By Hannah Tarr
It can be hard to find unique Christmas presents for everyone. What can be bought for someone who has everything? In this second of a series of stories exploring FC’s arts raising holiday cheer, National Art Honor Society’s annual art sale this Thursday is full of great presents for anyone’s friends and family.
Artists in National Art Honor Society (NAHS) have been preparing pieces for the sale since October, after they painted windows in downtown New Albany for Harvest Homecoming. Each member is required to make three pieces, and they work on them in meetings after school.
“We meet every Tuesday and Thursday for about an hour after school,” said NAHS historian senior Joelie Hedgespeth. “We do a bunch of different mediums, we do paint, we do clay, we are making slime, I think, at some point. We just have a bunch of different types of art so we’ve just been preparing each kind. So everybody just works on their own projects while we’re here.”
In past years, walking into the sale has felt like walking into a painter’s gallery. But paintings do not sell very well, and NAHS has seen requests for a variety of other things.
“Paintings are easy, and they can be really quick, it’s always really easy to paint Christmas-y stuff,” said NAHS president senior Caitlyn Daggy. “But a lot of people every year ask for things like mugs, trays, handmade stuff that they can use or put on their coffee tables. Because not a lot of people hang up paintings anymore. People want something they can use, or it’s nice to look at, kind of like an antique, or just a little crafty, that someone likes to look at.”
NAHS has responded to this popular demand, and focused this year on creating usable things.
“We have a lot of stuff that is extremely usable,” said Daggy. “Like, for example, we’re making a whole lot of mugs this year. Or it’s just stuff that’s nice to put on the mantle. Lots of cool gift ideas, like if you’re looking for something for a friend or a family member that you’re kind of not that close to, a nice homemade, handmade thing is really nice to give them. Mugs, trays, vases– vases are really popular in here, we’re painting vases. Flower pots are also a big deal right now… It’s really different from our past few years, and I feel like we’re going to have a lot better turnout this year.”
Art classes at FC have prepared the artists to be able to tackle this variety of mediums with skill.
“This year we’ve moved into clay, and it really helps with a lot of us having taken Ceramics last year, so we know how to help each other,” said Hedgespeth. “And so that’s what we’re just trying to move on, to make stuff that people might actually want, because a lot of people don’t really hang up paintings that much anymore. So we’re just trying to do stuff that people like, just everyday use things.”
These everyday things are all things that could be purchased from a store, but buying them handmade from artists makes them a much more special gift.
“It’s a lot of stuff that people are making, you know, and everything’s homemade, so that’s always good,” said sophomore Blair Smith.
Smith created a dozen bowls from peppermint bark for the sale, because the art sale does not only sell art: there is also a bake sale aspect.
“We also sell a lot of baked goods as a plus, so like if art’s not really your thing, it’s kind of like a mini bake sale, too,” said Daggy.
Hopefully, the combination of beautiful art pieces, useful gifts, and baked goods will lead to a great turnout at the sale and the artists’ efforts will pay off. They have put lots of hard work into the sale, and learned a lot in the process.
“[I’ve learned to] plan ahead. And don’t forget stuff- write notes,” said Daggy, who organizes NAHS and sends Remind texts to the artists to remind them about upcoming meetings. “Because whenever it gets down to it, the time crunch is real. And you just need to keep it all together.”
Other artists have learned to appreciate how much hard work it takes to create the pieces for this sale.
“I have learned that it is hard to come up with a bunch of different ideas, honestly. Because it takes a long time to do one piece, so it’s hard to just fit everything into a specific time limit. You hear three pieces and you don’t think it’s that hard, but it’s actually pretty time consuming,” said Hedgespeth.
Their effort and planning will be put to the test during the sale on Thursday. If all goes well, they will sell all sorts of art and make even more money. Where will these profits go?
“It goes primarily back into the club, for us to buy more supplies, or afford to do other fundraising projects,” said Daggy. “We have to get money to afford face paints for Dance Marathon, and also to apply for other things like Harvest Homecoming. We also put a portion of the money back into the secondary art show fund, so it goes toward the cash prizes.”
NAHS will be in the art room after school until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 selling their art for a great cause. Especially if you are already at school for Fantasia, they hope you will stop by and purchase something for yourself or the loved ones on your list from these talented artists.
“I think people should come to the sale because it’s high schoolers’ work, and I think it’s unique,” said Hedgespeth. “And I feel like a lot of people would like it, because we’re actually low-key talented!”