On April 5, Goshen College student artists and alumni gathered at the Goshen Farmers Market for an art sale as a part of the annual Well-Crafted Arts Tour for Downtown Goshen’s First Fridays. 

The art sale was an opportunity for GC artists to engage with the community and talk about their work while earning money. Artists presented a range of media including printmaking, pottery, digital art and clothing manipulation. 

“[The art sale] helps to foster more relationships between Goshen College and the broader community,” said Sara Method, assistant professor of art. “This also allows our students to gain invaluable experience in displaying and selling their artworks.”

More specifically, student artists learn the importance of setting up a visually appealing display, understanding the business component of art, building relationships and engaging with the community — all of which will serve them well in the future.

“Actually getting out and selling your work to the public is the best way to understand how to market your work and to prepare students for continuing success as artists after graduation,” Method said. 

For Sarah Lopez Ramirez, a senior film production major specializing in digital art, the social component of engaging with potential customers can be difficult but invaluable. 

“I’m naturally an introvert so it’s gotten to be getting out of my shell a lot and having conversations with people,” Lopez Ramirez said. After several art sales, she has gotten more comfortable. 

“You get to meet a lot of great people and just talk to them and it’s also really nice to see people find my art cute and just go ‘awww,’ it’s really nice to hear.”

Method also affirmed the importance of these personal connections. 

“It is so important for us to continue connecting with the larger community outside of the college,” Method said. “This is a mutually beneficial relationship.”

“As artists, making connections and building a network is so important for future success. Even if a student doesn’t sell a single piece at this particular sale, they are building relationships and that could lead to future commissions or sales at other arts events.”

The artists who participated showcased a range of artistic disciplines, representing the creative nature of GC students. While many students were in the arts, others were pursuing subjects like education and biochemistry. 

Art sales not only support personal connections but also provide a space for reassurance to the artist. 

“It’s just really affirming that people actually like what I’m making,” said Shayne Wassell, a senior graphic design major specializing in printmaking. 

In addition, many visitors to the art sale were friends of the artists, stopping by to support them and see their work.

Bree Wheeler, a recent graduate, said,  “It feels good to let my friends see it in person as well … It’s fun to see people at this sale and my first sale, to see the difference and the evolution of my art.”

A final spring student art sale will take place on Friday, April 19 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Church-Chapel hallway outside the Koinonia room. The sale is led by the GC Art Club and welcomes anyone who would like to participate.