Art Club’s annual sale teaches students marketing skills

Art Club member Juliette Ratchford working the sale. Photo by Megan Hartman.

By: Matthew Johnson

Students and local artists sold pottery, paintings, ceramics, jewelry and more pieces of artwork at the Art Cub’s annual Christmas art sale in Tucker Student Center over the weekend of Nov. 19-21. Aside from student artwork, the art sale also featured jewelry pieces from Ruth Zehnder, wife of Dr. Tim Zehnder who teaches biology at Gardner-Webb; chief Barry Johnson also sold Pennsylvania Dutch barn signs.

Students also sold Christmas ornaments at the art sale. Photo by Megan Hartman.

Students also sold Christmas ornaments at the art sale.
Photo by Megan Hartman.

The profit made from the sales will go towards art students, funds for trips and other educational purposes in the art program. This event was also a chance for students to take pride in their work by learning how to market their own pieces and present them for potential customers.

“One aspect is to teach students about marketing, how to exhibit their work and pricing for a real life experience,” said Susan Bell, professor of Art at GWU.

Students planned months in advance to make sure they had everything they needed to have successful pieces for the sale. Many students spent long weekends and afternoons completing their artwork.

“This [taught] me how to price things and see how much value your work is worth,” said Aubree Bell, an art major at Gardner-Webb. “I have been working over a month to get things together with nights finishing and polishing pieces.”

Gardner-Webb student shopping for handmade pieces. Photo by Megan Hartman.

Gardner-Webb  student, Preston Rodeniser, shopping for handmade art pieces.
Photo by Megan Hartman.


The sale was brought to Gardner-Webb when professor of arts in ceramics and sculpture, Dr. Doug Knotts began his career at the University. While attending college at Western Carolina University, he was introduced to the marketing part of the art world when the school hosted the student led sale. He wanted Gardner-Webb to have the same opportunity for students and local artists.

Susan Bell believes the annual art sale also serves as a reminder to students and the Gardner-Webb community that the university values the arts and the work student artists work hard to produce.

“A lot of the mainstream students that never cross the street may not know we have an art program,” she said. “The Christmas sale gives us visibility that we have not have on the campus.”


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