Millikin’s Makers Market puts student-made arts and crafts front and center

The fourth annual event returned to the University Commons on March 10.

Millikin Makers Market

DECATUR, Ill. – Millikin University’s artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs put their works and merchandise on sale at the fourth annual Millikin Makers Market on Sunday, March 10, in the Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Rooms of the University Commons.

For sophomore Studio Arts major Gracie Cleeton, it was their first time selling their art prints at the Makers Market, and they were happy to take advantage of the opportunity. 

Gracie Cleeton
Millikin's Gracie Cleeton sold prints at the Makers Market last weekend.

“We don't have a lot of places to sell our work like this, so this is really cool. It's one of the places where we can shine and grow,” Cleeton said. “I love the community of artists here at Millikin. It's very close-knit, and we're all friends. We all love each other.”

Cleeton, originally from Springfield, Ill., became interested in printmaking during their senior year of high school and has been honing their craft ever since.

Gracie Cleeton print
Gracie Cleeton's print titled “I am me, but not me.”

“My first print was just a four-by-four little square piece of linoleum. I really liked it, but I didn't know what it was all about at the time,” Cleeton said. “Then I got into college, and I learned more about printmaking, painting, and all of art. I found my love of art and being able to express myself in art.”

Cleeton’s prints have some horror themes with vibrant color choices to create a unique combination of styles. 

“During COVID, I got into watching horror movies, and I like that something so creepy can also be so accepting,” Cleeton said. “I like doing fun colors and designs because I feel like you can easily express yourself and be who you want to be.”

Gracie Cleeton print

Cleeton’s art business is called Freek Show Designs and is accepting commissions for a variety of services, including acrylic painting, drawing, printmaking, and tattoo designs.

“My senior show will also be called ‘Freek Show,’ and it is about really finding yourself and accepting yourself through the more taboo parts of yourself,” Cleeton said. "I really love the community here at Millikin. I found that it was way more accepting than other places that I've been. People are  a lot nicer, and I just really found a connection in the Art department here.”