Franklin community members check out student art at the Art Fair, held on Nov. 17. The Art Fair, which gives students a chance to make money off of their creations, was the first to be held at Franklin in the 2022-23 school year. Photo by Luke Ramsey

On Thursday, Nov. 17, Franklin’s Associated Student Body (ASB) held an Art Fair, where students were given the opportunity to sell their own art to members of the Franklin community. The Art Fair featured a variety of art forms, including photography, jewelry, origami, and illustrations.

Unlike other Franklin fundraisers, the Art Fair’s proceeds go straight to vendors instead of another cause, so students can get recognition and make money off of their artistic interests in a less competitive environment than art galleries outside of the school.

One group offered origami creations, which they were selling in order to help fund an upcoming summer trip to Japan for 2023. The Art Fair is the fourth event these students have used for fundraising so far this year; previously members sold stickers and food at Back to School Night and Franklin’s “Mamma Mia” showings, as well as polaroid pictures during Homecoming, according to their Instagram account, @fhs.japan.

Franklin student Erica Bingham helped run the origami stand. She commented that members of the small group headed for Japan each have their own unique and useful set of skills. In this case, she said, a “couple of different people made the necklaces and two other people made the origami” before she helped sell the pieces at the Fair. “All of us sort of pitch in with different things,” Bingham added.

Elena Matthieu sold earrings and prints at the Art Fair. It was an opportunity for them to make money while enjoying a long-time hobby. The prints were something they’d drawn in May, they said. Inspired by the artist Linnea, the prints showed drawings of two characters with a peach and a cake in place of their heads, respectively.

Matthieu has been making art somewhat regularly for years, although a busy schedule has made it more difficult to do so. “I like to draw, usually with sketches on paper and finished projects digitally,” they wrote in correspondence after the event. “Unfortunately the time when I really get into the groove of drawing is in the middle of the night, so as you can imagine I haven’t been able to just sit down and mindlessly draw for hours since the school year started,” they added. 

Matthieu wrote that they have been making jewelry, namely earrings, since they were 12 years old. “One of my favorite things is to take something I made years ago that doesn’t look so good now and seeing what I can do to revamp it,” they wrote.

Some submissions came from people sharing other hobbies, such as hiking, through photography. Franklin student Kadyn Briant did just that with a group of friends, selling pictures from their adventures at Pacific Northwest locations such as Mt. Hood. Briant said that they enjoy activities like camping and skiing on the mountain. Their photos included images of mountain wildflowers and views. 

Franklin held an Art Fair last year as well, but fewer students submitted their work to be sold. ASB member Anika Kasten, who led the group organizing the Art Fair, said that the team made an effort to expand its outreach and encourage more submissions. This did prove a challenge, according to Kasten, as technical difficulties with Franklin’s PA systems have made it more difficult to announce school-wide events to a school-wide audience. ASB has made up for this with greater outreach via their Instagram account, @fhs.leadership.

Matthieu said that they did not submit work for last year’s event, but they had wanted to do so. “I didn’t have enough earrings made or (in my opinion) drawings that would be good for prints,” they wrote. “So when it was announced this year, I made sure I had enough time to stock up on jewelry and art,” Matthieu added.

ASB intends to host another Art Fair later this year, during the second semester. Matthieu hopes to attend the next one, with new knowledge about how to sell their art. “I was also able to observe which things people gravitated towards, and that’ll be useful for stocking up and figuring out prices for the next fair,” they wrote.

Each of the students who sold art at the Art Fair expressed positive feelings about how the event went and excitement for the next one.