Student artwork sold at the new shop in the Hall building offers art and experience to students
How much of your homework do you recycle? Completed assignments, essays that have been graded and marked test papers have all found their way into every student’s recycling at one point or another.
For Fine Arts students, their projects often face a similar demise. After spending countless hours planning and working on projects like drawings, sculptures and paintings, their pieces can usually end up stashed in the back of a closet.
But now, thanks to a new initiative at Concordia, Fine Arts students won’t need to throw their work away—instead they can make some money from it.
The Art Consignment Shop that just opened in the Hall building is a space for student artists to display and sell their work, which means their art will hang in a fellow student’s home instead of gathering dust.
“This is a way for them to bring that artwork back and show it to other people if they want to,” said Sarah Pupo, the shop’s co-ordinator. “It will let their work have a second life outside of class.”
Pupo, who holds a master’s degree in painting and drawing from Concordia, said that the shop provides an important connection between Fine Arts students and the rest of the university.
“I hope that it allows students to show their work to an audience that wouldn’t see it,” said Pupo. “I want the rest of the university to see the real breadth of talent that the Fine Arts students have and the great work that they’re producing.”
Any student enrolled in a Fine Arts program can submit examples of their work to be evaluated and possibly displayed in the shop. Pupo and the artist negotiate a price for their work, of which the artist keeps 70 per cent.
Masters student Janina Anderson has a collection of glass votive candles for sale in the shop. She said that the jump from being an art student to being a working artist can be a big one.
“It can be very jarring for students when they leave school and they realize it’s a whole wide world out there that doesn’t care about the art that you made today,” said Anderson.
She explained that for students who plan on selling their work commercially after graduation, it’s valuable to understand how the system works.
“I think it’s great that Concordia is giving artists an opportunity not just to make some money from their work, but also to introduce them to that system,” said Anderson. “It’s nice to have these programs through university with a formal structure where you have to submit an application, and there’s a jury process where you may or may not be accepted.”
Undergraduate student Bianca Hlywa agreed that the consignment shop is a good mechanism for students who want to explore the connection between art and retail.
“I think if you want to be involved in the art world and you don’t have a problem with being involved in the commercial art world, then it’s a good thing to do,” she said.
Hlywa has an extensive collection of “three-minute drawings for $3” available in the shop—pieces that originated from a foundational class exercise.
However, she stressed the fact that not every art piece belongs in a shop. “You have to consider what you’re doing before you put it there, where you’re going with it,” said Hlywa.
The Art Consignment Shop will be putting out a call for submissions in the next week in order to select the works that will appear in the shop next semester. Pupo also said she’s planning to hold a two-day Christmas sale before the holidays to give exposure to an even larger number of artists.