The university does a lot to prepare us for our life after we graduate, with workshops on CV writing, job opportunities and networking events. For those of us at Cardiff School of Art and Design who plan on continuing in our discipline and becoming artist, our ceramics degree show is also a big help.
Because it’s so important, we want to fundraise in order to buy catalogues for bring together our names and works in our show. This is also something nice to remember your degree by. A lot of students raise money through cake sales, organised socials and other events to fundraise. However this year, myself and a team of 3 others spent 5 months organising a ceramics and art auction.
With the aim of raising a further £1000 to add to what we’d already raised over the previous two years of our course, we decided to put all our time into this event hoping it would be successful.
Our first plan was just to contact past graduates from ceramics to ask politely for a small donation which we would then auction at the event in February. Then we decided to try contacting artists who we had met before, worked for, or who had some affiliation with the university.
The amazing generosity of artists both locally and nationally amazed us, and we received over 70 donations! Pieces were received from artists including Walter Keeler, Jin Eui Kim, Kate Malone and even contestants and judges from The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC2.
We soon realised that this auction was becoming far bigger than we expected, and with the help of The Centre of Entrepreneurship, Cardiff businesses, Museums/Galleries and Facebook we began to advertise our auction nationally.
On the evening of the auction, we were excited by all the collectors that came to join us not just from Cardiff but from all around the UK, and we raised an astonishing £2500! We were amazed by the result and so grateful to everyone that joined us or supported us in some way. This money is going to allow us to make our degree show the best it can be.
Although it took a lot of planning and time, it really helped us build a network of artists and collectors that we could then invite to our degree show. This promoted the ceramics department within the university, as well as providing a great evening for everyone. I have developed my skills in communication, advertising and marketing as well as improving my planning and time keeping.
Working in a team was challenging at times but it was also a great opportunity to discover everyone’s skills and learn how to use them to the best of our abilities. This event was a very different way of fundraising compared to what we’d done before, but it was a successful one that brought together a community interested in the arts and ceramics – something I am really pleased about!
It just shows what exciting opportunities are available within the university, and it’s something that will support me in my professional life.
Check out some video highlights of the auction by Charlotte’s coursemate Toni: