300 attend inaugural ‘House of the Arts’ showcase

Jessica Stein, right, a junior public relations and advertising major, explains her acrylic paintings to Katherine Shields, left, a junior communication studies major. Students like Stein showcased their art at the inaugural “House of Arts” event hosted on the Aitken Arts Plaza Dec. 7. Photos by Jackie Cohen

Senior business administration majors David Ferrell and Daniel Freifeld conceptualized “House of the Arts,” a student art showcase, in their apartment last fall to allow students without art majors or minors to showcase their art at Chapman.

A year later, on Dec. 7, that goal came to fruition, as the event featured more than 30 student artists at the Aitken Arts Plaza in front of the Musco Center for the Arts and attracted more than 300 people.

“This has been a project that we’ve been working on since the beginning of the year, and now it’s basically over, but it’s also the beginning for something greater,” Ferrell said.

The event, which Freifeld and Ferrell plan to host again in the spring, featured student fashion designers, sculptors, potters, musicians, painters, photographers and filmmakers.

Sophomore sociology major Claire Bishara, one of the artists whose work was showcased, said that, although she has presented her paintings at several art shows, she’s never done so at Chapman because she is not an art major.

“With this event, any kind of student that has an artistic ability who doesn’t typically get to showcase their art gets to show their art on campus for the first time.”

Bishara said that the event drew so many students because of its inclusivity.

“Any kind of student that has an artistic ability who doesn’t typically get to showcase their art – because you might be a business major but still paint – gets to show their art on campus for the first time,” she said.

Freifeld said this event was created as a source for artists – like Bishara – who don’t typically have the ability to show their art because they are not a major or minor.

Talia Goodman, a senior theatre performance major, and her friend Lauren Berman, who is not a Chapman student, sold handmade plant holders at the event.

“We definitely want to create the art scene and the art movement within Chapman, but also give all the artists a platform to propel their artistic endeavors so they know they can rely on us. We can work together to help them do that,” he said.

The event was profitable for many students selling their work, Ferrell said, but he and Freifeld did not make any money.

Senior dance major Camryn Eakes said the event’s success came from students being able to show their “hidden talents.”

“The purpose is not to create a show or an exhibition, but it’s more just a free-for-all,” she said. “A lot of the people who participated, I may have had a class with before, but wouldn’t have otherwise known about their artistic capabilities. It was very exciting to go into this and not know what’s going to be set up next to me.”

Sophomore sociology major Claire Bishara and sophomore studio art major Tram Dang were among the students who displayed their art at the event Dec. 7.

Eakes’ own passion is in fashion photography. As a dance major, she said she is fascinated by the human form.

“Fashion as art is very different from how a lot of people see fashion these days, and so I try to capture that and change people’s minds on what fashion looks like in society,” Eakes said.

Freifeld and Ferrell hope to expand the event to feature more artists.

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