Feb 9 - 15, 2012 
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Arts Feature

505 and a Heart Shape

Winners of the Alibi’s ninth annual Valentine’s Day Card Contest

By Story and photos by Sam Adams

Love, to some people, invokes images of puppies and unicorns prancing about in a velvety field of rainbow-colored clover. To others, a bloodthirsty Cerberus feasting on a still-gushing aorta might come to mind.

Regardless of your disposition toward the greatest of all bonds, the winning contributions of our annual Valentine’s card contest are bound to make you smile.

The sheer bounty of amorous odes sent our way—and the quality of your efforts—made the judging process rather difficult this year. There was also dissent among the judging ranks as to which contributions reigned supreme. With that in mind, and because such a process is, admittedly, quite subjective, we’re bestowing equal rewards to six of your entries. These runners up can come by the Alibi office (413 Central NW) to pick up their $20 gift cards to The Grove Café and Market. But we aren’t pure socialists: There’s a first-place winner who’s getting an appropriately grand prize.

By Sam Adams

Grand Prize Winner

Replete with embedded cogs, chains and a silver sheen, Kristin Torres-Gurule’s ode to her beau, Brian, won our steampunky hearts over. The polymer clay piece has an attached key and a rotating window with a simple but sincere pledge of devotion. Here’s hoping the partners of eight months keep their love locked down. (Side note: Torres-Gurule is a jewelry-maker whose wares can be purchased at Free Radicals, Buffalo Exchange and 66 Pin-Ups.)

Torres-Gurule is the winner of a freshwater chocolate pearl necklace with a 14-carat yellow gold clasp, courtesy of Butterfield Jewelers.

Darla Van Winkle cleverly appropriated the title—and physical object—of Margaret Armstrong’s Fanny Kemble, a Passionate Victorian by altering the book’s cover text to read “A Passionate Victorian Alibi Valentine.” She also stitched and stapled the book into a two-page narrative with an image of a heart in a birdcage and a daguerreotype-looking photo of lovers embracing while holding rifles. The text reads, “You have my heart ... Don’t shoot.” Ah, the sweet joys of firearms and adoration.

Thomas Maestas’ “Por el Amor de Albuquerque” is a magnificent outsider art love letter to the Duke City. With nods to the Dog House Drive-In, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Griff’s and Lobo sports, it screams 505. And the Heisenberg-esque face on a desert sun? A stroke of genius.

Ramiro Romero Garza crafted an elegant card to a love long gone but not forgotten. Inside is a baby-faced picture of the young soldier in fatigues, along with his military card from 1971. I’ll let the accompanying text speak for itself:

A Valentine Lost Over 40 Years Ago

“A resort town of Vung Tau, Vietnam. I was 20-years-old, in the Army, and faraway in another country. Like any other soldier, I was lonely and very homesick.

“Then one day I met a Vietnamese girl named Bee. My attitude changed, she was an angel and my very good friend. She invited me to her house to meet her family, and have dinner. That was very uncommon. Bee did so many things to make my life there memorable. One day I would love to go back to Vietnam for a vacation. I don’t know if I’d ever see her again, but she’ll always be in my thoughts, sharing one of many episodes of the heart, on Valentine’s Day.”

Thanks to Michael Jackson the three-legged cat for his supreme modeling abilities.
Thanks to Michael Jackson the three-legged cat for his supreme modeling abilities.

My bias toward the fact that tabby cats are the most awesome pet in existence had nothing to do with selecting the work of Elias E. Jaramillo. That said, I have absolutely no idea what a feline quoting a Supremes lyric means—but it’s just so damn cute.

The winner of last year’s contest, Damien DeMenno contributed yet another sterling addition. The technical proficiency in his recycled-resin-and-cut-vinyl playing card is sharp. An arrow runs through the heart on the face-side of his deuce, with the back reading, “TWO OF HEARTS.” A great reminder that love is, indeed, a game.

A six-fingered hand alludes to one of the greatest love stories of all time, The Princess Bride. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “You are my lover. Prepare to sigh.” ... Or something like that. Scott Schneider’s gesture of extremity to his beloved Erin is sure to have her saying, “As you wish.”

 
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