Mason Artist Alley

Providing a space for Mason’s artistic entrepreneurs for the second year running


Students looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping and support local artists got an opportunity to do both on Saturday, Nov. 16, during the Mason Artist Alley, hosted by the Mason Illustrators. Student artists were given the opportunity to display and sell their artwork, ranging from stickers and pins to full comics or posters. 

This was the second edition of what the organization hopes will be a continuing event. The first Artist Alley was held in the spring of this year. According to Mary Jane DeCarlo, senior art and visual technology major and the president of Mason Illustrators, there was a mix of both new and returning artists.

The event provided an opportunity for students to sell their work to their peers, whether or not they intend to pursue art as a major or career. Many of the vendors simply create and sell their art as a side project. 

Fourth Estate / Alexandria McAlpine

Ellie Priday, the secretary of Mason Illustrators, is a junior business major with a minor in graphic design. She was there as a vendor herself, selling prints and stickers of her designs.

“I’ve been drawing my whole life,” Priday said. “Once I got to Mason, I got to start doing something with it.”

And though business and art may seem wildly different, Priday believes they go hand in hand in creating a business such as her own. 

Natalie Ledesma, a junior art and visual technology major, was also there as a vendor selling her handmade jewelry. 

Ledesma says that she has been making jewelry on the side for 10 years, selling first to family members before opportunities like Artist Alley helped her expand.

“For people who have never sold anything, this is a great way to get started,” Ledesma said.

DeCarlo also said that prior to the event, there were opportunities for the artists to meet up and collaborate with each other, strengthening their community.

For many of the artists, the work behind this event started months ago in order to prepare their work.

“We start at the beginning of the semester to be prepared for this type of thing,” Ledesma explained.

Beyond this event, Mason Illustrators maintains a tight-knit community of artists throughout the year. According to DeCarlo, the club holds Sketch Jams every other Friday, with both figure drawing and free-draw sessions. 

“It’s a really good environment for learning art,” said Priday, explaining that the club provides a space where student artists can work on their art, receive constructive criticism and positive feedback, or just be creative with their peers. 

According to DeCarlo, the next Artist Alley is tentatively scheduled for the spring 2020 semester.

For any students interested in joining Artist Alley in the future, an application will be available on the Mason Illustrator’s Instagram page. The organization welcomes any illustration-based work, including prints, stickers and comics.

Editors note: A previous version of the article referred to the Mason Illustrators as the “Mason Illustrators Club”