Arts Entrepreneurship program brings together business and arts students

The course is designed to give students a first-hand understanding of the life of an entrepreneur in the art market.

Esma Okutan

November 13, 2022 at 10:47 pm

Special correspondent

Courtesy of Magnus Resch

The art market is a multi-billion dollar, constantly changing platform. This fall, students from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Management came together to study.

The course, “Entrepreneurship in the Art Market,” is offered by the School of Management and is taught by visiting lecturer Magnus Resch, economist, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author of Amazon’s entrepreneurship book. This year was the first time he brought MBA and MFA students together in a six-session seminar class, where they learned about the different forces that shape the flow of art.

“Business students know very little about the art market, and artists generally don’t know enough about the economics of art,” Resch told The News. “It’s this exchange between artists and business students that makes this class so unique.”

Classes include a visit to the Armory Art Fair, a guided tour, and two mixers to facilitate student conversations outside of the classroom.

Painting and printmaking student Mike Picos ART ’24, who oversees the class, explained that one of the highlights of the class is connecting with business students.

“It’s very fruitful to understand how people other than artists see and experience art,” Picos said. “I’ve had a lot of great conversations with people at the School of Management, and I feel like I really have a better understanding of how they see what we’re doing.”

Some of the speakers included leaders in these fields, such as digital artist Michael Winkelmann, who sold his NFTs for $69 million. Other speakers included top curator, art consultant, collector, Paris gallery founder and CEO of Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest art auction houses, Charles F. Stewart.

“I was amazed at how much money is involved in the art market and how the money is placed in different parts of the market that interact with each other,” said Younes Kouider ART ’23, a sculpture student who is taking classes.

Each class also includes presentations from the artist in class where they share their work, what inspired them, and the difficulties they are currently facing.

These presentations often lead to lively discussions around go-to-market strategy, pricing, and marketing concepts, Resch noted. Many of the conversations also focused on how entrepreneurs can succeed in the art world.

“This course is a core for students interested in pursuing careers in creative fields,” explains Resch. “Former students have joined Sotheby’s, Gagosian Gallery, Metropolitan Museum, Whitney and Royal Opera House, non-profit museums and more. Artists have a clearer picture of how to continue their careers after leaving their programs understanding.”

Students have two options for the final project of this course: a dissertation on the future development of the art market or an artwork presenting their main takeaways from the course.

Jane Cavalier SOM ’23 said the entire course helped her understand the different opportunities in the art market. Before attending business school, Cavalier worked at the Museum of Modern Art.

“I worked in the curatorial department there, so I didn’t have much experience running a museum business, but I was involved in the development of the exhibition,” she said. “For me, this class has helped me increase my awareness of the different career opportunities for people who want to work at the intersection of art and business.”

The course will be offered again next fall.

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