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“Thriving as an Artist” Panel

By Anisha Jintoorkar, Staff Writer

The “Thriving as an Artist” panel held on March 25 was a part of the ongoing department of art spring 2020 ongoing Business of Art Speaker Series. The goal of the series is to bring art professionals to talk with students about their work, speak about their own work, and give students the opportunity to connect with professionals in the fields they would like to pursue. Due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the event was held online via Zoom.

Featured panelists were Alex Ferrone, photographer and owner of the Alex Ferrone Gallery for contemporary fine art in North Fork, Lisa Hock Mack, painter and director of Huntington Fine Arts, an art school and gallery and Lori Hororowitz, a sculptor, former gallery owner, and scenic painter.

Winn Rea, chair of the art department, invited participants to the event via email. “Each artist shared images of their artwork and spoke movingly about their artistic path.They discussed ways they have woven entrepreneurial and business skills into their professional lives on their way to becoming accomplished artists,” Rea said. “All the speakers agreed: artists need practical business skill training—and more of it.”

This speaker series reflects the mission of the art department to help students cultivate their creative passion and professional skills, according to Rea.

“We are breaking down the myth of the starving artist, an 19th-century trope that does not have to be true for artists who develop entrepreneurial and professional abilities,” she said.

This event reached an audience via Zoom meetings due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We have alumni, members of the community and prospective students joining us from around the region and across the nation, so this difficult time has actually opened up new ways to reach out, and share inspiring examples with young artists,” Rea said.

The next, and last speaker in the series is Peter Gynd, artist, curator and director of Leslie Haller Gallery. The session will begin at 7 p.m., on April 25. Students interested in attending can contact Winn Rea at to would like to receive an email with the Zoom meeting invitation.

This series is arranged in conjunction with MFA seminar class, led this semester by Professor Karen Fitzgerald.

“I thought the event was quite powerful. The presenters were well-spoken, knowledgeable, and carefully answered all the questions posed to them.”

“My preference would have been to be speaking in front of a live audience so I could have a true perception of my audience size and who I was speaking to,” Lori Horowitz, said. The audience was muted, there were no interruptions, but also no true sense of responses.

“It was a very enjoyable and engaging evening. During this time of isolation, it was a perfect way to interact and stay attached to the arts community. I met some new wonderful people and reconnected with some I haven’t seen for some time. I would recommend it as a teaching and networking tool that is very comprehensive and versatile. Most importantly it keeps us connected and able to share in this time of seclusion,” Horowitz said.

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