Junior communications major, Joy Watanabe, picked up a pair of handcrafted silver earrings, placed it back down then glanced at minimalistic earrings shaped like an elongated “u.” She, like many of the attendees at Long Beach State’s School of Art Holiday Art Sale, was browsing student-made pieces being sold on opening day Sunday.
“All the [art] departments showcase what they are working on,” Watanabe said. “I like to come because I buy gifts for [my] friends. It’s more personalized and not from Target.”
Attendees of the student-run annual sale sipped hot apple cider and browsed through more than 20 artists’ handmade ceramics, textiles, metals, art prints and more. The sale will take place from Sunday to Thursday in the School of Art Galleries.
“Some people just want to show off their work and get themselves out there, so this is what that is,” said Althea Fultz, president of the Ceramics Club.
Proceeds made from the art show will go back to the respective art departments and clubs to fund travel programs, materials, building fixtures and future events hosted by the art department, according to Fultz. Students who are selling their artworks will also receive a portion of the money.
The Ceramics Club had the largest room covering the Max L. Gatov West and East Gallery with pieces including sculptures, pots, teapots and bowls. Prices for the ceramic pieces ranged from double to triple digits, with some thousands of dollars.
Across from the ceramics gallery was mixed mediums including earrings made from acrylic in the shape of a UFO, squares and other abstract shapes. LBSU alumni Gay Anderson, 61, browsed small buttons and art prints hanging on the walls.
“They always have great stuff. I get my Christmas shopping [done] here,” Anderson said. “I’m thinking of looking for stocking-type things, small buttons.”
She has been buying at the sale for years and always comes back because she says she has a positive experience every time. She said one time she bought two art prints for herself that she framed and still hangs in her home.
One table belonging to sculpture major Matthew Dehnel had silver, maroon and black colored skulls and bones made from bronze and aluminum. He said he presented these pieces because he has been working with foundry, a process of metal casting into liquid and he thought people would be interested in buying them.
The Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery contained pieces of color-dyed cloth hanging on the walls for people to examine. Studio art major Cyone Forrest said that she used cotton thrift store findings and then dyed them, creating woven tote bags and scarves.
“It’s cool to raise money for the fiber department and to raise money for myself,” Forrest said. “We are in the FA-2 and we have a kitchen that’s pretty beat up.”
Hours of the sale for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Wednesday, the galleries will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.