The artistic expression and creativity of students at the University of Georgia was on full display as students and vendors filled the first floor of the Lamar Dodd School of Art for the first ever Dodd Market on Nov. 19.
On top of showcasing students’ art, the event was organized as a way to “provide art students with valuable selling experience and to engage the UGA and Athens community with student artists,” according to the Lamar Dodd School of Art’s Dodd Ambassadors.
Junior fabric design and marketing major Sarah Landmesser is the president of Dodd Ambassadors.
Landmesser worked with the former president Jackson Mitchell last year to write a grant proposal for the Parents Leadership Council. They asked the council to provide monetary support for professional development opportunities through selling experience for students in Lamar Dodd.
The Dodd Market was made possible with the help of all 15 Dodd ambassadors. They all contributed in planning the event –– whether it be by creating signups for artists, ordering supplies, materials and tables, or marketing the event on social media
“We have been planning for it all semester… a lot of behind the scenes between logistics, ordering food, timing, marketing, designing posters, social media graphics. It really has taken a village and all of the ambassadors have had big roles,” Landmesser said.
According to Landmesser, selling experience in college will carry over into an artist’s career of selling their work.
“It can be really scary for a lot of artists to put their work out to sell and see how it will do and how people will respond,” Landmesser said. “It is so important for students to feel the support of the UGA community as artists and this event [is] a time for UGA to rally behind the artists here and their artwork.”
With booths representing the vast array of different artists, styles, colors and techniques, it was impossible for something not to catch your eye.
Haley Greene, a junior ceramics major, was one of the many artists with their work on display. Greene was selling mugs as well as practical and functional pottery, such as dishware sets and kitchen ware and she also paints on the side.
Greene adds even more of her own artistic flare by carving her mugs and incorporating Georgia greenery like pinecones and pine needles. For example, Greene had a ceramic plate on display with an autumn fern design from having the leaf itself pressed into it.
For Greene, she was adamant about participating in the Dodd Market so that she could make connections and meet new people, some of whom might ask for commissions in the future. Additionally, Greene noted how the booths were free, a rarity when it comes to selling art at events.
“This event is really good for people who haven’t had selling experience because it teaches them even just as little as setting up and how to make it look good for customers… pricing your own pieces and finding your own worth,” Greene said.
One booth that was sure to draw attention was that of Emilie Moon, a junior fabric design major, who was recruited by an ambassador in her class. Moon said she is heavily influenced by bold colors –– this was evident in the vibrant tote bags, bandanas, tapestry weavings and dyed clothes on display.
“I would say [my inspiration] comes from a lot of different places. I like a lot of nature-inspired stuff but then also a lot of pop art, like the disco cowgirl aesthetic,” Moon said.
According to Moon, the Dodd Market was a great opportunity for artists like her to sell their art without having to pay any overhead for it.
“This is really like my first time selling my work, especially the most I’ve ever sold anything. It’s just a good opportunity to have that rewarding feeling after putting all that hard work into making it,” Moon said.
Graeme Schneider, a senior fabric design major, was another student who had never sold art at a market before. “It’s interesting to just put your stuff out and be like ‘OK, whatever sells sells.’ There are definitely several things that I have learned that I can take with me to the next market or whatever business environment I go into,” Schneider said.
From observing the bustling environment of the artists and the customers, it was clear that the Dodd Ambassadors were successful in their mission of giving UGA artists an opportunity to develop crucial professional skills that will aid them in their future careers or artistic endeavors.