Artist Trading Cards (ATC)
The original concept of ATC’s was initiated by Swiss artist m. vanci stirneman, who wanted to make a catalogue to document his activities with other artists. To reduce publication costs, he decided to produce 1200 cards by hand. This led to the first art exhibition of Artist Trading Cards in 1997 at INK.art&text in Zurich. Visitors to the exhibition were encouraged to produce their own cards to trade at the closing reception of the exhibition. Since that time, regular Trading Sessions take place there every month.
Canadian artist Don Mabie (aka Chuck Stake) attended the closing reception in Zurich, and wanted to bring this idea to his home in Calgary. In September 1997, the first trading session took place in Calgary’s The New Gallery. Since then, other artists have been introduced to the ATC idea and it has grown around the world. In the Lower Mainland, Vancouver artist Bill Thompson met Don Mabie and m. vanci stirnemann in Calgary in 2000. After that meeting, Bill initiated a monthly trading session at The Grind & Gallery Coffee Bar where it continues on today. Word has spread and ATC Trading Groups have cropped up in areas all over BC in places like the Sunshine Coast, Nanaimo, Port Moody, Kelowna, and Maple Ridge.
Carie Helm, the RAG’s Curatorial Assistant from 2005-2007, initiated Artist Trading Cards here in Richmond after she was introduced to them in Kelowna. Carie began monthly sessions at the RAG and coordinated two annual ATC exhibitions. After her departure, RAG staff and dedicated volunteers have carried on monthly trading sessions at the Richmond Art Gallery, and plan to continue the annual ATC Exhibition.
Left: ATCs at the RAG founder Carie Helm at a trading session
For more information about ATC’s at the RAG, or to join our email contact list, contact Kathy Tycholis at firstname.lastname@example.org