Endless internet searches, countless hours roaming the city, and an infinite number of conversations with passersby could never amount to complete knowledge of all that goes on in Athens, GA on any given day.
The 21st of April is yet another big day for Athens. Known far and wide as 2018’s G-Day, when Bulldogs play Bulldogs, the day is one that fans have been waiting for since the last game of the previous football season. Especially after last year’s success, game goers will come from all over to see this season sneak peek.
Taking advantage of this influx of tourists, the Georgia Museum of Art Student Association is hosting their second annual Pop-Up Gallery and Artist Market at Stan Mullins Studio in downtown Athens on that day.
The Pop-Up event is free and open to the public. It will start at 10 a.m. and will end at 3 p.m., just in time for the game’s kick-off at 4 p.m. The gallery will display artworks from many local and student artists in Athens.
The goal of this event is to aid students and other young artists in promoting and selling their works. The difference between this event and others like it is the cost of the event to artists. Artists will get show space and features on the host’s Facebook page free of charge. All they have to do is submit their work!
Flyers have been set up around campus, infiltrating bathroom stalls, bulletin boards and hallway walls in an effort to get more students involved. Upon sending an email explaining their interest, artists are met with instructions on how to submit their art to the market to be shown and sold.
Rebecca Gross, president of the GMOA Student Association, explains that the idea for the event came from Martha Wilde, the student organizations secretary. “Martha was really interested in exploring the more business side of the art world,” Gross explains. Students, once graduated, have a hard time figuring out how to move into that world. The organization strives to help student endeavors by easing them in.
Those who put their art in the show have the unique opportunity to network with other students outside of a classroom setting. While many artists go to sell their work and gain exposure, others simply go to see what fellow artists are up to so that they might be inspired to create new works.
A select few visitors go to the market because their friends drag them along. “I enjoy being able to keep up with their Instagrams and watch their progress,” Emily Loedding remarks. Loedding, a second-year student at the University of Georgia, did not go last year to buy or sell any art. She says, on the contrary, that her roommate took her last year and she loved it, despite not being overly invested in the art world.
With so many artists scattered around Athens, Gross says it is exciting to have them all in one place for a day. Artists this year include Little Light Co., a soy candle company, as well as Lisa Freeman who works on assemblage art from items she collects from thrift stores.
The vendors’ goods will be sold in Stan Mullins Studio for the second year in a row. Stan Mullins is a sculptor, graphic illustrator, and author. Art lovers and tourists alike visit his studio to see his works inside and outside in his art garden. Rebecca Gross describes the venue as being a “great place to meet people and have an art community hang out.”
This year the GMOA Student Association hopes more student vendors get involved, as most vendors that submitted art the year previous were more seasoned community artists. The organization strongly encourages young artists to make the most of this free opportunity to get their names out in the art world.
Live music is another element the organization hopes to add to the event. They would like to highlight artists of all works, including music, while also contributing to the overall atmosphere of the occasion.
Gross believes last year went smoothly and had a large crowd but their hope always remains that more people will attend year after year. “The more visitors the better!” Gross expresses. This is only the second year after all, and they hope to simply continue their growth and reach more people.