The Herron Markets are an opportunity for students at the Herron School of Art and Design to sell their artwork to classmates, peers, faculty and local art enthusiasts on campus in Eskenazi Hall. Herron has been hosting a Winter Market annually for several years now, but in March of 2022, they hosted their first Spring Market.
Anna Corso, a sophomore, was looking forward to the 2023 Herron Spring Market before she learned that it might be canceled. She has been a vendor at other markets but finds the most success at Herron’s markets.
“I was kind of annoyed, just because I do the best at Herron,” Corso said. “I think it's just because I have a more personal connection with the people that are shopping. They're my peers. So I make a lot of money from it.”
A petition created by student Emma Seewald on Feb. 21 shared that Interim Dean of the Herron School of Art and Design Greg Hull, was canceling the Spring Market due to concerns about the event interfering with the senior showcase.
By Feb. 22, Seewald updated that petition stating the faculty had heard the requests from students regarding the event and were working with student representatives to make it happen, and they did.
“Luckily the administration at Herron was able to communicate with some of the student government and we were able to reinstate the spring market,” Seewald said.
There had been a miscommunication between administration and Kat Thomas, Herron’s Student Council President, as far as the date being set for the event.
“They didn't want it to be set on a day that would interfere with the senior show,” Thomas said. “The date was set, but they didn't know that.”
Thomas had worked with faculty member Vance Farrow to schedule a Spring Market after getting feedback from students that they wanted to see another one this school year since the market is open to all Herron students to participate, while “Look/See” is only for seniors.
Thomas and Vance had scheduled a date for the Spring Market and even though the event had not appeared on any formal calendars yet or been promoted, news traveled by word of mouth among students who began to prepare for the market.
Preparing for the market can be time-consuming and also costly for students.
For Corso, it takes a lot of time to prepare when she goes to market. She makes handmade jewelry, which requires her to source her supplies, then package, label and price them. If she has stickers of art prints she has done, she has to make sure they are ordered in time. She also has to put together her displays, which according to Vance, can be a crucial part of the market.
“The students who did the best job displaying their work had better sales as a result,” Vance said. “Signage can be helpful, such as having one’s prices clearly displayed, and adding a bit of “panache” to one’s area doesn’t hurt either.”
Thomas explained that last year’s Spring Market was a pop-up event, planned originally to be a one-time event. There was never a Spring Market event previously due to potential conflicts with the senior showcase titled “Look/See.”
“The administration, they were kind of hesitant to make this Spring Market a thing because they didn't want it to interfere,” Thomas said.
The markets allow all Herron students the opportunity to price and sell their artwork. According to Thomas, it provides them the opportunity to learn how to make sales in a safe place and be able to profit from the selling of their work.
“I think the reason that the students are so passionate about having it is because it provides them financial aid,” Thomas said. “They were so worried about it being canceled, because they had put money into it to begin with and the fear of it being gone was really scary to them.”
Thomas and the Herron Student Council have since worked with administration to get the Spring Market confirmed and on the school’s calendar. Thomas and Seewald have also formed a market committee to increase student involvement in the planning of the markets moving forward.
Seewald hopes that the formation of a committee will create longevity for these markets and cultivate a market that the students at Herron can be proud of.
“I want to tell Herron students to please be patient with us as this is the first year a student committee is being created specifically for the market,” Seewald said. “If they want their opinions to be heard, I’d recommend joining the committee.”
According to Vance, there were over 60 student tables at the Winter Market which was one of their largest events so far, and he thinks the Spring Market might equal or surpass that level.
“The various degrees of planning, marketing, allocations of labor, etc., are wonderful preparation for life after Herron,” Vance said. “Most of what these future graduates will achieve will come through collaborations, so preparatory experiences are invaluable. It’s also great to see so many students rallying together for the common goal of promoting and selling their work.”
The Herron Spring Market is scheduled for April 20 from 1 - 6 p.m. in Eskenazi Hall.
Katie Wiseman (she/her) is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in Spanish. She is the Editor-In-Chief of The Campus Citizen.