Visitors to the Pecos Valley Potters’ Guild’s 32nd Annual Art Sale ‘Fiesta del Arte’ check out the work of Sarah McArthur at the Roswell Convention Center, Saturday. It continues today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Mark Wilson Photo)
It started 32 years ago as a small event at the Roswell Public Library, where attendees stuffed selected pieces of art for purchase into baskets.
Since then, the Pecos Valley Potters’ Guild art sale has grown into a community-wide event Roswellians look forward to at the beginning of the holiday season each year.
Today is the final day of the guild-sponsored sale, which started Friday at the Roswell Civic Center. The theme for the event this weekend is “fiesta,” and the sale started with a performance by local band Ritmo Latino on Friday.
This year’s show includes 52 booths featuring between 75 and 100 artists. Participating artists are chosen by jury beginning in April for guild members and May for other artists. On display are paintings, ceramic pieces, fiber and wood work, photography, jewelry, soap and more. Item prices range from 50 cents to hundreds of dollars.
Paula Best, of Rio Rancho, has displayed her mixed media pieces at the sale for the past four years. She described the show as a “very positive experience.”
“The quality of art for such a small show is very good,” she said.
Painter Peggy Krantz, of Dexter, is participating in the show for the first time this year. Her booth is among at least seven utilized by new artists. The alfalfa farmer started painting five years ago.
“This is the first time I’ve ever had my art all in one booth,” she said.
While most show artists are from New Mexico and many are local, the event draws vendors from around the country. This year boasts artists from Texas and Missouri.
Show coordinator Jessica Kirk said she thinks the sale has gone even better than expected this year.
“This year is really good, I think,” she said. “The economy, we thought, would hinder it.”
She commented that last year, a Saturday dust storm blotted out many a prospective attendee.
The sale includes a silent auction. The guild splits auction profits between itself and a nonprofit organization. This year, the auction benefits the Roswell Interarts Organization.
The organization is working in conjunction with MainStreet Roswell to renovate L. J. Reischman Park on Main St. The project is called Remembering Roswell, and entails updating the park by building arches at the its entryway and adding custom tile mosaic details to the interior.
The tiles are designed by having community members draw flowers on them in pencil. Interarts members then color the drawings with blue paint and glaze them.