Our last event for Saturday was the opening for the Student Exhibition and this year, we also had a charm swap.


All attendees to the symposium are invited to send a piece of work to be displayed for the duration of the symposium. Space is sort of limited in the case that we reserve for this show, so we ask that participants be mindful of size when choosing a piece to show. The work is shipped to us, and attendees pick up their pieces Sunday afternoon, so we at ECU don't have to worry about return shipping. It's a system that works fairly well for us, except when people don't ship their work on time.


This is one of my favorite parts of the symposium, and my personal biggest contribution. All of the ECU grads head up different committees, supported by our wonderful undergrads, and for both symposia, Marissa Saneholtz and I have co-chaired the Exhibitions committee. The Student show is our biggest responsibility, and we also put together display cases with work from the presenters.


I really loved dealing with the Exhibitions. I swear, I was on the best committee. Unwrapping  the work was always a surprise and I love love love seeing the work from different schools. This year we were able to set up the show a week ahead of time, so the rest of the ECU art school got a chance to see it as well. My undergrad helpers Sarah West and Tara Locklear and I came in on a Sunday afternoon to install the work and the handful of people in the building were stopping to take a peak before we had even finished. I think it's so great for students to see what their peers at other institutions are doing, and I know the rest of the School of Art and Design gets excited about it too. I actually had several professors from other disciplines tell me how much they enjoyed this exhibition.


While we've done the student Exhibition both times, this year was the first time we had a charm swap. We've gone a little charm crazy here, thanks to undergrad Tara Locklear. She began coordinating regular swaps about a year ago, and we do one about every 6-8 weeks. Everyone makes a charm and puts it in a box. All the boxes get numbered and then we pull numbers. You get what you get. No switching or pouting.


This system works great for 10-20 people, but we had to tweak it a little bit for 100+ participants. We had everyone (faculty and students) place their charms in an unmarked box, assigned people numbers and called them up by groups. People came and grabbed a box at random, and a safety pin so that they could wear their charm right away.

Charm by Amy Tavern, photo credit Amy Tavern


I also helped out with this event, putting out boxes and keeping the crowd under control with undergrad Lisette Fee, while Tara called out group numbers. It was really great and I had a lot of fun because I got to see many of the charms as people opened them. But the worst part was telling people NO PEEKING! Even Lisette and I weren't allowed to peek! It was so hard to be surrounded by boxes full of all kinds of mysterious, awesome charms and not be allowed to look at them until it was your turn to pull a box. I got a gold powder coated lady by Marissa Saneholtz, and ECU undergrad Sam Woitovich, got my charm, a sterling silver cut out of North Carolina.


These images are both courtesy of the wonderful Amy Tavern, currently a resident artist at Penland. Above, is the charm she made for the swap, which Ken Bova received. Below, is Ken's charm, which Amy received. Not every swap was so serendipitous, but I will say I saw a ton of really awesome charms, and everyone was excited to meet the person who had made their charm. It was a fun way to wrap up an exciting and exhausting first day.


Charm by Ken Bova, photo credit Amy Tavern


Any one can participate in any of our charm swaps, never mind geography! If you'd like to participate in future ECU charm swaps, contact Tara Locklear here on Crafthaus.


Thanks for reading!

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Beautiful presentation. Love the cases.
Thanks! This particular case is typically reserved for work from the foundations classes, but since the Symposium takes place so early in the semester, there isn't really any foundations work to display yet. Of course, we also take as many of the cases around the building that we can get!


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