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Creative exchange

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Hay River (June 13/05) - A Hay River teenager appears to have introduced a new hobby to town.

Chrissie Morgan, 18, is one of the driving forces in Hay River behind art trading cards.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Chrissie Morgan displays some of her art trading cards, including those she collected and others she created to trade.

They are small cards on which people demonstrate their artistic skills, whether it be drawing, painting or design. Sometimes the cards are not really cards, but can be made of wood, rock, glass, cloth and metal.

"Anything goes," Morgan says.

"I compare them to hockey cards," she adds. "You can use any media you want."

She first heard about the cards at the art club of Grande Prairie Regional College, where she is studying visual arts.

Morgan says art trading cards developed many years ago, as a way for artists to exchange samples of their work. "It's been around for a long time."

In March, Morgan was back in Hay River on break from college, and talked to Diamond Jenness secondary school art teacher Karen Gelderman, who had just read a magazine article about art trading cards. "We kind of discovered it at the same time," Morgan explains.

That co-discovery lead to the town's first art trading card session, which attracted several people in mid-May.

Morgan also notes a person doesn't have to be an accomplished artist to participate. "If you have an idea, just go with it." Since she doesn't have a studio, working with trading cards is the perfect size.

However, she thinks it will be hard to trade some of the cards she creates, so she may take photos of them if she likes the artistic idea. "I'd like to elaborate on them later."

Morgan notes the first trading session in Hay River was a lot of fun.

"I really thought it was interesting," she says. "I wanted to see it done again."

She particularly enjoyed the social aspect of artists getting together, discussing their work and trading samples of their creations.

Morgan is now preparing cards for the next trading session in Hay River, set for June 22 at the Shoreline Cafe.