"You have this great passion, this great skill," Stine explained. "But how do you make it into your livelihood?"
Student-artists like Stine can start to answer that question before they even leave college, thanks to a new store called Shop Columbia, located at 623 S. Wabash Ave. It's a new retail store on the Columbia College campus comprised solely of student work. You can find everything from photos, paintings and sculptures, to music, books, and clothing.
"We needed to create a unique opportunity not only for students to showcase their work of all the disciplines on campus, but also be able to work in a real business model in a real professional environment," said Neysa Page-Lieberman, Columbia's Director of the Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces, who helped develop Shop Columbia.
Prices in the store range from $1 to $500. Students keep up to 75 percent of the selling price for each item sold, with the rest of the money going toward business expenses. Every little bit helps for students coping with rising tuition costs and the struggling economy.
"It's been really tremendous," said Tannar Veatch, a Columbia senior Fine Arts major. "My work has gotten really good responses and I hear the shop is doing well."
Shop Columbia opened mid-October, but Page-Lieberman says items are already flying off the shelves. The store hopes to offer online shopping soon.
"Just getting started in the gallery world, to say you already have that kind of experience is definitely an advantage," Stine said.