The Exit Gallery, located in the Strand Union Building (SUB), holds a two-day art market in the SUB Ballrooms every semester. This semester's market was held on Monday and Tuesday and was met with record-breaking success.
During the reception on the evening of Monday May 1, I approached ASMSU Director of Arts and Exhibits Madeline Trawick and Assistant Director of Arts and Exhibits Ali Rysted, the event organizers. They were celebrating the 300th sale of the market, the most of any Exit Gallery Art Market ever.
"We are excited. We hit 300, which wasn't even like a goal we thought would happen," Trawick said.
Trawick, a sophomore in Graphic Design and Art History, and Rysted, a junior in Art History and Museum Studies, attributed this semester's and last semester's success to timing. "I mean it was kind of [unintentional] to have them when we did because it came down to scheduling here [in the ballroom],” Trawick explained. “But it ended up working so well. We had the last one right before Christmas, and then we had this one before Mother's Day and graduation. It should have been this all along."
The variety of exhibitions this semester was broad, with 48 total booths featuring techniques such as painting, digital art, clay jewelry, printmaking, ceramics, photography and apparel.
Graphic Design senior Logan Crowley attended the Art Market on Tuesday May 2 and described it as an excellent opportunity to see what her fellow MSU artists are up to. "Especially as a current art student who no longer has any classes in Haynes, I love to see what everyone's been working on. I also love to support friends so they keep making new cool stuff, and we can have more events like the art market in the future," Crowley said.
Some artists have returned semester after semester to sell their work at the Art Market. Studio Art student Josie Jane at Cowgirl's Hands Art and Jewelry, who makes beautiful hand-beaded and cast jewelry, has been a frequenter of the event during my time at MSU. Alumnus Johnathan Haberman, an Art Market veteran, makes intensely detailed lithographs, woodcuts and more.
First-timer Keara Mulvaney, a senior in the Graphic Design program, described the Art Market as a great way to do market research to determine what people are interested in buying. "I study graphic design, but I love to combine it with printmaking methods. I illustrate, and then I create a digital file that I screen print onto upcycled fabric and then turn it into patches," Mulvaney said. Her patches and prints feature distinct and graphic crafty-witch imagery and outdoorsy themes.
Trawick and Rysted said that the Exit Gallery only takes a 15% commission off sales at the Art Market and charges no booth fee, compared to other galleries where it is standard to take a far higher commission percentage.
This means the artists at the Art Market go home with 85% of the money from their sales. The rest of the money goes right back into the Exit Gallery. "This is our main source of revenue," Trawick said. "We just had a new renovation in the gallery, so a lot of that funding came from here. Keeping the gallery professional looking, whether that means retexturing the walls or getting the floors done. And also paying our people," Trawick said The Exit Gallery is entirely student-run.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Exit Gallery, check out its LinkTree on Instagram @exitgallery. Currently, there is a call for entries for next semester's gallery exhibitions. Trawick and Rysted encouraged anyone interested to apply. Look out in the fall for next semester's Art Market call for entries.