Art Mart delivers one-of-a-kind gifts

Glass artwork at Art Mart

Colorful and unique vases, bowls and decorations created by the ISU Gaffer's Guild, the artistic glass blowing club, are available for purchase at Art Mart. Photos provided by Letitia Kenemer.

Art Mart, the biannual art sale sponsored by the Memorial Union Workspace and ISU Gaffer's Guild, will be May 9-12 in the Memorial Union Art Gallery.

The boutique-style marketplace features pottery, blown glass, prints, jewelry and more, all made by Workspace and ISU Gaffer's Guild students and instructors. Supporting local artists and providing an opportunity for students to showcase their work makes this event special for arts and Workspace coordinator Letitia Kenemer.

"It encourages people to buy local and support artists in their area," Kenemer said. "We all want to support artists, but I think sometimes we forget to look where we are. There are lots of talented people right here."

Spring 2023 Art Mart
Memorial Union Art Gallery

  • May 9: 4-7 p.m.
  • May 10: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • May 11-12: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Fun and funds

Proceeds from Art Mart support the Workspace and ISU Gaffer's Guild as well as the students and instructors who sell their work. Kenemer said the event often is the first time students have sold their art and it gives them an idea of what it's like to price their pieces, do inventory and prepare a table.

"Selling their work at Art Mart provides experience. Every time they do it, it gets better and they become more comfortable and get ideas for next time," Kenemer said. "When artists come in and they're excited about selling their work -- those moments feed my soul. That's why I do what I do."

Kenemer also likes to connect student artists with Workspace alumni who come back to sell or volunteer at the event.

Stickers, prints, and pottery at Art Mart

You can find stickers, prints and pottery and more made by students and instructors in the Workspace at the biannual Art Mart.

"I try to set them up with my current Workspace staff so they can get to know each other, talk about what they did after college and make those connections in the local art community," she said.

Art Mart start

According to Kenemer, the first Art Mart happened in 2000, two years before she took over as Workspace coordinator. Since its founding, the event has grown to include work by instructors and additional vendors.

At first, Kenemer said the sale was a way to stop unclaimed items -- primarily pottery -- from piling up and raise money for the Workspace. After taking the helm in 2002, Kenemer said she has tried to do something new each year to make the event unique. The partnership with the ISU Gaffer's Guild arose from these efforts.

"The Gaffer's Guild used to sell at a table or booth in the MU -- I remember buying from them -- and one time I said, 'Hey, would you ever want to just do this with me?'" Kenemer recalled. "I'm always trying to think of another way we can fill a niche without taking away from existing artists."

More than two decades after the first Art Mart, Kenemer is still thrilled to see a line out the door and meet people who are excited about art created by the campus community.

"I love seeing people that come to Art Mart year after year and making that connection," she said.