Last year, friends of R.E. Sanchez told him they wanted to open a gallery. They didn’t have many contacts in the art world, so he came up with another idea.
“People are picky about where they buy their art,” he said. “Without knowing the right people, opening a gallery is a dead-end street. The way to start is by networking and meeting other artists.”
Life is Art is an organization dedicated to bringing local artists together and giving them an outlet to expose their work. Sanchez, the artistic director, is one of six founders.
“We promote the artists of South Florida who otherwise wouldn’t have access to galleries or museums,” Sanchez said.
Life is Art supports all types of art from performance and music to fashion, sculpture, painting, drawing and photography and allows submissions on their website, www.lifeisartfest.org.
Local businesses have the chance to promote themselves by sponsoring the organization, which holds networking events, art fairs, and gallery openings around South Florida.
“This sounds like a really great opportunity, because especially at our age, it seems like it’s going to be hard to penetrate the art community,” junior Sarah Butler said.
The most recent event was a seminar taught by renowned image consultant Mary Giuseffi to help artists learn how to stand out by developing and marketing their own personal brand. Earth is Art was held in August at the Metro 1 Green Building Resource Center, where 13 artists exhibited work based on the environment. A live auction was held and local musicians provided entertainment for about 200 guests.
“We wanted to start an organization that could help artists,” Sanchez said. “Our events give them a chance to network, showcase their work, and talk with other people in the industry.”
The organization is working on monthly seminars with professionals in various art fields including question and answer sessions to help artists learn what they need to do in order to advance their careers. Those who attend events will meet artists, gallery owners, dealers, collectors, and art fans. Life is Art creates an environment where people can discuss the issues facing Miami artists, give out business cards, make new connections, and just enjoy art in all its forms.
The next event will be an art show on the scenic Las Olas Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 1.
“This is really cool for young and upcoming artists,” Sanchez said. “It’s a way to meet people who are interested in the arts and to get art shown.” Anyone is invited to participate, and all creativity is encouraged. After all, the Life is Art mission statement is, “to promote and support the artistic and creative communities in Miami and beyond.”