An Artist Cooperative – Just What ABQ Needs!


Circle Of Face International District

How goes it, Beer Farmers? We hope you are alive and well out there in Albuquerque. We are rolling right along here at Tractor. Things are big and beautiful here in Burque it seems. We know something about something you should know about: TIASO. Have you heard of it? Here’s a little run down on: WHAT, WHY, and HOW – in regards to TIASO and their soon to be function in this city of ours!

What? TIASO Artist Cooperative is a member-owned, member-run cooperative that nurtures the work, sustainability, and positive impact of artists, creatives, and cultural workers.

Why? Because the creative work of artists, creatives, and cultural workers is critical to building, nurturing, and maintaining healthy communities.

How? TIASO Coop provides planning, administrative, financial, support, event, and promotion services within a supportive and engaged community of peers.


Sound cool?

We think so… We took some time with one of the “Full Members” Valerie Martinez, to talk a bit, about who she is, and what her function in our art scene, along with the function of TIASO is. We hope you enjoy our interview. We also hope you come out to the TIASO Community Reveal, it is part of I’LL Drink To That’s monthly madness, come February 21st. See you there!

Who are you and what do you do in and for Albuquerque? 

Valerie Martinez, and I am the Founding Director of Artful Life.  Artful Life projects transform communities through the beauty and power of collaborative art.  Artist teams work with neighborhood residents to create “crowd-sourced” works of art. Our arts engagement projects involve large groups of community members (ages 5-95) working together over many months.  It’s amazing to watch art create real and meaningful relationships between people who don’t usually share the same space, as well as real capacity.

How did you get started, in getting TIASO started? 

I have (happily) been a member of the TIASO development committee and am currently on the Facilitating Board.  And, because I’m joining as a full member this first inaugural year, I will soon be one of the charter members of TIASO.  With Shelle, Chrissie, Erin, Michelle, Hakim and others TIASO is realizing a dream we have had, to support artists and community work, for many years.

What has the experience been like? 

It has been both exciting and a lot of hard work—as is true with anything worthwhile.  To see this cooperative come to fruition is pretty amazing—there aren’t too many artist cooperatives like this anywhere in the U.S. so we’re so proud it’s happening here.

What do you think the potential for something like TIASO is in Albuquerque? 

TIASO is going to be amazing for our artist members—providing essential services, nurturing connections between artists working in community/social practice, and expanding the work of socially-engaged artists and communities in NM.  TIASO really has the potential to put ABQ on the map for forward-thinking artist coops.

Why should people get involved? 

If you are an over-worked artist leading great projects in the community—help is HERE!  For your TIASO membership fee, you will receive a wide range of support services for your projects, saving you time and energy and providing crucial support for your work.  For an artist like me, it really is a dream come true.

Give me three words that best describe your relationship to art? 

Life-Saving, Inspiring, Building

Where has ABQ been – where are we now – where are we headed? 

We’ve been deep in the past (with all the historical tumult), vibrantly in the present (ABQ has a truly wondrous arts community) and we’re going to EVOLVE in the future.  ‘Burqueans are not afraid of change and taking risks, in my opinion.  It’s why I love it here.


We couldn’t agree more with the “loving it here” feeling of Burque, in regards to being an Albuquerque business. We can’t wait to continue to lend to the artistic landscape in any way possible; look for continued work from Tractor Brewing, in collaboration with organizations like TIASO – it’s the way everything improves, no?