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Christopher Jackson paints abstract art, developing his artistic vision and his business skills.
Christopher Jackson paints abstract art, developing his artistic vision and his business skills.

From starving to thriving: Otterbein artists build businesses at local art markets

Otterbein students are selling their art at the Pop-up Pickers Vintage Club, right on campus.

Otterbein art students motivated by their craft, strengthen their entrepreneurial skills at local vintage pop-up markets in Central Ohio. Two student artists, a part of the Otterbein art community, regularly attend artisan markets where they spread their passion for art while networking with community members.

Pop-up Pickers Club Vintage Market offers local artists an opportunity to sell their unique pieces to the communities of Central Ohio. Otterbein students, Christopher Jackson and Parker Lane have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit by building businesses at these events.

For Lane and Jackson, success is based more on buyer’s reaction and appreciation for a piece of their artwork rather than how much money they earn from a sale.

However, love for creating art does not equate to financial security or successful employment in the marketplace. As of February 2023, fine arts graduates experienced the highest percentage of unemployment. Data gathered in 2021 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that less than 20% of fine arts and performing arts graduates worked in an arts related field.

To generate a more positive outlook on the art profession, Otterbein’s Starving Artists club agreed last year to change its name to Thriving Artists, according to the students.

Parker Lane, a junior majoring in studio art with a minor in psychology, views art as a doorway into therapeutic healing. Her goal is to work as an art therapist with kids and adults who have disabilities, helping them cope with emotion through a creative outlet. 

Lane was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, a neurological condition, when she was two and a half years old. Her passion for art began as a young girl where the practice of self-expression through abstract creations presented an escape from the realities of grade school bullies. Lane’s disability influenced her passion for reaching others through the joys of art.

“[Art is] unique and one-of-a-kind and that’s basically what everyone is, they are one-of-a-kind, they are unique,” said Lane.

Christopher Jackson, a junior majoring in studio art and art history with a concentration in painting, has always loved art but teetered on his decision to fully commit his collegiate studies to the practice. Jackson’s personal goal is to become a studio artist to pursue his love for creating unique paintings depicting abstract perspectives.

For these students, the joy of creating art outweighs the financial risks of an art profession. 

“That’s my price point,” said Jackson. “If I know it’s going to be valued, then I’ll be happy.”

Lane and Jackson are grateful for the opportunity to sell and promote their work to the public through artisan markets and exhibitions regardless of the profit.

To see where the Pop-up Pickers Club Vintage Market will be close to Otterbein's campus, students can go to its Instagram account, @popuppickersclub.

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