In this weekly column, we ask five questions to a member of the community. Today we talk to Frank Pishkur from Missouri Southern State University.

1. What is the student pottery sale at Missouri Southern State University?

The Missouri Southern State University and Southern Clay Ceramics Program will host the Spring 2022 Student Pottery Sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, May 9 and 10, on the third floor of the Missouri Southern Spiva Library, 3950 Newman Road.

Southern Clay is a student-run organization at Missouri Southern State University open to all students, regardless of skill level or skill level, interested in working with clay, whether as a recreational activity, a means of expression or leading to a professional career. Members gain a better understanding of ceramics as an art form through a range of experiments with clay, primarily through hand building projects (but also time is spent learning about potter’s wheel), excursions or visits to artists. Some of the club members hold a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and have chosen to specialize in ceramics.

It is primarily for them that Southern Clay is focusing on developing entrepreneurial skills through our Winter and Spring Sales, as these students will pursue careers where they essentially create an independent business based on creating goods (work of art). ‘art), then marketing and selling these works. That said, the sale benefits all club members, as it helps keep membership fees low, allowing more MSSU students to participate in club activities.

2. How many articles will be presented?

Works by a dozen students will be available. I know one of the students brings a hundred items herself, and others may only have a few, but there will easily be several hundred ceramic items available. While most will be pottery, there will also be sculptural and decorative forms.

3. Who benefits from the proceeds of the sale?

Mainly students. Individually, they keep a significant percentage of each sale. We also collect a small percentage for club activities, such as the rental van and gas for the trip we took to see the Linda Lopez ceramic exhibit at the Springfield Art Museum earlier this spring or the trip which we will do in the fall at the Plaza Art Festival in Kansas City.

These are great and important opportunities for students to see the work of professional artists first-hand, as well as how to set up a sales booth or art exhibition. We also need to recoup some clay and glaze expenses related to the Empty Bowls fundraiser we just held which raised $3,000 for the MSSU Lion Co-Op’s “Grocery Store for Grads” program. .

4. Why is the sale an important fundraiser for the ceramic program?

The Spring Sale is the main way for the club to generate funds to use in the upcoming fall semester, as the trip to see the Plaza Art Festival is in September, and usually we don’t have time to fundraise before that happens. . For individual student artists, now is a great time to earn extra money, and summer and fall tuition are coming soon.

5. How successful has pottery sales been in previous years?

This spring sale has had its ups and downs over the years. Part of this is likely due to the change in location, which sometimes happens at Billingsly Student Union and other times at Spiva’s library. The library has always been a very willing and welcoming host to us, and I think also a bit more conducive to leisurely browsing, so I’m glad the sale is back this year.

The timing is also a little more difficult to manage in the spring than in the fall semester, when we have the Christmas holidays to act as an anchor, just a few weeks after the winter sales. This spring, Easter, Earth Day and Mother’s Day will have already taken place before the spring sale, so we don’t really have the opportunity to give away gifts to act as an engine to encourage the sales that we have in winter.

Frank Pichkur is professor of art and chair of the art department at Missouri Southern State University.