Graduate team to help aspiring artists market their talent

Photo by Daniel Santa Cruz From left to right, Ashley Laverty, Mollie Flanagan, Kara Chesser, Emily May. Photo by Daniel Santa Cruz

Being an artist is difficult. Coming to age after the biggest recession in recent memory and wanting to do something more creative and non-traditional is even more difficult.

This is the case for five ASU graduate students who are working to help aspiring artists become successful with their art in a money-driven world. These efforts have culminated in the team hosting the Student Art Market.

The entrepreneurs have been working together on the project all semester.

The event, affectionately called SAM for short, will be held Saturday, Nov. 22nd in Casey Moore’s parking lot from 2-6 p.m. Graduate students, Kara Chesser, Mollie Flanagan, Ashley Laverty, Shelby Maticic and Emily May, all of whom are Master of Fine Arts students, will oversee the event.

Art students, both from ASU and neighboring schools, have been invited to the pop-up art market to sell their works, with the caveat of having at least one item selling for $30.

Requiring every participating artist to have at least one item that is $30 or less was done so students who don’t necessarily have the budget for art can still come and purchase pieces, Chesser says.

“That was really important to us to not only support the student artists that are selling their work, but to get young people and students to come buy the art too,” Laverty says.

Photo by Daniel Santa Cruz The Student Art Market will be held Saturday, Nov. 22nd in Casey Moore’s parking lot from 2-6 p.m. Photo by Daniel Santa Cruz

As of Wednesday, 23 artists have signed up to bring in their artwork to sell. The types of art vary from prints and photography pieces all the way to duct tape art with everything in between.

“(We have) a little bit of everything for everyone,” Chesser says.

The proceeds of any sold art pieces are divided into an 80-20 split, with the artists getting the higher percentage and the rest paying off costs, Flanagan says.

She says that 80 percent of the proceeds going towards the artist is a higher percentage for the artists compared to when they would sell their work at a gallery.

SAM is the brain child from the five entrepreneur’s graduate seminar class Arts Entrepreneur, Flanagan says. The class has the students work in a group setting to go out and create a way for artists to make a living from their art.

This is the first time some of the artists are selling their art, Laverty says.

The class and SAM are striving to help young student artists launch into the world of making a living off of their art, Flanagan says.

All of the entrepreneurs hope to continue SAM in the future and help student artists get their work out there, Flanagan says, with possible plans of another student art market in the upcoming spring semester or next year.

Reach the writer at or via Twitter @jesse_millard.


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