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Students sell their wares at Winter Craft Fair

James Kennedy

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Whitman’s annual Arts and Crafts Fair provides an opportunity for Whitman students and Walla Walla locals to show off their art prowess and make a profit. Held Monday Dec. 8, the fair exhibited a combination of local community members, student-run businesses and amateur artists just looking for a little exposure. Prints, cards, clothing, hand-made trinkets and even some confectionaries were displayed and sold from 4pm to 6pm.

A woman examines earrings made by Collin Faunt '17. Photo by Tywen Kelly.

A woman examines earrings made by Collin Faunt ’17. Photo by Tywen Kelly.

Cryptid, Whitman’s premier apparel designers and printmakers, were selling their new designs as well as recent designs from Walla Walla’s Dia de los Muertos celebration. Their newest shirt design featured an Ewok from the Star Wars franchise. This design was created during a children’s workshop the group conducted. Since the last time the Pioneer covered Cryptid last March, the group has gained popularity is expanding from Whitman’s campus to Walla Walla at large.

“We’ve become a go-to in the community,” said senior Jesus Chaparro.

Cryptid’s website is now up and running, and the group is selling shirts leftover from events like the Crafts Fair and shipping them to anywhere in the United States. Currently, the group is focusing on training younger members to carry on the Cryptid legacy when the seniors of the school leave Whitman, hoping that the shirt-making team continues to expand.

Not all the merchandise available at the fair is sold for profit, however. Student group STArt (Students Teaching Art), formed earlier this semester, was at the event to raise money to fund the group’s volunteer work. STArt plans to buy instruments and art supplies to teach students in second to fifth grade at Blue Ridge Elementary, and expand as they gain new volunteers.

“We’re in need of volunteers,” said junior Hannah Davenport, co-president of STArt, “It’s just a great way to get involved with the community.”

The art sold by STArt members at the fair included contributions from within the club (composed of art majors) as well as donations from students on campus. Statues, wood carvings and prints were all available for purchase, and all the profit helps fund the group’s projects.

Community Service groups sold crafts at the fair as a way to raise money for their cause. Photo by Tywen Kelly.

Community service groups sold crafts at the fair as a way to raise money for their cause. Photo by Tywen Kelly.

While several of the tables at the fair were occupied by student businesses and non-profit groups, the majority of students represented were individual artists selling off their personal work. Senior Lilly Gibbs has been felting for 2 and a half years ever since taking a class on the art form.

“It’s a good creative outlet, I can do it while watching TV…[or] if [someone else] is driving [me],” said Gibbs, “They’re cute and fun to make.”

Gibbs spends upwards of two hours on each felted figure, with some of the larger ones nearing four or five hours. She uses roving felt for her projects, which can be pricey depending on where you buy it. If the opportunity arises, Gibbs has considered selling her work at more events, but she’s also content with just making her projects for herself and friends.

From students making hand-made cards over the weekend and selling them, to local Walla Walla businesses, the Crafts Fair hosts a wide swath of the community’s craftier members. Even for contributors which this fair is their first or their last, the exposure for their art gives them to provide more opportunities in the future.

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Whitman news since 1896
Students sell their wares at Winter Craft Fair