“Art After Hours: 5C Student Art Market” returned to the Benton Museum of Art on Thursday and was jam-packed with student artists selling colorful prints, art-covered clothing, detailed portraits and more.
Now in its second year, the “Art After Hours: 5C Student Art Market” was held from 7 to 10 p.m at the Loeb Family Art Pavilion and gave artists from across the Claremont Colleges an outlet to sell their art. With their proceeds, the students could either invest it back into their art endeavors or donate to organizations that were meaningful to them.
Kali Tindell-Griffin PO ’23 and Mei Ge PO ’23 were inspired to start the fairs because they struggled to find an art community around the Claremont Colleges during the pandemic. So, they created their own by forming a student group called 5C Art for Liberation and encouraging people to sell their art on Instagram. Once school returned to in-person, they found a way to continue this tradition of giving people another outlet to sell their artwork through the annual market.
“The art market is a wonderful opportunity for the Benton to support various mutual aid organizations around the 5Cs through 5C Art for Liberation and then also a wonderful way for the Benton to give a platform to community artists [and] campus community artists.”
A Benton post-baccalaureate fellow in student-centered programming and events, Hannah Avalos PO ’22 was responsible for coordinating the event with Tindell-Griffin and Ge. Besides hosting the event and coordinating with 5C Art For Liberation, the Benton was also responsible for a large portion of the advertising for the event, with its employees using emails, press releases and flyers to spread the word.
Avalos views the event as positive for the Benton, students on campus and 5C Art for Liberation.
“The art market is a wonderful opportunity for the Benton to support various mutual aid organizations around the 5Cs through 5C Art for Liberation and then also a wonderful way for the Benton to give a platform to community artists [and] campus community artists,” Avalos said.
Ge and Tindell-Griffin made an effort to get a variety of artists to sell their work at the event through Instagram outreach and posters. As a result, artists, who were predominantly Pomona College and Scripps College art majors, sold paintings, photographs, clothing with screen prints, stickers and more at the market.
To accompany the art sales, the art market featured music, which was intended to liven up the mood of the event, according to Ge. While this year’s art market featured a playlist, 5C Art For Liberation has had live musicians perform in the past.
“We usually try to have some live music so that there’s a casual atmosphere that people can enjoy and it’s not stale,” Ge said. “We’re just trying to create a space where people can browse art, talk to the artists, see what their peers are creating and just share the space.”
Ge thinks the best part of the market is getting to see what everyone makes every year.
“It’s honestly just a great way to meet student creators, meet new people, share your own stuff, share interests [and see] the kind of excitement that is shared by everyone there,” Ge said.
Tindell-Griffin also sees the art fair as a way for students across campus to learn more about the Benton.
“During Art After Hours and every Thursday night, the Benton Museum itself is open a little bit later, so students that come to the art market can also enjoy the art that is there, learn more about the resources that are here at the colleges and just get a feel for what it’s like to be here and really immerse themselves,” Tindell-Griffin said.
However, she believes that the best part about the art fair is that it provides artists with an opportunity to share their work and connect with people who share their interests.
“It’s nice to create a community of art that exists outside of the department,” Tindell-Griffin said. “… A lot of students that go to Pomona and the other schools are very creative and artistic but don’t have a lot of outlets for creating their art. They can’t get into classes or for whatever reason, [so] they just don’t have the time to make art in an academic setting. This is a great way for them to be able to raise money to support causes that are really important to them and to do that by doing something that they really enjoy, so it’s a win-win.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the “5C Student Art Market” event is in its third year. It has been corrected to say that the event, which is held semesterly, is in its second year and was held at the Loeb Family Art Pavilion, not Leah Family Art Pavillion.