Article Written by Jessica Thao. Photo by Jessica Thao.

When one hears the word “culture”, another would expect to say something about ethnic foods or wear. Sure, it could be that. But sometimes it is the art that makes culture instead.

The Art Student Union of St. Cloud State University held an art fair Thursday, April 20, at the Atwood Lounge. The event was specifically organized by members Cassandra Blackwood, Makayla Zimmerman, and Jess Meichsner.

With about a dozen students walking around to look at unique artwork created by others on campus, there were about ten tables of art displayed. The types of art that were being sold included stickers, buttons, jewelry, henna, nail art, and much more. The items sold at very affordable prices for the quality they had, ranging between two to ten dollars – as most items were smaller pieces.

Blackwood talked about what art means to them, “It’s my work, it’s my life, it is the only option. It’s do or die with art for me; it’s what I do.” They displayed postcards with interesting text, screen-printed art, and a vintage-themed Polaroid photo booth at their table.

There were many pieces of screen-printed art presented at different tables, as the type of artwork has been getting popular these days. Screen-printed art is considered more valuable with prices starting around ten dollars for an eight-by-six-inch piece of work.

Art is more than just something visually pleasing. It is more than what the artist likes to create for themselves to see. It is also what the artist wants others to see. Art is not defined nor limited to what one can see or feel. This is what provides art with that unique ability to become culture.

“I think art is a great way people can express themselves for who they are and where they come from to connect with others,” said Stephanie Shoemaker, who ran the Art Student Union table at the fair. She continued, “Especially our Art Student Union group, we share designs and make them into stickers and bags.”

Another vendor at the fair, AB Danner, had a table set with cute studs and stickers of animated characters and memes. Danner enjoyed themself sitting at their booth while listening to K-Pop songs on their phone. The visuals of diverse artwork were displayed, but the music they played brought in a deeper feeling of cultural diversity.

“Freedom,” Danner responded when asked why they chose to do art. They continued with a peaceful smile across their face, “A thing that makes you feel free and complete. Exploring yourself is just an amazing thing.”

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