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Student vendors and artists talk first Archi Market – The Rice Thresher

By Riya Misra     10/18/22 11:31pm
From enamel bunny pins to possum t-shirts to glass earrings, Archi Market has it all. Created by students from the Rice Architecture Society, Archi Market is a monthly marketplace in Anderson Hall featuring pop-up shops where students can sell their artistic creations. On Oct. 17th, the first-ever Archi Market was hosted in Anderson Hall.
Valerie Elizondo, a Hanszen College junior and one of the Archi Market coordinators, said the event was initially created as a fundraising effort to stock up on healthy food for architecture students.
“[Archi Market] started off as a fundraising event for us to get healthy snacks and fund money for our mini-kitchen, where we get to have snacks for after hours or if we miss dinner or [have] long work periods,” Elizondo said. “This year we’re not getting any funding for [the mini-kitchen] from the school.” 
According to Elizondo, architecture students wanted to create a student-supported fund for Anderson’s mini-kitchen.
“We took it upon ourselves to raise money so we could buy what we wanted, allocate the money the way we wanted to,” Elizondo said.
Aside from fundraising efforts, Charlotte Cohen, another one of Archi Market’s coordinators, said that the event was planned in hopes of facilitating connections across Rice students and their artistic endeavors.
“[We] wanted to put this together to give architecture students and all students at Rice more of an opportunity to get to know each other and share their work,” Cohen, a Hanszen senior, said.
Many of the student vendors at Archi Market said they enjoyed the opportunity to interact with other students. Katie Kirkpatrick, a Sid Richardson College senior selling commissions of glass paintings, said she signed up as a vendor, because she wanted to engage with similarly artistic students on campus.
“I honestly came here to see what everyone else on campus was making and selling, and just meeting all the different people, especially since it’s not just [architecture] students,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s students that may not even be art majors or [architecture] majors at all, but just have a passion for making artistic things. I think it’s just a really cool space to see what everyone is up to on campus.”
Chloe Liebenthal, a McMurtry College senior selling handmade custom jewelry, voiced a similar sentiment.
“I’m not even here so much to make sales as much as I am to meet other people who are interested in art and have fun,” Liebenthal said.
Other vendors, though, were more interested in the sales, hoping to use Archi Market as a means of promoting their clubs or merchandise.
Rebecca Yee, a Wiess College junior and vice president of Rice Design, said she was selling merch from Rice Design’s collection last year. By selling leftover merch, Yee said she was hoping to boost publicity for future merch. 
“We are coming out with more merch this year […] we’re trying to build hype around Rice Design merch because we haven’t really publicized it this year,” Yee said. “By having this booth, hopefully, more people will be excited for our upcoming [merch] drop.” 
Amber Wang, another Archi Market coordinator, said that she was taken aback by the number of attendants at the event. According to Wang, around 400 to 500 people showed up.
“[Our initial estimate] ranged from 50 to 300,” Wang, a McMurtry College junior, said.
According to Wang, Cohen and Elizondo, the Rice Architecture Society is planning on making Archi Markets a monthly, if not more frequent, occurrence.
“We were thinking of throwing one a month,” Cohen said. “Anyone is welcome to sell anything, and of course, they’re welcome to keep all their profits, or donate, whatever makes sense for them.”
Wang seconded Cohen’s statement, saying she also hopes to continue displaying students’ talents at future Archi Markets.
“I think it was a great experience for vendors and artists with hobbies outside of their major. A lot of people are actually extremely talented here at Rice,” Wang said. “But really, I think this is a way for students to express themselves and further their passions.”
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