Good Editions helps students make it in the art world

Recognition by the public is one of the greatest struggles student artists face in their careers. However, several students at Portland State in the graphic design program may just have an ingenious solution.

During winter term of last year, Seth Gale, Zack Franceschi and Julie Lesseg created Good Editions, an online store marketing PSU student artwork.

“It kind of came out of a desire to expose all the really rad student work that’s coming out of our program,” said Gale, a senior at PSU majoring in graphic design. “So we kind of figured, we have all these awesome students making really good work, and there’s a market for people to buy it. We can kind of kill two birds with one stone here and kind of leverage that talent to create some funds to go right back into the program.”

“We are a program that is high on talent and low on funding,” Franceschi said. “We thought it’d be great if we could try to raise some extra money to fund events, workshops and supplies while also showcasing the work coming out of our program.”

Good Editions selects three guest curators from the community to submit a piece of their own work. Each curator then chooses two student works to sit alongside their own. The recognized name of the artist provides an anchor for the public, who could be timid about purchasing student artwork.

“Whether the curators select you or not, they’ll be looking at your work, and that’s a risk worth taking,” Franceschi said. “If your work is chosen by the curators, you’ll get your work put on the site with the option to purchase, which is great exposure.”

“I think it’s been interesting to see what people are kind of putting out there,” Gale said, “Because I think as an art student, they have this desire to make and just have things live and be physical in the world. But as a student, it’s kind of difficult to make that a reality, just because of personal funding.”

Part of what makes Good Editions so successful is their partnership with Buy Olympia’s Land Gallery, a store and art gallery in North Portland which operates as the store counterpart of their online market.

“We were able to partner with a really awesome gallery in town that does all the printing and shipping for [Good Editions],” Gale said.

Buy Olympia offered to print and ship posters, as well as handle e-commerce through their website for free, for which Good Editions members feel extremely lucky, Franceschi said.
“We’ll be responsible for taking the art and making fine copies, nice prints of them, then roll them out and ship them to people who buy them,” said Pat Castaldo, co-founder of Buy Olympia. “We’re covering our costs basically, and then the rest goes to PSU.”

“Without their help, this project probably does not happen. This is a perfect example of why it’s so great to study graphic design in Portland: The community is extremely supportive and generous,” Franceschi said.

“The program itself, I think, helps bring exposure to the artists and what’s going on in the program, and it also gives a nice aspirational quality about it; that student work can be put up with other working artists at the same level, on equal footing,” Castaldo said.

It is the hope that Good Editions will continue to grow and to become something that can contribute to the graphic design program as a whole, Gale said.

“The biggest thing now is to support and spread the word because all of the funding is going directly into the program and allows us to get feedback back into the community. It turns into this great, busy cycle of creativity and that’s really rad,” Gale said.

“It’s also been really fun seeing it catch on with the students, having them get excited about it, and seeing the great work that comes out,” Franceschi said.

“Also, it feels really good when our guest curators agree to take time out of their schedule to participate,” Fraceschi added. “It reaffirms the great relationship PSUGD has, not only with the local design community, but designers all over the US.”

More information on Good Editions’ curated artwork and the submission process can be found at or their Instagram, @getgoodeditions.