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Artist Trading Cards

Beyond Our Borders

By: Kim Dubay

Sprockets. Designed and hooked by Kim Dubay of North Yarmouth, Maine. 

Do you remember baseball cards? Did you—or your children—have a collection that grew and changed as time went on? Lately, trading amongst rug hookers is starting to look a lot like that: hookers are exchanging small baseball-card-sized hooked works of art with each other. Welcome to the world of artist trading cards, hooked style.

Artist trading cards, or ATCs, are small works of art (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") that painters, collage artists, and even fiber artists can trade. Think of them as business cards. These trading cards for artists were first seen in Switzerland in a gallery showing at a bookstore in the mid-1990s. The public was captivated. The response was overwhelming, so people were told that if they wanted a card, all they needed to do was bring a card in to exchange. The idea spread, and years later, the trading of art cards came to North America. ATCs are alive and well today in many different art and craft fields: paper arts, collage, needlework and embroidery, scrapbooking, quilting—and now rug hooking.

This article is from the June/July/August 2010 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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