Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute Fuels
a Distinctive Change and a Robust Charge Forward
by Samantha Rojas
For many local artists completing the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI), the results are an obvious directional change, often characterized by a robust charge forward. This annual workshop (taken over four Saturdays in the summer) brings local artists together with expert faculty to train them on the specifics of how to be good business men and women in the realm of their craft. To date, more than 250 South Florida artists have graduated from the Institute.
For Colombian-born, Fort Lauderdale resident and artist Jose Herazo-Osorio, his new AEI trajectory landed him across the Atlantic, in the 2011 Biennale in Italy. As one of the 150 artists selected from a pool of 1,500 candidates, he knew he had hit a new sphere. This he credits directly to AEI. “I gathered from the program that art is a spiritual manifestation, as well as a business endeavor,” he says. He went on to win Third Prize for painting in the 2011 Anglo-Italian Academy of Art, Museo D’Arte di Chianciano Terme, Italy - Biennale 2011.
While completing a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida State University 1973 and completed courses for a Master of Science in Business Administration at the University of Texas at Dallas, 1978, Herazo-Osorio began painting live models during his school hours, to keep himself involved in art. Even with multiple art exhibits over more than 25 years, he admits that he still did not really make the arts and business connection into a workable formula for himself until 2009 when he attended Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute in Fort Lauderdale.
Talking to these artists, the change it would appear comes from a shift in awareness and focus; the charge, from an unobstructed impetus fueled by new knowledge of a particular kind. In other words, artists can see the possibilities and now they can also see logistically how these possibilities can be accomplished. Most are aware that it is an important connection to make in the life of any successful person – that of what you love and how to make it work for you, lucratively. “This challenge is true for artists more so than most,” believes Herazo Osorio. “There is a general misconception of art and artists as something superfluous and disconnected from the business world,”
It is from this exact point that AEI opens the dialogue to its participants and starts to break down these misconceptions, with tools and foundational blocks that allow the artist to see how real framework can be possible.
Without this framework, an artist can be working passionately in the area of their talent, and not be reaping the rewards that a good business plan and foundation would generate. AEI teaches that the building blocks for a future are a critical part of any dream.
The first thing Herazo-Osorio was compelled to do after finishing the AEI program in 2009 was to build his website; start a Blog; and post photographs of his work online. By establishing a presence through media and the web, he was invited by a gallery in New York to exhibit his work in a group show in 2010, where he was able to network and meet new people in the art world. He then went on to become a docent at the Miami Art Museum where he met collectors, gallery owners, and art lovers. In 2010 a gallery in London that runs the Chianciano Art