The CCAD Art Fair, a juried art sale with 101 participants of students and alumni, is one of the biggest events for the college and its students. It brings in hordes of art fans, giving up-and-coming artists exposure. As the first art sale for many, it’s an invaluable learning experience about the business side of art. Perhaps the least obvious, but extremely significant, factor is the art fair lets artists spread their creative wings.
Even though students at CCAD have specific fields of study, they’re greatly encouraged to take full advantage of the institution’s vast resources and experiment with new mediums or tools to create art.
“You’re just kind of pushed to do everything you possibly can,” said fine arts senior Ian Ballantyne. “It’s a really big thing in every class I have; what can you do extra with everything we have here.”
This is Ballantyne’s fifth time showcasing his work at the art fair, and he was chosen as the student recipient of the Juror’s Choice Award. He will be showing necklace pieces fashioned from wood block figures he’d previously used to make screen prints, and a line of screen prints. All of Ballantyne’s work carries a thought-provoking narrative and theme he’s been working on for his senior thesis.
“It builds off ideas from the Alchemical time that we had, before we knew what chemistry was,” Ballantyne explained. “Right now we’re not suffering the same thing, but there are certain things we’re trying to answer in the physical realm that the majority of us can’t get to but our science and our theories already have.”
While Ballantyne’s work has a connective tissue running through its different mediums, two artists are breaking into wholly new endeavors. Darrek Robertson has been a professional photographer for years, and is now a junior industrial design major. He’ll be presenting two-dimensional prints on metallic paper prints of fall leaves he’s collected. Lara Al-Soudani is an advertising and graphic design major, but she’ll be showcasing a hand-made jewelry line, Kokoshae, that she co-created with her fiance and local artist Alfredo A. Weeks.
Robertson said CCAD’s technology allowed him to create his latest work, which was a dramatic and intentional shift away from his portrait-heavy photography work and toward nature.
“What’s fascinating is the technology the school has now … it’s a great opportunity for all the students here to take old school and mix it with computers,” Robertson said. “[My prints] are going to be very glossy, high-energy, high color with very high detail.”
Al-Soudani said the school lets students embrace whatever art they feel passionately about making.
“CCAD is a good outlet for people who have interests in other things,” Al-Soudani said. “They allow you to go about your hobbies and enjoy what you love to do.”
Jovanni Luna, a master of fine arts candidate from Washington (and graduate of Washington State University), is looking introduce his work to the Columbus art community. His works for the sale are paint strips (created using multiple layers of Mystic house paint) that are then rolled into a cylinder. Luna then carves and etches into the cylinder. What began as Luna looking to make use of an often wasted material and push the boundaries of its usage, transformed into something deeper.
“It has evolved [from] this form and idea of recycling … [into] thinking about the memories that come with that paint,” Luna said. “Essentially it’s a collection of my memories — the colors themselves bring back memories.”
Luna plans to expand his house paint series. He’s collecting leftovers and scraps of his work to create collages and fill plastic molds using a 3D printer.
The CCAD Art Fair is a prized platform for student (and alumni) artists to showcase their work to a precise and vast audience, but it’s the art and the artists’ process that takes center stage. The art fair serves as a beacon for how CCAD is fostering creativity — in any form of art, regardless of field of study or expertise — among some of Columbus’ most imaginative minds.