Capilano textile department's annual fall sale is here

Have you ever had a break between classes and wished that you could go shopping for stylish, locally-made clothing right on campus? Your dreams have been fulfilled. The Capilano textile arts department, filled with creative people from many backgrounds, is here, and creating a plethora of exciting wares for you to purchase.

The Capilano textile department's annual fall sale will give you the chance to peruse a range of items, from t-shirts, scarves, bags, jewelery and cards, to wall-ready art. The students of the program are laboriously preparing in order to get the finishing touches in on time.
Mary Lou Trinkwon, the head of the Capilano Textile Arts department sees the sale as a great launching point for the students to gauge their market, and interact with potential buyers. "We started doing the student sale about six years ago in its current format," she says, adding that the sale was born from an original joint effort with the ceramics and printmaking departments. After a hiatus, the sale was reinstated after heavy interest from the students themselves.

Trinkwon sees the sale as not only a commercial venture, but also a chance for the students to get exposure in terms of a makeshift gallery setting. "Given student interest in the market place as a venue for their work," she says, "is in addition to gallery options. So I think for those students interested in marketing their work, this sale is important to understand things like location, product placement, costing, branding and marketing." One would assume then that a textile artist must not only skill themselves in the aspect of technical prowess, but like other tangible art forms, forming a connection with buyers is extremely vital.
Trinkwon comes from a strong background of a BFA from SFU and then went on to complete the program herself, which she now heads. With that experience, she notes that studying in the program is important, but sees a very strong advantage to having the fall sale. "Our students are always so amazed at how little we know about other programs on campus, so it's really wonderful to be able to raise awareness of textile arts in general and our program in particular,” she explains. “People are often amazed that you can go to school to study textiles and get a diploma at Cap and even go on to get degrees!"

Another great aspect about picking up these hand-made, and often extremely affordable pieces, is that you are supporting your fellow student body. "All the proceeds go directly to the students," Trinkwon adds. "All students put in $5.00 mostly for the cost of printing posters and flyers," she says, but beyond that, the students are not putting themselves out aside from time and materials spent creating their works.
Textiles student Hilary Boterman sees the diversity of her classmates as a strong advantage to not only her education, but to the consumers at the sale to find a variety of cultures and expressions in the products being sold. "Our second year class comes from a variety of educational backgrounds," she says noting the various experience ranging from fashion design to visual arts to women's studies.

Tamara Fuchinsky, another second year textiles student, adds: "It also gives us a taste of what it is like to be in business for ourselves as makers, a thing that can be a little daunting to think about."

The sale is not exclusive to Capilano students, as everyone is welcome. The same goes for the sellers' side, as alumni are invited to bring items to sell, and often take up the challenge. "The sale includes alumni and current students, but not faculty or other people from the community," Trinkwon says, pointing out the importance of keeping the sale to Capilano based community. "Some of the alumni that come back are well established and working professionally, which is great for informal mentoring relationships that get built and friendships made.”

"We live in a world of mass production,” says Fuchinsky, “Where you can go down to a department store and buy a shirt made in Cambodia for 10 dollars. But there is no soul in that item – it might mean as little to you as the amount you paid for it. Textile arts is kind of the slow food movement – it takes longer, and it might cost a bit more, but it is better quality and hopefully better for the world."

The Capilano Textile Arts Sale will be held November 23 from 11:30-7 in Arbutus 201.
You can view the textile arts students' blog at http://studentsale.blogspot.com/

//JJ Brewis, Art Director

// illustration by Tiare Jung

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com