Art trading cards created by MCC students can now be found all over town

These are some examples of art trading cards created by MCC students for the Plaza Art Fair. See more below. Click an image to make it bigger.

Update, Sept. 25: Big thanks to all the MCC employees who staffed our booth at the Plaza Art Fair. See photos at the end of the post. Meanwhile, here’s our original story about the art trading cards made by MCC students for the event:

At this weekend’s Plaza Art Fair, some mini-masterpieces created by Metropolitan Community College students will be on display . . . but maybe not for long.

MCC students in visual art and graphic design classes drew, doodled, scribbled or whatever they wanted on 2-1/2-by-3-1/2-inch cards. Each is the size of a trading card, which is really the idea: Visitors to MCC’s booth at the fair will be encouraged to create their own art cards, which they can then trade for one of the original student pieces.

“Someone can basically make a small piece of art to exchange for a small piece of art,” says instructor DeAnna Skedel, art coordinator at MCC-Blue River in Independence.

Of course, as the weekend progresses, the displayed student cards are likely to be replaced by art created by fairgoers.

The MCC booth will be at 47th and Broadway in the ArtsKC section along with other arts organizations. MCC art, theater and creative writing faculty will be on hand as well as admissions representatives. A new brochure on MCC’s arts programs and facilities will make its debut at the art fair.

Skedel says she told students to think of the petite pieces as “little messages in a bottle from campus.” They demonstrate that art can move from “being an ownable object to being a conversation.”

Some students signed their works; some chose to remain anonymous.

As for the 100 or so finished student pieces, “some of them are quite beautiful; some of them are really fun,” Skedel says.

Students in such classes as drawing, art fundamentals and survey of art from four campuses — Blue River, Longview, Maple Woods and Penn Valley — took part. Art faculty organized the project.

MCC’s print shop produced some 3,000 blank trading cards for art fair visitors. MCC information is on the back. The general idea is that fairgoers — kids and adults — will treat them as tiny canvases, but English faculty may also use them for writing or poetry activities.

After all the card trading is over, Skedel will collect the remaining cards — perhaps a couple hundred — and display them at Blue River. The cards may then travel to the other campuses.

By the way, artist trading cards, aka ATCs, are a real thing. Swiss artist M. Vanci Stirnemann is credited with coming up with the concept 20 years ago. Wikipedia, citing information from a newspaper article, describes them as “self-made unique works or small series” that are “exchanged and collected.”

Here are some more examples of art trading cards created by MCC students. The center pane is the back of the blank cards that visitors to the Plaza Art Fair will use as canvases:

And here are some pictures of the MCC booth in action at the Plaza Art Fair (photos by Kirk Wayman and Christina Medina/MCC).