By Pete Barell
Arts and Entertainment Editor
Plans are finalizing for a student-run Art Gallery Store that will be built into the ASL Gallery in Hillwood Commons. The university- funded store will feature and sell student-made art, ranging from ceramics, paintings, t-shirts, sculptures, mugs, and everything in between. Initially slated for a Sept. 23 reception, the grand opening will be postponed several weeks due to logistical issues. The store is also waiting for a new drafting of the consignment contract given to prospective artists wishing to sell their work. Displays of student works are already situated in the gallery, with more to be added before the reception.
Special Projects Coordinator Tamir Dayya, manager of the student-run businesses on campus, is tasked to work with students and other faculty in organizing the new store. Interested students must sign a consignment contract with the university in order to have their work be sold, with prices decided by the artist.
“[Students] receive 70 percent of the sale price,” said Dayya. “The other 30 percent will go back into the student-run business program, which is then split 50/50; half going to a scholarship fund, [and] the other [half] going back into the businesses.” This is a new amendment
to the contract currently being negotiated, with advisory from art department faculty.
Dayya, the LIU Post legal faculty, and Art Foundation Director, Winn Rea, to whom the initial idea of the store belongs, wrote up the contract. Despite the large percentage of potential sales money and positives for students, according to the contract as it now stands, LIU Post is not responsible for any damaged works during their stay at the Art Gallery Store. Dayya was confident that this would not be a problem.
“Within the consignment contract I do believe that students are responsible for their work. However, we don’t by any means think that will be an issue,” explained Dayya.“That door is going to be locked when there is no attendance, and the items will not be touched other than by the student [who] is working there; [they are] trained to deal with the different pieces, [so] it is not an issue that we think will come up at all.”
Regarding the selection process of artworks, Dayya said, “It’s typically a 30-day period that a student’s artwork will be in there, unless they contact us before that time runs [out], and we can renew it. We
are not very strict on what we select, as long as it’s a custom, one-of- kind, made by that individual student. We want to give everyone a fair chance.”
The Art Gallery Store is due for an opening very soon, according to Dayya, who has been working with art student groups on campus such as the Art and Art History Club. These students are aiding in social media outreach for the launch of the store. “We want to get the artwork up, and we want to add to the diversity to the different entities that are in this [student-run business] program. I think this is going to be a great addition,” he said.
“We are planning the opening reception,” said junior Digital Arts and Design major Stacie Zucker, president of the Art and Art History Club. “There are still some things to work out. For example, I am designing the logo, and we will be installing those in the windows.” Students are also being employed to handle the artworks, and operate the cash registers.
“From what I’ve heard, in order to make it democratic, there may be a board of members who will preview the work,” said senior Art History major Joseph DeLeon, treasurer of the club. “In order to make it fair, so one person is in charge of it, there may be a board where [students] would have more of a say in the [judging process].”
“We’re trying to reach out to students, faculty, and various professionals that are coming in these doors day in and day out,” said Dayya, regarding the target market for the store. “People that are coming for events at the Tilles Center, [and] directly from off campus [are potential buyers]. We haven’t really zeroed in our target market because we want to keep it open. We are willing to offer a wide spectrum of things, and we don’t want to force things into the hands of anyone.”
It is currently in discussion if the exhibition pieces will become available for sale as a part of the store. Seasonal items may play a role in the marketing plan, as well. “Christmas time will probably be a big selling point,” said junior Arts Management major Hannah Fitch, secretary of the Art and Art History Club.
“I like the fact that students will be able to start selling their work, and see what is more or less valued in terms of sale nowadays,” said senior Fine Arts major Alexandra Pospelova. “However, I think that the location of the showcase is not the best because it will be cutting into showroom, which will [disrupt] the appearance of the exhibitions.” According to Dayya, fixtures that can be moved are going to be acquired, and the store will be able to accommodate requests for opening up floor space for exhibitions.
Suggestions for the upcoming Art Gallery Store and other student-run businesses on campus can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. edu. For additional information on how to get involved, the Art and Art History Club holds meetings every Wednesday during common hour in Hillwood Commons, room 114.