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Columbia College celebrates 4th annual art market

By Erin Vogel

For RedEye

December 7, 2012

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You don’t have to be an artist to give your family and friends creative Christmas gifts – you can just take the easy route and buy gifts made by art students instead.

Columbia College will celebrate the opening of its 4th Annual Holiday Market Thursday night with a reception from 5-8 p.m. giving the public an opportunity to meet the 30 student and alumni artists that will be showcasing their work at this weekend’s market.

The market is an extension of its year-round student boutique ShopColumbia, which started up in the fall of 2008 to give Columbia students and alumni a chance to learn how to price, market, and sell their work. Since it started four years ago, the 150 artists from the university represented at the store have made almost $200,000 from selling their work. Students earn 75% of every sale and alumni make 50% off each item sold.

Ronda Dibbern, manager of exhibition and performance spaces at Columbia, said the fair is a great opportunity for Columbia to show off the skills and talents of some of its students. Last year the fair welcomed about 1,000 people, and Dibbern expects a good turnout for this year’s market, the school’s largest fair to date. She said the holiday season is one of the boutique’s most successful sales periods of the year.

Dibbern and her staff were rushing to finish barcoding every piece of art – which ranges from fine art to music to paper goods – the day before Thursday’s opening reception. “It’s going to be a really great showcase,” Dibbern asid. “All of our artists have been working extremely hard the past few weeks.”

The market will be open from Dec. 6-8 on the first floor of 623 S. Wabash Ave., 5-8 p.m. Thursday, 11-5 p.m. on Friday, and 11-5.p.m. on Saturday.

And if you’d rather not leave your house (understandable, it’s cold outside!) you can check out the students’ offerings online instead: http://shop.colum.edu/index.php