Laura Basciotta, a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, was a co-founder of the Pitt Pop Art Den, a student-run organization, which is apart of the Pitt Bookstore on Fifth Avenue. Basciotta was given this opportunity by a previous professor in the undergraduate business school: “The task was to create a student cooperative space within the University Store on Fifth.” Basciotta, being a marketing major, began doing research about colleges around the country that had a similar notion of selling student artwork.
The School of Art and Design, located in Savannah Georgia, provided Laura with the perfect inspiration. SCAD has an area on campus where its students can display and sell their own artwork. Upon this discovery, Laura noted, “I loved the concept of this and pitched the idea [to the Business and Auxillary Services at Pitt] of a space where students could sell their artwork on consignment. The [goal] being Pitt students could showcase their talent and gain exposure!”
While Laura’s experience was funded by the business school, her role in developing the den was akin to starting her own small business. Once the idea was approved Laura made the executive and creative decisions of what space would look like, who her team members would be, how the operation would be run, and the artist’s application process.
Laura Basciotta currently acts as the Chief Executive Officer and Student Manager of the den. Her responsibilities include interviewing potential artists, collaborating with other student marketing managers, as well as monitoring the yearly budget.
Basciotta is currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing. In addition to creating and running the Pop Art Den in the University Store on Fifth, she is also a marketing intern for First Sip Brewery.
The Pitt Pop Art Den’s team consists of four major players: Laura Basciotta – co-founder and CEO; Monica Rattigan – supervisor; Emma Skedlar – Student Marketing Manager; and a student buyer, whose position is currently transitioning. The Student Marketing Manager plays a large role in running all of the Den’s social media platforms. Given the younger generation’s drawn towards social media, it’s only natural that the majority of the exposure, especially given COVID, is a result of Instagram posts and stories.
Pitt Pop Art Den was created in May 2019 and is approaching its second year at the University Store. Anyone is welcome to purchase the items in the den, and in order to apply, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or direct message the Instagram account @pittpopartden. The spring 2021 collection has reached capacity but the team will announce summer 2021 openings soon!