Three weeks ago, Milo Booke ’17 had the idea to bring student art directly to dorms. The result of his idea exists now as “Art Kart.” Today, student art is hanging in eight locations across campus including the North Campus Apartments, Leonard Residence Hall — even in the Career Development Office.
Art Kart, founded by Booke with his friends Aaron Salm ’17 and Rose Bishop ’17, art director for the Collegian, is a website that allows Kenyon student artists to rent out their art to members of the Kenyon community. As of now, nine artists — including Salm, a studio art major — have art for rent on the site.
“Art Kart is like a means to get student art into other students’ homes,” Booke said. “We felt that there are a lot of artists here who do a lot of really really cool art. And besides those two-hour exhibitions every semester, no one really gets to see any of it.”
The pieces are available to rent for prices ranging from $1 to $20 per month, and all the proceeds go straight to the artists to help them pay for art supplies. Art on the website ranges from paintings to photographs to drawings. Pieces are accompanied by the artist’s name, dimensions, and price per month as set by the artist. Art Kart takes credit and debit cards.
“As an artist, I think it’s really awesome, because s—’s expensive when you are trying to make a painting or a sculpture,” Salm said. “Anything that makes it a little easier to keep making art is always really helpful.”
Booke was partially inspired by the Gund Gallery’s art loan program, which allows raffle winners to hang art from the Gallery’s permanent collection in their dorm room for the semester. There is a piece from the program in Booke and Bishop’s apartment, and they wanted to help even more students get art in their dorms.
“We knew that there was a huge demand for the art loan and only like 50 people got pieces,” Booke said. “So we thought it would be a really cool thing to provide a similar service but with student art.”
If a paper piece is ordered, Art Kart will provide a frame to help protect the art and make sure the artist feels that their work is safe and in good hands. There is no deposit on the art because Art Kart operates on a trust policy, according to Bishop, because Kenyon is so small and people will be protective of the art. By running on an honor system, the art is made more accessible for students to rent.
“Art definitely makes a big difference in the quality of living space,” Bishop said. “I have a ton of art collected from friends in our house, and I think it definitely makes it a lot more homey and happy, and I want other people to have that, too.”
In the future, Art Kart hopes to work with Bailey Luke ’17, founder of the bi-monthly art zine To Be Human, to run art-related events and help to promote each group’s work.
Art can be rented on their website, ArtKart.net.