Art Converters and Art Convergence: An Entrepreneurial Imperative

Author: Nnamdi Madichie

My recently published book chapter in “Contemporary Issues in Marketing: Principles and Practice” by Sage Publications, speaks about Artists as converters and highlights a convergence of Arts & Entrepreneurship as a growing imperative.

While the chapter is labelled “Arts Marketing” and explored the ongoing debate between the notions of ‘arts marketing’ vis-à-vis ‘marketing of the arts’, it also has an entrepreneurship slant to it. For example, numerous insights were documented across diverse art forms identifying and mitigating the challenges confronting the arts. From explorations of a DIY Artist, through an Artist in Residence project in a London-based Alternative Provider of higher education, to an Arts Gallery in the heart of Manchester.

I have recently profiled the case of Manchester-based Chuck Art Gallery as an “An Art Gallery with a Passion for Africa.

As for the DIY (street) Artist, it made news headlines following the use of humour to change street names in Didcot, a railway town and civil parish in the ceremonial county of Oxfordshire and the historic county of Berkshire, north-west of Reading in the UK.

Fiddian Warman (Founder of the Society of Digital Artists (SoDA), is an “Artist in Residence” at the Bloomsbury Institute who describes himself as a Middle-Class, White Male who takes inclusivity seriously. This description is ascribed to his enthusiasm on issues related to ethnicity, diversity and inclusiveness – topics he touched upon at a recently concluded Teaching & Learning conference themed “Bridging the inclusivity Gap.”

He encourages people to share their stories in conversational style and uses roadshows/ salons in and around London Bloomsbury, to bring these stories to life. This article excerpts one of his roadshows –  i.e. the Shoeshine Stories initiative – a project where he invites both staff and students to sit down with him as he shines their shoes and chats with them about their experiences at the institution. He then articulates these stories in texts etched into the tabletops and other work surfaces of the student hub and Guild Office to highlight the identity construction of the staff and students at the institution.

Source: Author online at: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/activity:6432287422456823808/

It is worth pointing out that the narrative has morphed from the “shoeshine stories” into the “Reliquary,” which the artist describes as follows (Reliquary 2019).

The core concept was simple: take some of these bits of lecture room flotsam and jetsam and guild them. In this way the discarded objects could be elevated to a status similar to religious relics and, by association, the students who discarded them could be honored with a special kind of importance or sainthood!

The art/ entrepreneurship convergence is also highlighted in my book chapter where notable articles are signposted with titles such as:

  • The marketing/creativity interface: A case study of a visual artist.
  • Creative Entrepreneurship in the Arts: Transforming ‘Old’ into ‘New’–Irish Dance and Music Test Cases Such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance
  • Enacted experiences: analysing drama in entrepreneurial training.

To wrap up, it is evident that the intersections between Arts & Entrepreneurship can no longer be ignored, and the teaching of these blurring boundaries needs to be ramped up across institution of higher education. It underpins entrepreneurial education and more broadly entrepreneurial learning.

Madichie, N. O. (2019). Arts Marketing. In Gbadamosi, A. (Ed.) Contemporary Issues in Marketing: Principles and Practice, 388-419. London: Sage.