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Town Council focuses on Clay Festival and BBBS

By Linda Gray

Silver City's Town Council held its regular meeting on Tuesday June 26, 2012, at 6 pm.
Mayor James Marshall called for Public Input. Town resident Alan Mong reported that people are using sections of Pope Street as a landfill: piles of furniture, lumber, plastic, garbage, diapers are creating a fire hazard. Mr. Mong urged the town to take action before the fire hazard becomes worse.
In their opening remarks, Mayor James Marshall and the four Town Councilors thanked everyone who helped with uncrating and unboxing the pieces of pottery in the NAN Ranch Collection, which has returned to WNMU.
In the Reports segment of the Town Council meeting, Lee Gruber, owner of Syzygy Tile Factory and director of the first Silver City Clay Festival to be held August 3-5, updated the Council on the progress of the Festival. The Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Silver City Arts and Cultural District Coordinating Council and cultural entrepreneur Lee Gruber, is launching the first-ever Silver City Clay Festival. Lee Gruber’s passion for clay, mud and earth gave birth to the Clay Festival.

Clay has figured prominently in the history of the Southwest, and has evolved into a signature art form of Grant County and the surrounding regions, creating a “clay Corridor." Thousands of years ago, the distinctive Mimbreño pottery was developed in this region; today Silver City’s Western New Mexico State University houses the largest collection of Mimbreño pottery in the United States.

The three-day Festival will offer 14 workshops, lectures, films, tours, exhibitions and mural projects. Pottery, tiles, and clay sculpture from a wide range of styles will be on display and available for purchase, including Art Deco terracotta architectural elements, handmade functional tile, and contemporary mosaic art. Festival highlights include two juried art shows with renowned jurors Alfredo Ratinoff and Dr. Harry Shafer. There will be a Black & White Gala Opening Reception on August 4 to celebrate this collaborative event, $50/person, black and white dress encouraged, cocktail attire, contact museum for more information and invitation http://www.wnmumuseum.org/calendar.html. For more information on the festival go to www.clayfestival.com.

Following the report by Lee Gruber, Mayor Marshall called to the podium Jayne Ash, program coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grant County. Big Brothers Big Sisters is actively back in the community and looking for volunteers and children to be involved in the program. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and be willing to spend 6-8 hours per month meeting at least twice a month with their match. The children range in age from 6 – 17 years of age. Jayne stated that “children who participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs, 27 percent less likely to use alcohol, 52 percent less likely to skip school and 33 percent less likely to hit someone.” Contact Jayne Ash 575.538.5786, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

During the Business segment of the meeting, the Town Council approved:
1. Public Celebration Permit Application for the Juried Neo-Mimbreńo 2012 Exhibition and Black and White Gala Opening Reception at the Western New Mexico University Museum, 1000 W. College Avenue, Silver City, NM. License Holder: St. Clair Winery, License #6130. Philip Cave, assistant director of the WNMU Museum, reported that the Exhibition would showcase the recent creative efforts of artists throughout the Southwest Region influenced by the extraordinary painted pottery of the prehistoric Mimbres culture featured at WNMU Museum.
2. 11/12-22: Library Renovation Rebid. Bigelow Construction had he low bid at $473,234.91, monies which will come out of dedicated funds for capital improvements.
3. Agreement between the Town of Silver City and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Council No. 18, Local No. 3370, from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014.
4. Appointments to Library Board: Theodore J. Lynn, Jr. and Karlene Colgan

The Council then called an executive session pursuant to NMSA 1978 Section 10-15-1(H) for the following reasons:
1. meetings subject to the attorney-client privilege pertaining to threatened or pending litigation in which the public body is or may become a participant;
2. meetings for the discussion of the purchase, acquisition or disposal of real property or water rights by the public body.

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