Daily Egyptian

Saturday’s glass pumpkin sale helps art students

Su-yeon Kim, left, a third-year graduate student in art with a glass specialization from Seoul, South Korea, and Clint Wilkie, a senior from Marion studying art with a glass specialization, work on a glass-blown pumpkins Saturday for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, an annual art sale that benefits the glass program. Kim decided to come to SIUC to pursue her master’s degree in glass after completing her bachelor's degree in Korea. Kim one day hopes to be a full-time glass artist. The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Town Square City Pavilion.

Su-yeon Kim, left, a third-year graduate student in art with a glass specialization from Seoul, South Korea, and Clint Wilkie, a senior from Marion studying art with a glass specialization, work on a glass-blown pumpkins Saturday for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, an annual art sale that benefits the glass program. Kim decided to come to SIUC to pursue her master’s degree in glass after completing her bachelor's degree in Korea. Kim one day hopes to be a full-time glass artist. The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Town Square City Pavilion.

By Sam Beard, @SamBeard_DE

From candles to lattes, pies to holiday sweaters, pumpkin is in season.  

The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, an annual student art sale hosted by the Registered Student Organization Southern Glass Works, is at 9 a.m. Saturday at City Pavilion in city’s Town Square, and will offer community members a chance to purchase some of the most in-demand pumpkins on the block.

The pumpkins are handcrafted by student-artists from the School of Art & Design’s glass specialization. Profits from at the sale are important to furthering their education, Southern Glass Works President Bryan Beck said.

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Students will sell independently-crafted pumpkins and group pumpkins, which were designed and created through collaborative efforts. The process of blowing glass almost always requires some level of cooperation, as some of the steps involved are much better done with a teammate, Beck said.

Su-yeon Kim, a graduate student from Seoul, South Korea studying fine arts, is no stranger to glass work. She spends her time in both the hot shop, where the glass is hot and malleable, and the cold shop, where it is cold and brittle. Kim is one of the more versatile artists in the studio, according to her peers. 

Kim said she blows glass because it is fun to work with molten glass and is fascinated by its fluid behavior. 

“Glass is interesting because it is almost half liquid when at an extremely hot temperature,” she said. “Glass blowing is pretty much the only technique that you can physically work with glass.”

Group pumpkin profits are pooled and used for bringing resident-artists and speakers to campus, while the artist’s keep 70 percent of independent pumpkin sales.

“The funding from the sale gives us the opportunity to fix and by new equipment for the studio, basically giving the students educational opportunities that we would otherwise not have,” said Beck, a graduate student from Boca Raton, Fla., studying fine arts.

At last year’s sale, the hundreds of unique glass pumpkins sold out in less than an hour. Sale organizers encourage those who want pumpkins to get there when the sale begins, because they tend sell quickly.

“We’ve got people from out of state coming for the pumpkin sale. Some have been collecting since we started this,” Beck said. “Besides funding, we also sell them because people enjoy collecting the pumpkins.”

Pumpkins start at $25 and are priced according to size, color technique and intricacy. The artists convene before the sale to discuss prices to ensure fairness.

“This fundraising event is very important to us,” Kim said. “Because we do this fundraising, we can invite two or three visiting artists every semester — an advantage to every student in the glass program — so I think it is very helpful.”

Sam Beard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SamBeard_DE.

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