The 15 in 30 challenge is an invitation to 28 local artists to create 15 original, 2D artworks within a 30 day time frame, funded by a grant from New Mexico Arts.

Dana Aldis, who initially brought the concept to gallupARTS, first discovered the art challenge while living in Seattle, WA. Her first experience, called the Forgotten Works Challenge, invited artists to create 30 8” x 10” artworks in 30 days. She was hooked. She went on to participate in two more of the Forgotten Works Challenges, before bringing the Challenge idea with her to Moscow and Lewiston, Idaho.

The concept of the “art challenge” is pretty recent (in the last decade or so), perhaps due to the rise of social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Artists are now more able than ever to post and promote their work to a wide audience and to network with each other. By asking artists to focus on creating a series of works in a condensed timeline, art challenges are the perfect fodder for social media–artists can update followers daily, the challenge becomes a hashtag, and soon enough the idea is trending.

Some art challenges have very specific themes (Inktober or the Strada Easel Challenge) and others allow the participating artist free rein. The beauty of a the 15 in 30 challenge is that the artwork can be viewed and appreciated in-person and not just online, and purchased by the local community as well. It also gives the participating artists a local network of artists to connect with during and hopefully after the challenge. 

And those aren’t the only reasons the 15 in 30 challenge is a fantastic opportunity for local artists. For the seasoned artist, it allows them to concentrate on a specific theme or concept for a limited series of artwork. The challenge provides a chance to try a new technique or expand on a subject they’ve been meaning to attempt. The challnege is also a great way for beginner artists to create and show a body of work and to be discovered by the community and their peers.

The 15 in 30 challenge is also an opportunity for the community. When else can you see 420 artworks made by 28 artists all in one place?! For the art lovers, it is a great opportunity to purchase a smaller, more affordable original piece of art (or two or three!) and start a collection. All artworks will be sold for between $25 and $50. The “15 in 30” show is a not-to-miss opportunity for the Gallup community to support local artists and grow our creative economy.

The 28 artists selected for the 15 in 30 challenge represent a wonderful mix of styles, techniques and experience. We can’t wait to show you the diversity of local talent. Expect to see collage, painting, drawing, and creative ways of filling a 5 x 7″ canvas. Look out for landscape, portrait, abstract and still life paintings! See what the artists are creating by following the #gallup15in30 hashtag on Instagram.

Mark your calendars for the Show Opening Saturday, February 9h from 6:30-8:30pm. Meet the artists and learn more about their work.

The artists will also be available to share their experiences with the general public during 2nd Look on 2nd Street on Tuesday, February 19 from 6 – 8pm. Dana Aldis will present an Artist Talk that evening at 7:30pm.