Campus comedians, musicians and actors are constantly able to showcase their work. Every weekend, there is a large amount of plays, comedy shows and concerts. But it is seemingly a rare occasion when visual and alternative artists have the ability to showcase their work on a large scale.
For the first year ever, Lathrop House will be hosting an art market on the residential quad during parents weekend. Campus and local artists will be able to display and sell their creations on the residential quad, where tables will be set up for artists and creative folk to display their pieces. “Any artist or person who cooks—really anybody with a creative m.o.—can come to the market as a vendor,” said Juliette Boberg ’16, who is coordinating the event. Artists can reserve a table to display and hopefully sell their creations on the residential quad, where the market will be held.
The large varieties of artists who will be tabling at the event include visual artists to jewelry designers to culinary aficionados. “Some people are selling food. Another person is selling these mason jar mug things that are very cool and very Vassar,” said Boberg. “I know some people are making some very cool artworks—we sent an email out to the studio art department, and we got some people there to sell some amazing pieces at our market.”
Items sold at the market will all be hand-made and local. James Haxton ’16, a student fellow in Lathrop, said, “The art market will feature everything from handmade jewelry, textile prints, and fine art to VSA org merchandise as well as products from local Poughkeepsie vendors.”
The market will take place on Saturday, April 5 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.. The art market will be Lathrop House’s spring event and will be different than most other house team-sponsored functions. “Somebody came up with the idea because we wanted to have a very cool and different spring event that wasn’t necessarily in the Villard Room,” Boberg said. “It’s a perfect event to hold in the spring because we can have it outside in the res quad—assuming it’s not raining or snowing.”
Campus artists Harry Pickering ’16 and Ray Dominguez ’16 are two of the many people who will be selling their creations at the market. “We are creating accessories or items in relation to future technologies that are currently in their infancy or are projected to be developed within the next 100 years. An example of one such product would be our Earth-Sickness Kits. As space travel advances, and we eventually reach habitable exoplanets or begin terraforming Mars, humans that make the journey may want a reminder of their home planet,” stated Pickering in an email. “Included in these kits will be various natural items, such as beetle exoskeletons and dried bean pods, as well as photos and (possibly) sound-clips of earthly happenings, as examples of the humble rock we come from and should cherish. As well as this, we are including short informative cards in each product with descriptions of each technology that the product relates to, in an effort to educate and further support this positive future.”
The Lathrop Art Market also allows artists, inventors, designers, etc. to showcase a variety of their work, due to the inclusive nature of the market. There is no theme to the market—the theme is a celebration of art and creativity, and campus and local creative-types can sell any and all of their artworks.
Pickering stated, “We will also be selling items of a more jovial nature, such as funky glass lamps, a crab-eating 2-piece bib set and themed mix-tapes among many other items, purely for fun and aesthetic entertainment.”
For some artists, like Pickering and Dominguez, the Lathrop Art Market is a chance to not only showcase and sell their work but also to inspire social change. “We are living in perhaps the most exciting period of human history, with a coming revolution in nanotechnology, biotechnology, magnetism, supercomputing etc. that will revolutionize society,” Pickering stated in an email. “We as a planet are becoming continuously united as a human race, through the internet, globalization, the de facto lingua franca of English, trade blocs such as NAFTA and the EU etc. We would like to do our part, however minuscule, in engendering positive change in social awareness and scientific support in a creative manner.”
The market’s scope reaches far outside of the Vassar bubble and even outside of the local area. And some vendors at the market aim to showcase work that inspires social justice and is the impetus for change. “Lathrop House Team is very excited to be featuring at the art market is the work of a Poughkeepsie resident who runs a women’s cooperative in the Congo called Shona Congo. Women in this cooperative work to create various clothing items in order to support their families,” said Haxton. “This organization additionally sells paper bead bracelets made by orphans in Congo, who use the money from the sales to stay in school. We are grateful to Vassar student Abby Tripler, who interns with this organization and brought them to our attention.”
Pickering and Dominguez also hope to inspire change with their pieces, this time of the artistic sort. “Hopefully this will also inspire other artists to incorporate scientific concepts into their work, or by fusing some other disciplines, and at the very least to impart knowledge from one human being to another,” stated Pickering.
The Lathrop Art Market is not only a vehicle by which local artists—from both inside and outside Vassar’s walls—can showcase and sell their work but also a vehicle for artists to showcase ideas and raise awareness. Those attending the Art Market may not only pick up a few pieces of jewelry of a poster for their wall, but also an awareness of the world around them.