Alyssa Tyler copy editor
Nine different small businesses were invited to the first ever ‘Queer Arts and Crafts Fair’ on Oct. 4. Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) hosted the event in the Oval from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Today is the Queer Arts and Crafts Fair, and it’s basically a fundraiser for GSA. Where vendors can come and sell their artwork. They rent a table from us and then they make 100% of their profit. And the fundraiser goes to events like Pride Prom and Pride month in April,” said Devynn Pitts, junior in art illustration and president of GSA.
Items from stickers and jewelry to handcrafted pens were available at the fair. Mo’Studio, one vender at the fair, sold crystal-based jewelry among other things.
“So, I sell jewelry. I sell paintings occasionally, key chains, just little things, and fun crystal things. I also have an online website where I also sell my art. I sell at Root, so that is fun too,” said Mo Cravens, senior in art education.
One vendor, House of Glass Originals, sold pens and earrings that founder, Tyler Glass, freshman in Plastics Engineering made when home.
“I joined GSA, and from there heard that it was something that was happening, and I make pens and fun little trinkets like this, so I thought I can prepare for that and get stuff ready. So I signed up,” Glass said.
Vendors paid GSA for a table, then they were able to keep 100 percent of the profit during the fair.
“I’m looking to meet new people, there are some artists here that I don’t recognize which is fun. And hopefully make some money,” Cravens said.
The event was open to all students and other events were going on as well. Sigma Sigma Sigma had a positivity mirror while Sigma Phi Epsilon had “Pie a Member” in the Oval as well.
“I just love crafts and I think that it is super cool. And I don’t have a class until like 2, so I’m like might as well check it out. And plus, everything here is so cute and well-made, like they’re really talented people. I’m looking at all of this stuff, ‘like damn I couldn’t make this stuff myself,’’ said freshman in biology Alexis Leonardo.
The naming of the fair comes from a variety of reasons as well.
“Queer used to be a slur but the queer community and the LGBTQ community, the Q in LGBTQ means questioning or queer. Because some individuals choose to reclaim it and call themselves Queer. I personally identify as Queer because there are stigmas around bisexual, gay, or lesbian. But yeah, it’s not a bad word if you’re talking about the community. It’s all about intention really,” Pitts said.
Pitts mentioned having the event next year to continue fundraising and raise awareness of small businesses.
“I just want people to, like the vendors especially, to be able to sell their art on campus and feel empowered by being able to sell their art. And just giving a community to our vendors,” Pitts said.