This year marks the 10th anniversary of MICA's Art Market, an annual art fair that transforms the Brown Center into a holiday bazaar, featuring original work and handmade objects from students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Having grown from only 50 participants in 2006, this year's Art Market will host nearly 275 individual vendors selling a variety of items, such as jewelry, illustrations, paintings, prints, posters, sculptures, mosaics, stationery, t-shirts, ceramics, books, toys and wrapping paper.
Among the vendors scheduled to set up shop in the Brown Center from Dec. 7-10 are Maria Mendoza '09 (Fiber), Lindsay Miller '14 (Ceramics) and Illustration students De Robinson '18 and Bailey Watro '17.
All are returning Art Market participants, and think of the fair as a testing ground for their creative pursuits. "Since I have been in Art Market, my work has become more refined. I test out new designs and I add new things to my inventory every year," Miller said. Her brand, Lindsay Aura Designs, began with laser cut wood and acrylic jewelry, and this year she is offering ceramic jewelry that "explores a variety of unexpected materials."
With an array of products that include mixed media collage paintings, archival prints, silk greeting cards and handmade wallet books and organizers, Mendoza approaches the fair as "a way to share new ideas and products while conducting market research and gauging interest before expanding production and opening up an online store."
More than just an opportunity to sell their work, Art Market introduces makers to the practical, business aspects of life as a creative professional, with workshops on tax preparation and marketing for first-time participants. For some, the business experience is a welcome change of pace.
"The numbers-crunching, business side of making things can sometimes be a nice respite from creative work," said Watro, who this year is selling screen-printed shirts and bags, original prints, holiday cards and gift wrapping.
For comic book artist Robinson, who is selling two self-published titles for young readers, Art Market is a chance to explore and be inspired by the work of others. "It is a great opportunity to work and converse with so many other illustrators and students of different majors."
Art Market also provides a space for artists to connect with and support the local community. "I keep coming back because the atmosphere of the Art Market community is inviting and inspiring," said Miller. "Selling both my own work as well as my peers is a really great time to advocate for the arts and buying locally made gifts."
Moreover, 15% of all Art Market sales go to MICA scholarships, ensuring that the next generation of artists is well supported.
Art Market runs from Wednesday, Dec. 7, through Saturday, Dec. 10. Hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., at the Brown Center, 1301 W Mount Royal Avenue. For more information, visit mica.edu/art_market.
This page was last updated on 12/06/2016.