2015-11-05 / Arts & Entertainment News

ARTNADO hopes to take scene by storm

BY STEVEN J. SMITH


Artistic Synergy President Jack Busa, center, is flanked by his wife Irina, left, and artist Valentina Kiselev. 
COURTESY PHOTO Artistic Synergy President Jack Busa, center, is flanked by his wife Irina, left, and artist Valentina Kiselev. COURTESY PHOTO Jack Busa isn’t an artist, but hopes his love of art will turn ARTNADO — his fine art fair, coming to the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center on Nov. 14 and 15 — into an annual South Florida event.

Mr. Busa lives in West Palm Beach and describes himself as a businessman, but admits he has avidly followed the visual and performing arts since he was a teenager.

“I had a lot of friends in my later years who tended to be art historians, museum directors, art collectors and art dealers,” he said. “I would go around with them and let their connoisseurship kind of rub off on me. They also taught me how to deal with artists who, let’s say, are an unusual breed.”

Mr. Busa is president of Artistic Synergy Inc., a newly formed nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing established artists together, educating emerging artists and serving as a catalyst for change in the art community. He has put up $30,000 of his own money to fund ARTNADO in the hopes of bringing about that change.

“Artistic Synergy assists artists and the art community in Florida,” Mr. Busa said. “Most artists are relegated to doing tent shows on the street, because the big gallery shows are too expensive. For ARTNADO, we wanted to find talented artists doing tent shows and give them an opportunity to come indoors, get rid of those tents that destroy the light on their pictures and provide an air-conditioned environment where people can come in and get a better look at their work. But most importantly, we wanted to double their space for the same price they pay to exhibit their art outside and allow visitors to see them actually working on something. When art lovers see artists at work, they can better appreciate and value the technique artists bring to their creations.”

At ARTNADO, the work of about 80 artists will range in price from a few hundred dollars to over $40,000 and will encompass everything from “the contemporary to the realistic,” Mr. Busa said, including watercolor and oil paintings, ceramics and jewelry, some of which will be modeled so visitors can see what it looks like on one’s body. A “Curator’s Corner” will also occupy space at the event, where each day the most highly adjudicated two- and three-dimensional art and jewelry will go on display.

“Plus, we’re looking into having some performance art going on from time to time in the center of the room,” Mr. Busa said. “But it won’t interfere with the artists working on and displaying their work around the perimeter.”

Mr. Busa added he has contacted art associations in the area such as the Wellington Art Society, the Artists Showcase of the Palm Beaches, the Lake Worth Art League and the Bead Society of the Palm Beaches and offered them free kiosk space at ARTNADO to introduce themselves to the public, with the goals of both drawing new members to their organizations and displaying samples of their work. In addition, he has reached out to local schools, inviting students to participate in an art contest at the fair where winning entries will go on display.

“We’ll have two student art categories: sixth to eighth grade and ninth through twelfth,” he said. “Most of the response has come from private schools and charter schools, with one or two from public schools. We will pick the top three in both categories and award those students with medals, certificates and an art-related gift, such as a fully appointed easel with painting supplies.”

Mr. Busa said he — and ARTNADO — can become the face of future art fairs in South Florida.

“I’ve taken art lovers out of the rain, the wind and those awful tin bathrooms and brought them inside,” he said. “I’ve taken artists out of their little 10-foot by 10-foot tents — which is like shopping in a dark closet — and given them an opportunity to display not only their work, but how they actually create that work.”

Mr. Busa added with the success of ARTNADO he plans to line up sponsors to help fund future events of its kind.

“I’d like to see it become self-funding with help from local businesses like car dealerships and so forth,” he said. “But I realize in the first year no one’s going to sponsor you until they know who you are, what you’re actually doing and what kind of track record you have.” ¦

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