the 2017 ARTAOS season in our mobile art gallery (MAG).

Limited Edition Serigraph available $40
Limited Edition Serigraph available $40

Upcoming Venue Dates:

Saturday, June 10 from 11AM-Midnight
Taos Mesa Blues, Brews and Bikes Festival
20 ABC Mesa Rd, El Prado, New Mexico

Friday, June 16 from 5:30PM-8PM
5. Gallery
2351 Fox Rd. No.700, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Saturday, June 17 from 9AM-3PM
Downtown Subscription
376 Garcia St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Sunday, June 18 from 11AM-4PM
New Mexico Museum of Art
107 W Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Previous Locations:

  • Saturday, May 20, 2017: Ted Egri Day, Taos County Courthouse, 105 Albright St, Taos, NM 10AM-4PM
    • Live Printmaking demos by Nick Beason; (Gaucho Blue Gallery) & FORGE, (555 Editions)
  • Saturday, June 3, 2017: DAFA Fine Art; 32 Kit Carson Rd, Taos, NM. 3PM-6PM
    • First Saturday Art Walk, TAOS

We will be updating this event as we book locations so sign up for our mailing list.

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ARTAOS Announces: arTV!

artv

ARTAOS is announcing “ARTV”. Working with local businesses, ARTAOS will be installing digital monitors at various locations around Taos which will display local galleries and artists work including their website and contact information.

ARTV locations include; Taos Mesa Brewing Taproom, Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, El Camino Lodge and The Hotel Don Fernando. Artists and galleries will have multiple pricing options based on the level of exposure they desire, with plans starting at only $20 per month. With discounts for students, Taos Pueblo artists, TAO (Taos Artists Organization) and Taos Gallery Association.

Contact us at 505-316-0237 to get started!

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ARTAOS at Coney Island Art Walls, NYC

Check these out! Woo-Hooooo!!!!!

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ARTAOS at Pecha Kucha, Taos – 2016

20 Slides, 20 Seconds to talk over each slide. Nervewrackingly fun!
http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/taos

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ARTAOS at TAOS PASEO 2016

ARTAOS, hosted by Heads Up Music in Taos, set up the MAG and showcased an Augmented Reality exhibit for this years attendees! A Family Experiences Augmented Reality for the First Time!


14463141_287485061644391_5375186010810952451_n
We projected images on the ARTAOS MAG that people could interact with using a mobile app.

A video (recorded inside the app) showing how the user experience

An Augmented Reality Flyer we used to instruct people how to download and install the app.

Read more

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ARTAOS TAO Studio Tour 2016

TAO Members at Sagebrush Inn Reception
TAO Members at Sagebrush Inn Reception

TAO (Taos Artists Organization) artists in attendance at tonight’s Studio Tour opening celebration at the Sagebrush Inn in Taos, NM. This weekend kicks off the Taos Fall Arts Festivals with 3 days of open studio tours hosted by TAO. This is a once-a-year event where you can see true artists in their element, learn about their techniques and see working studios of all types!

Keep up to date on TAO shenannigans at http://www.taosartistorg.org/

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Artaos: secret popup show at Fresh Santa Fe: 8/19 – 8/21

Fresh-Show
ARTAOS has teamed up with Fresh Santa Fe and Farahnheight Fine Art Gallery, Taos, NM to bring you a once-in-a-lifetime art event! Collectors preview, Friday, 8/19, 5-6 pm. Reception, Friday, 8/19, 6-9pm. Saturday 8/20 & Sunday 8/21 from 10am – 5pm (Showing in the #ARTAOSMAG our 20′ mobile art gallery, AND ALSO inside #FreshSantaFe ‘s beautiful gallery space…) inquiries: 505-316-0237
 
This show will feature works by a select group of emerging, Native American contemporary artists PLUS some highly sought-after collectible works by some of the biggest names in Native American art. Originals, signed & numbered serigraph prints and sculptures by artists; Steven Paul Judd, Mateo Romero, Jason R Barnes, Jason Garcia, Randy L Barton, Adrian Wall, Elton Manygoats, Bobby Bales, JayCee Beyale, Gregg Deal and MORE! Plus selected works by R.C. Gorman and Fritz Scholder to name a few. This is a collection of some of the HOTTEST and hard-to-acquire pieces seen in one place for a long time.
 
BLUE JEAN PROJECT: Bring your used Blue Jeans to Fresh Santa Fe when you come to support the Blue Jean Project
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