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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Fine arts students showcase creativity on campus through art market

Various original prints, ceramics, oil paintings, stickers and jewelry were available for students and other community members to buy at a student art market on Nov. 29 and 30.

The purpose of the market is to give students in Arts, Design and Creative Industries (ADCI) the opportunity to sell their art and connect with other artists on campus.

“We love art, and we love to see artists grow within their artistry and allow them to do what they need to do,” De’Andra Hughes, a senior majoring in fine arts, said.

According to Hughes and Laine Schawe, a senior studio arts major and organizer of the market,  their team has decreased in size over the years due to members graduating. This has placed several constraints on keeping the art market up and running, and they are looking for help because they, too, will soon graduate.

“We just lost a lot of our manpower for the team,” Schawe said. “I think it’s gotten smaller, but people are still really interested and want to participate.”

Together, the duo reserved tables in the Rhatigan Student Center, recruited artists, trained them on their system, gave support and feedback, and created promotional flyers found in the fine arts buildings.

Artists were given the opportunity to sign up using a QR code on flyers and were selected on a first-come-first-serve basis. Hughes and Schawe aim for 25 artists each year, but this year only 20 signed up.

Shanisse Vontress, a senior art education major and third-time vendor at the art market, said she hoped to connect with other artists and their work. Some of her favorite pieces included fan art prints of her favorite “Demon Slayer” characters, which were also her bestsellers.

Art vendor Savanna Nichols, a junior painting major who uses any pronouns, said they were excited to show off some of their art, which included framed taxidermy pin bugs made of paper, hand-painted magnets, prints and stickers.

“I’ve been really encouraged by the community at WSU, the art community here,” Nichols said. “I’ve had some interest in people wanting to either buy or like trade or whatever for some of my artwork, so I was really excited when I heard that we’re having a sale for an opportunity.”

Colleen Schwarz, a community member who purchased some pieces from the art market, said supporting local artists is important to give them a good start, collect unique works, and build creativity in the community.

“I just feel like there’s so much underappreciated art, especially students here, that it’s good they got their stuff out in the open where you can purchase it and just kind of learn about different things,” Schwarz said.

Hughes and Schawe hope to keep the art market and the supportive culture it creates around for a long time. They have plans to expand the event outside of WSU so it can become a block party or convention.

“I really pray and hope that we’re able to get this continuously going because … it’s nice to see the artists enjoying (and) sharing their work with others, and that was the whole mission,” Hughes said. Hughes and Schawe said anyone willing to join their team should email them at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Genesis Merriett
Genesis Merriett, Reporter
Genesis Merriett is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She is a sophomore majoring in mathematics, however, Merriett enjoys writing as well. She is originally from Missouri, but lived in Colorado for most of her life until moving to Wichita five years ago. Additionally, she enjoys drawing, crochet and exploring new places in her free time.
Monique Bever
Monique Bever, Reporter
Monique Bever is a first-year reporter and photographer. She is a freshman majoring in philosophy. Monique has lived in Wichita for most of her life. She loves film, fashion, and her cat.

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    JayDec 5, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    I was in this too