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MassArt storefront supports emerging artists, shows off their work

Posted by Alex Pearlman  June 1, 2012 04:36 PM

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012.JPGBy Ethan Bukowiec

Everything from paintings to scarves, jewelry to photographs, and vases to blenders can all be found at MassArt Made, a retail venture by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, that showcases and sells the work and talents of current and former students.

After renovations to the MassArt campus that made room for the store, its doors opened in April of last year, the brainchild of former MassArt president and creative economy advocate, Katherine Sloan.

Located at 625 Huntington Avenue in the Longwood Medical Area, the store’s window exterior puts all the unique works on display to the public eye. The name MassArt Made could not be more fitting for the retail shop, because everything about it was created by a student, alumni, or faculty member of MassArt. The architecture, logo, website and items sold at the establishment were all created by members of the MassArt community.

While the store’s original purpose was to showcase the overall creativity that MassArt represents, it has grown into an establishment that that’s helping shape the careers of emerging artists and contribute scholarship funds for up-and-coming creators.

Ginger Russell, creative director and manager, has made it a focus to help upcoming artists learn how to market themselves and prepare them for the future.

“It has been a great learning experience for the students who have their works showcased here. I actually think they are learning more than they realize,” said Russell.

There are 79 artists who contribute to MassArt Made and 15 to 20 of those artists are currently enrolled at MassArt. In order for students to have their work featured for sale, they must submit to a blind jury judging. After a student’s work is chosen to be displayed, they work with Russell and her staff to decide on a price at which to sell the piece.

Martin Figueroa, a MassArt 2010 grad, has been working at MassArt Made since day one.

“It is interesting how some students price their work,” he said. “Some students set their price way too high and we have to work with them to make it a bit more reasonable, and others set their price too low and we have to encourage them that their work is worth more.”

Russell, Figueroa and the rest of the MassArt staff put a great focus on preparing students for a career in art by educating them on how to market their work and advertise it so that they can make money doing what they love.

“We really want to direct students towards beginning their own businesses when they graduate,” said Russell.

When a piece is sold, the artist and MassArt Made split the profit 50/50. Of the 50 percent that MassArt Made keeps, 10 percent of that money goes towards scholarships for MassArt students working unpaid internships.

MassArt Made is also dedicated to staying current and up-to-date with popular trends in the art scene, and it doesn’t hurt that each year the incoming freshman class of MassArt will provide artists with new ideas to contribute to MassArt Made, ensuring the store will always stay current and relevant.

To check out MassArt Made or shop online, check out the website, or follow MassArt Made on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo by Ethan Bukowiec

About Ethan: I'm a senior at Suffolk University studying print journalism. I am a sports enthusiast (fanatic.) I love spending days at the beach and enjoying good times with good people. I know it's cliché, but I enjoy the simple things and I feel some of the most routine moments in life can become your greatest memories.

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