Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The Kitao Gallery’s first-ever student art sale was a huge success, according to organizer Kate Goertzen ’09. Although, she said, the Kitao board “didn’t know what to expect, because we’ve never done this before,” the sale, held this weekend at the Kitao gallery, was a successful showcase for student work and met its goal of allowing student artists to sell their works and also raise money for charity.
The show featured 130 pieces in various media, ranging from photographs and screenprinted t-shirts to ceramic teapots. The sale was “especially good for ceramics students,” said Goertzen, “because ceramic is heavy and bulky and you make 100s” but at the same time the works are very practical.
Emmanuelle Wambach ’08, a senior art major, agreed, citing lack of space as a reason she wanted to participate in the show: “I had a lot of pottery from past classes lying around that I can’t take with me when I graduate. I have no place to put them, so it seemed like a great solution.”
According to Goertzen, ceramic pieces “sold very well.”
Students set their own prices for their work, with some advice from Goertzen, a process that some found difficult. Estella Baker ’11 said that while it was hard to part with her paintings, “pricing was even more difficult because it forced me to quantify the amount of work, love and time I put into each piece.”
The sale was primarily intended as a way for students to sell their work, but there was also a charity component. The gallery added a small amount to the price of each work, which will be donated to the Chester Mural Collective, an arts group founded by Swarthmore alumna Anna Torres ’07.
The Kitao board decided to add the fundraiser to the sale because, according to Goertzen, “we thought it would be cool to give to a local charity. The Chester Mural Collective does things we think are really beneficial.”
Both Wambach and Baker appreciated the fundraising aspect of the sale. Although Baker admitted that she liked being able to make money from the sale, she added that “the charity component only added to my decision and made parting with my favorite paintings much easier.”
By Sunday evening the gallery had raised $43 for the Chester Mural Collective and taken in $630 for the artists.
Goertzen hopes to “make the charity a much larger part of [the sale] next year” and encourage “active participation instead of just giving money.” Overall, though, she said that the gallery is “very satisfied with how many pieces were sold” and will definitely be doing a reprise of the event in the future.