Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Nice Things on Nice Walls

Ali Porter

ShopColumbia is Columbia’s student run art-boutique, which sells work made by students and alumni. It is the perfect place to buy gifts or even just treat yourself to something nice. If you want to sell your work at the store, the staff will work with you to make that a reality. Virtually any medium is accepted, and the work you sell can be totally unrelated to your program of study. I used to work at the store, so read on for the insider’s guide to ShopColumbia…

I should start by mentioning that my Graduate Student Ambassador predecessor, Nikki Hartel, wrote a blog post on ShopColumbia just under a year ago. I will try and avoid repeating what she said in that post, but I wanted to add my own experiences with the shop to the mix. I started working at ShopColumbia when I first started grad school Columbia. At that time, the shop had just moved into its new space and was a few weeks away from its grand re-opening. When I walked in on my first day, the space was literally a blank canvas. All the inventory was in storage, the walls were devoid of paint, and much of the store furniture was in need of an Ikea furniture assembly expert. Nevertheless, we all worked hard, and within a few weeks, the store was up and running.

Since then, ShopColumbia has continued to grow and evolve. This summer the store made further improvements, building new walls that dramatically increased the wall space and switching up the color scheme and look of the store. Everyone should check out the brand new entrance wall artwork created by uber-talented undergraduate illustration major Erik Lundquist (who also sells his work at the store).

As an Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management grad student, working at ShopColumbia with other student workers was a great experience. It was like we were running a small start-up venture. We ran marketing campaigns, planned events (the Holiday Market was a runaway success), designed signage, counted inventory, liaised with artists, swept floors, cleaned windows…the whole shebang! It really was a hands-on learning experience, and I developed vital business skills. The shop even produced its own Artists Resource Guide with all the information you could possibly need to price, market, and sell your work there.

For more info on ShopColumbia, including how you can sell work there, check out their website, Facebook page, or better still, pay them a visit! Nikki’s post also has a ton of great info. When you do stop by the store, say “hi” to Ronda or Shannon (the amazing ladies who run the show), and tell them Ali requested they give you a personal tour!

ShopColumbia is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 11-5 and Thursdays from 11-7.

Final note: the title of this post is borrowed from a show my friend, co-worker, and tip top photographer, Rachael Lombardy, curated in the Hokin Gallery this summer. Thanks Rach!

Nice Things on Nice Walls

ShopColumbia is Columbia’s student run art-boutique, which sells work made by students and alumni. It is the perfect place to buy gifts or even just treat yourself to something nice. …

Arts, Entertainment & Media Management MAM Ali Porter, alistair.porter@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience