Holiday Art Sale kicks off 32nd year Friday

The annual Holiday Art Sale returns for the 32nd year on Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Dec. 2 from 1-4 p.m. at the main concourse in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. 

Chris Kahler, the department chair of art and design, said the art sale is a wonderful opportunity for local artists like faculty, staff and students to participate in.

Kalher said this is also an opportunity for local artists to receive professional experience at selling their artwork at no cost to participate in.

“This is the only major art sale we kind of host every year,” Kalher said. “In individual areas sometimes we have, I think each semester, a print sale and that’s through print making area, jewelry medals will (also) have a show that shows their work and work is available for sale.” 

Kahler said the local artists will be donating part of their sale into funding scholarships that are given to students in the spring semester, like honorary mention or best in show scholarship.

 “It is extremely important to have this opportunity and I think the thing that sometimes people forget is that all the artists, who do sell work within the sale, they do get 60 percent,” Kalher said. “Then that 40 percent that they donate is a tax-deductible donation.”

 Kalher said the artwork the local artists sell is not just based on holiday gift items; it is more artwork ranging from ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, drawings and print work.

Deborah Nivens, an art education professor, said she has put some ceramic work in the sale and has been in it the past three years, while sometimes also helping organize the event.

She said it is a nice thing for the department because they are physically involved with art making that they do not often get to show to others.

 “Unlike theater or music where they have performances, we don’t,” Nivens said. “So, this gives us an opportunity to share what is going on in the art department here at Eastern.”

Traditionally, Kalher said in previous years the holiday art sale was in the Gallery Room 1910, but this year they worked with Doudna to present the art sale during the holiday musical events like the Holiday Concert. 

“It’s our way of kind of like reaching out to the public a little bit more than we typically do,” Kahler said.

Nivens said she believes the art show is a great way to share their artwork with the community and to come in and enjoy that aspect of the department.

“I think that a lot of people in the Eastern community that work in different departments and different areas, whether they’re department chairs or secretaries or whatever they do, they look forward to the show,” Nivens said. “They like to come over and shop for the holidays and gift giving.”

Kahler said this event would not have been possible if it weren’t for the hard work LeAnn Doubs, the department office manager, does to make sure the event happens each year for the behalf of the students.

 “What I love about it is the opportunity to give back to the department and really, what is fantastic is the opportunity for students to be involved and still be the ones to either help benefit themselves or their fellow students,” Kahler said.

Valentina Vargas can be reached at 581-2812 or at vvargas@eiu.edu.

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