Students, Alumni Gear Up for CCAD Art Sale

Green vase by Molly J. Burke

The old adage  "if you want a job done, ask a busy person" describes the students and alumni who make CCAD’s annual art sales successful events.

Consider students Chavilah Bennett, Michiella Sturiano, Dion Utt, and alumna Molly J. Burke.

Between the four, they work 10 part-time jobs and one full-time position. In their spare time they create art for CCAD's Art Sale, held this year on Dec. 4 in the Loann Crane Center for Design.

Burke, a Graduate Admissions officer and adjunct instructor at CCAD, offers blown glass sculptures, vases, and ornaments, which she specifically makes for the art sale.

Sturiano is making glass, cut paper, and relief prints. Although she has helped coordinate past sales, 2010 is the first year she’s selling her nature-related and abstract art.

An Ad & Graphic Design junior, Sturiano is weighing input from experienced participants. She's been advised to not underestimate the value (selling price) of her art and to “reasonably bargain” if a customer loves a piece but can’t afford it.

“This shows you're passionate about your work and not just out to make a quick buck,” Sturiano said. She’s selling not only for profit but also to network and to be active within the CCAD community.

Portrait by Chavilah Bennett, class of 2012

Bennett, a junior majoring in Ad & Graphic Design, and Utt, a Fine Arts major, are sharing their sales space. Bennett already knows of people coming to the art sale specifically to buy her small 3D fish necklaces and keychains. The third grade teaching assistant in the Saturday Morning Art Classes (SMAC) program also is advertising examples of her portrait work and hopes to obtain a commission.

Utt, also a SMAC teaching assistant, is making metal and wood earrings and small sculptures for his first sale.

As a first-time participant Bennett is fulfilling a promise she made to herself as a freshman. She spent the past two years observing the holiday and spring sales, taking notes, and asking questions.

Bennett describes the sales as festive and fun. “It’s incredibly rewarding to sell something that I’ve made. I currently view graphic design as my future career, and my drawing, 3D, and illustrative skills as my hobby. I don't have the stress of being forced to rely on selling my drawings and 3D art, so the CCAD art sale is fun for me,” she said.

A veteran participant, Burke (Fine Arts, ’06) reflects on how she has grown professionally as an artist. “I know what to prep for the sale and how long it takes to set up. I remember scrambling at times as a student but now it’s only a little added stress. I have yet to come up with the perfect way to display the ornaments so I may break down and build something this year. I have to admit it's hard to find the time for that when sometimes its hard to even have time to make the artwork.”

The artists aren’t immune to some shopping of their own. At past sales, favorite buys have included jewelry, scarves, vases, a stuffed animal, and purses. And if funds are tight a plethora of wanted items can still be found.

Burke confesses to some occasional end-of-the-day exchanges. “Sometimes I will trade with people at the end of the sale. It's a lot of fun that way. I usually trade for something smaller in size. I have this thing about not wanting to carry out more weight than I came with,” she said.