Art Basel 2014 is underway at Miami Art Week. As art collectors, curators and enthusiasts from around the world flock to South Beach for the massive art fair, Russell Simmons is there to push the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's mission. He co-founded the nonprofit with brothers Danny and Joseph in 1995 to support art education for inner-city youth.
The foundation has another mission: Support emerging and underrepresented artists in an industry where beauty is subjective and success is about being at the right place at the right time. It has launched the careers of several creatives like Kehinde Wiley through its Artist in Residence program, which has an open-application system. It offers selected recent graduates with studio and gallery space, and more important, networking and solo exhibition opportunities. Wiley, a Brooklyn-based visual artist, is travelling to Miami with Simmons and other past art residents this week to exhibit at the Rush Gallery booth at the Scope Art Fair as well as the Art for Life Art Auction which just last night raised a total of $250,000 for youth programs.
Whether you're an alumnus of the Rush Arts Gallery selling work for several thousands, or a gallery rep selling a Warhol for several million, it's important to master the basics of networking, marketing and sales. Simmons discusses the various facets of supporting the creative arts and how his foundation helps young artists maximize their exposure and develop entrepreneurial skills along the way.