“Find the Grinch” Contest Features Whoville Scenes Painted in Windows


  • The “Find the Grinch” contest continues until December 11th.
  • The winner will be chosen in a raffle at the Aztec Sparkles celebration that day.
  • Call 505-334-7646 for a full schedule of events or for more information on the “Find the Grinch” contest.

AZTEC – Christy Clugston knew she would have to get creative in coming up with scene ideas to paint for the “Find the Grinch” promotion she launched as part of the annual Aztec Sparkles holiday celebration.

But she can’t help but laugh when she describes her favorite painting, the one she created for the Aztec Plumbing & Supplies storefront on Main Avenue in the downtown core.

“It’s the Grinch sitting on the toilet,” she said, laughing and explaining how she thought the scene was natural, given the nature of the business.

Clugston and around 20 of the young students she works with as founder and CEO of Inspire heART have been busy in recent weeks painting store windows across town as part of the promotion. Each window features a scene from Whoville, the fictional community immortalized in the Dr. Seuss classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” or a depiction of the Grinch somewhere inside the company.

Christy Clugston of Inspire HEART poses with one of her paintings of The Grinch in the window of Aztec Plumbing & Supplies which she made for the "Find the Grinch" competition.

Buyers who collect a “Find the Grinch” card and have it stamped by at least 10 of the 22 participating businesses will be entered into a draw to be held during the Aztec Sparkles holiday celebration on Saturday December 11th. The raffle winner will take home a gift basket filled with merchandise, gift cards or discount cards from these establishments.

Clugston, an accomplished artist, pitched the idea for the promotion to the Aztec Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the Aztec Sparkles competition and celebration in partnership with the City of Aztec. Although she normally works with acrylic paints on canvas, she said she enjoys painting windows and enjoys the holiday spirit that the competition has promoted.

Artist Christy Clugston says she enjoys painting Whoville scenes because it is a very forgiving subject. "Everything is twisted anyway," she says.

“I really wanted to do it because I love the Hallmark movies and I love the unity in a community,” she said.

Clugston has also recruited many students she works with at Inspire heART, a nonprofit art therapy organization housed in the Old Aztec Theater. Inspire heART aims to use the visual arts as a healthy and creative outlet for the negative emotions that many young people may be feeling.

Following:Nonprofit art therapy group founded after Aztec High filming moved to Aztec theater

Debbie Klein, vice president of the Aztec Chamber of Commerce, said she liked the idea of ​​Clugston as soon as she heard it and was eager to incorporate it into Aztec Sparkles, which is making her return this year after being canceled last year due to COVID. -19 pandemic.

Luke Clugston, left, and Jayden Fitzgerald paint a Whoville-inspired scene on the window of an Aztec company as part of the "Find the Grinch" competition.

“I feel like the community needs it,” she said of the holiday celebration. “We’ve been locked up for so long and so many people have been locked up. We have to get back together and do things.”

Clugston said she completed 15 of the paintings on December 3 and has eight more to do. The contest runs until Saturday, December 11, when Aztec Sparkles ends with a series of activities throughout the day.

“It’s one of the funniest things to paint because it’s so forgiving,” Clugston said of Whoville’s theme. “Everything is twisted anyway. Everything is so original, you don’t have to be this amazing painter.”

Christy Clugston of Inspire HEART paints a Whoville-inspired scene on a window at Aztec as part of a "Find the Grinch" competition.

Klein said the response to Whoville’s paintings has been overwhelmingly positive, especially among some business owners who were reluctant to participate at first. She hopes the idea will catch fire and attract curious visitors throughout the week, pointing to the fact that businesses scattered across town – not just downtown – are participating.

“Our goal is to get people into businesses,” she said.

Following:Event calendar

Aztec Sparkles will be highlighted by events such as the Santa Dash 5k and 10k on the morning of December 11, as well as an afternoon ceramic painting class at 550 Brewing Taproom and a carnival at the Aztec Boys & Girls Clubs. . Hay rides will be offered downtown, where a DJ will provide a musical soundtrack. Live music and refreshments will be available at various venues, while Clugston and his Inspire heART team will feature face painting.

The winner of "Find the Grinch" will be selected in a draw on Saturday December 11 as part of the Aztec Sparkles celebration.

A Whoville / Grinch costume contest will be held downtown at 5 p.m. The Aztec Sparkles Parade begins at 6 p.m. on Main Avenue, and the festivities end with the lighting of a community Christmas tree in Minium Park.

Call 505-334-7646 for a full schedule of events or for more information on the “Find the Grinch” contest.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or [email protected] Support local journalism with a digital subscription.


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