By: Sarah Danley
Transforming a school project into reality, the Artist Market returned to the library to showcase student art for the third consecutive year, keeping the spirit of 2020 alum Mia Parise’s senior project alive.
“I remembered an art market from a few years ago and I wanted to do something like that,” junior Tori Jones said. “It was for an International Studies project about doing something good for the school.”
In collaboration with junior Lorelei Damico, Jones set out to make their project a reality by including other student artists through the Art Club’s team page, created by art teacher Mrs. Kelley Audia.
“They wanted to do it and I told [Jones] I would support her however she needed me to,” Mrs. Audia said.
Audia was not the only one excited about the revival of the market. Student artists who participated in markets in the past were excited that it was back for the second semester.
“I was excited to make more money and have an opportunity to sell more artwork,” senior Alyssa Angiolieri said.
Often, student artists struggle finding opportunities to sell their artwork. Angiolieri claimed that she has “been meaning” to start an Etsy shop, but finds navigating shipping her artwork to be a stressful task.
“It’s hard to find somewhere to make profits on their art and this gives them that chance,” Jones said.
With these difficulties in mind, help from the art teachers and other students made selling artwork more manageable. As a teacher, seeing students take on a leadership role for their passions is what they are here to inspire.
“It’s what we’re here to do as teachers,” Audia said. “[Jones] is such a strong leader and really got the ball rolling. I give her complete credit for doing this. I don’t know what I’ll do without them.”
The Artist Market did not only benefit the independent student artists who made their products outside of school, but also the GS art program as a whole. A small portion of the market’s proceeds went back into providing supplies for students in art classes and Art Club.
“I am taking five dollars on their first $20 made, which goes directly back to Art Club,” Audia said. “With that money, I buy materials for the market or class materials that come full circle for the artists using them.”
By providing materials for students in past classes, Audia helped students find what materials they prefer working with, as well as what kind of projects interest them. Once they found what they loved, artists created something they were proud of, making it more rewarding for them when their art was purchased.
“It’s pretty exciting when someone buys my pieces,” Jones said. “You don’t think anyone wants your art until they buy it.”
Since artists do not see much, if any, profit from their artwork normally, a new sensation came about when others saw value in their art by purchasing it.
“It feels good to know people enjoy your artwork and use it as a way to express themselves,” Angiolieri said. “I love seeing my pins on people’s backpacks as I walk around school. It makes my artwork feel official.”
As students saw real worth in their artwork through the market, Audia saw more motivation in them as they took more pride in their work.
“The other artists were so excited and motivated,” Audia said. “A lot of them were really successful.”
From the success the art program saw this year, many are hopeful the market will continue, including both teachers and students.
“Next year I will be a senior, but I will try to get it running again,” Jones said. “I hope to hand it off to someone younger when I leave, though.”
Motivation and student leadership are the keys to the success that will keep the Artist Market running for years to come.
“I hope we do it every semester and that the artists will be highly motivated and excited and willing to put themselves out there,” Audia said. “This wouldn’t have happened without Tori Jones, but I hope it continues.”