Annual art festival showcases students’ original work

Daily Sundial

The annual art sale held on Dec. 3 at the Art and Design Center was not congested despite the variety of fanciful and original artworks exhibited.

The showcase started at 9 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m. with only a fair number of visitors.

“Not that many people came,” Alumni member Lotte Clever said. “We needed to be advertised a little more, I think, this year.”

Clever said she helps out every year in December for this event, but said that she has noticed quite a downturn in this year’s exhibition. She said it was due to inadequate pre-sale promotion.

The Art Department was in charge of promoting this event and is the primary sponsor every year, according to Clever and Barbara Tabachnick, painter and mix-media artist.

Each year, the department’s Painting Guild organizes an art festival such as this one as a way to encourage independent artists and art majors to advertise their craft and contribute to the guild.

“It’s a pre-holiday sale for everyone,” Barbara said.

Barbara sold greeting cards she had designed and put together herself. She also sold some wall paintings that were quite expensive, but required extreme effort to develop, she said.

Another artist sold spray-painted t-shirts, in a variety of colors. Gohar Gegeyan, print and paint artist, on the other hand said she was mostly successful with her sales. Customers would approach her every now and then, but with the notion that she was selling rocks.

“I hope people wouldn’t think I’m selling rocks because I just use it to hold them (artworks) down,” she said.

The wind was quite active, so Gegeyan needed to find something to keep her art collections from flying away, she said.

Most of the displayed artworks, such as jewelry made out of beads and marbles, scarves made from yarn, t-shirts, pottery, paintings, greeting cards, and sculptures that sold at $5 and up, depending on the craft and creativity.

This was a bargain, according to Barbara, as opposed to going to a city art gallery.

Not all the tables shared profits with the Painting Guild, but the Ceramics table shared at least 20 percent of its total profits with the guild.

The most items that were sold that day seemed to be the pottery and the handmade jewelry.

Most of the sellers were art students who have either taken some kind of art education are majoring in art.

Melissa Holihan, third-year general art major, said she designs and creates scarves and jewelry as a hobby, and by joining the event she was able to gain from her creation.

“I’ve sold a lot today,” she said.

She also mentioned that she uses clays, crystals, precision stones and beads to create body accessories, such as her necklace and bracelet collections.

In addition to Melissa’s jewelry collection, there was one other table with its own assortment of jewelry made from glass and marble.

The ceramics section showcased style and creativity. The potteries came in different sizes and designs. “These are finished and functional stuff,” Clever said.

Fine arts major Kelly McFarland, Senior, made her sculptures out of clay, and said it makes sculpting easier.

Clever said that the money earned from all this is really geared toward helping art students.

“The 20 percent that goes to the guild (which varies annually) is used for student traveling,” she said, “whether to art conventions or visiting professional artists.”

The room where everything was crafted was basically a type of warehouse where the artworks that come out are processed.

The final products were seen at the art event, but the story of how it was made could only be told by the warehouse itself. There were unfinished sculptures and clay pieces stashed on shelves, and the equipment used that help give quality touches to the artwork were visible around the room.

Each art piece is molded first, then taken to the burner machine to get heated up before coating it all around with glaze.

“It gets fired up and then we put the glazes on it,” Clever said. “That takes an entire month.”

The firing of the ceramic object takes up to 3 days because it takes a whole day for it to cool off. After the third day, the object is then glazed.

“The glaze is made from glass,” Clever said.

She said that it is the most ideal coating for a clay object.

“It’s very different from each person; different levels of student works,” she said. “You could always tell what’s amateur work and what isn’t.”

Jelly Mae Jadraque can be reached at