Holiday Winter Fest at Doudna


Jessica Nantes

Angela Gausmann, a junior vocal performance major, and Makayla McPhedran, (right) a senior music major, talk with Mrs. Claus during the Holiday Winter Fest in Doudna Fine Arts Center Thursday night.

Ryan Meyer, Multimedia Reporter

The Doudna Fine Arts Center’s Holiday Fest began Thursday evening with the Holiday Art Sale and a performance by Eastern’s jazz ensemble.

The art sale was the first since 2019, after COVID-19 prevented the art department from holding the event in 2020.

Chris Kahler, the department chair of art and design, said that he’s happy to have the sale back because it serves as a fundraiser for other events, like helping provide awards for the spring art show.

“Obviously, it’s an amazing opportunity for students to have that first time experience of maybe selling their work and doing that,” Kahler said. “But really, one of the reasons that we’re so proud to host the exhibition is because a portion of all sales actually goes to our scholarship fund for the art students.”

Most of the featured artists were from the surrounding area, with students making up less than half, Kahler said.

“I have a funny feeling it’s like probably one-third students and then maybe two-thirds are going to be like local artists in the area and even some of these artists are actually former faculty and things like that,” Kahler said.

Kahler said the Holiday Art Sale has gone well in previous years in terms of sales and having the gap year helped him appreciate the purpose that the event serves.

“In years past it’s been extremely successful,” Kahler said. “We’ve had tremendous sales, and I think the thing that’s funny is you never realize how successful it is until you don’t have it anymore.”

The tables spread across a large portion of Doudna’s concourse and included ceramics and drawings.

“We also created a lot more spacing this year, and so I think that what’s nice about this year is it does feel more open, it feels more approachable and I think people will find that there’s still a lot of stuff, it’s just it’s not as massive a quantity as maybe we’ve had in previous years,” Kahler said.

Kahler said part of the joy that comes from the Holiday Art Sale is seeing patrons realize that the art for sale comes from Eastern students.

“…For me, it’s always been a very special experience to be a part of like people realizing that for the first time or realizing like, ‘Hey, this is really kind of amazing, and you mean to tell me a student here made this?,’” Kahler said.

Kaelyn Albert, a sophomore majoring in art education, had keychains and pens she made over Thanksgiving break on display.

“I have never really done an art sale here before or anywhere,” Albert said. “And I’ve never really sold my art so this is a big thing to me, and it made me so happy making all these little keychains and pens. It was so fun.”

Being a sophomore, it was Albert’s first Holiday Art Sale, and she said she wanted people to enjoy the event.

“I just want everyone to have a good time and experience the different arts that people are selling here,” Albert said.

The evening concluded with a performance by Eastern’s jazz ensemble, who performed nine songs that included Dave Brubeck and Pat Metheny compositions, in the Dvorak Concert Hall.

The concert would be the last as members of the ensemble for Austin Slotnick, Addie Gladu, Collin Johnson, Katie Smith and Austin Spillman as they either move on to internships, student teaching positions or graduation. Director Sam Fagaly thanked them for their time in the band before the last song, Cole Porter’s “Easy to Love.”

Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].