The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

66° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students create Web site for artists

    Alex Farkas, left, a senior majoring in art history and finance, entrepreneurship senior Greg Rosbero and Stephen Tanenbaum, a senior majoring in finance and entrepreneurship, are in the process of building a business promoting student artwork on the Internet that they hope will lessen the gap between professional and student artists. They recently won $15,000 at a Canadian competition and plan to have their design ready for launch by the time they graduate.
    Alex Farkas, left, a senior majoring in art history and finance, entrepreneurship senior Greg Rosbero and Stephen Tanenbaum, a senior majoring in finance and entrepreneurship, are in the process of building a business promoting student artwork on the Internet that they hope will lessen the gap between professional and student artists. They recently won $15,000 at a Canadian competition and plan to have their design ready for launch by the time they graduate.

    A team of entrepreneurship students plans to launch an online art gallery by July for collegiate artists struggling to secure an outlet for their work.

    Like any students wondering where their major will lead them after graduation, the transition from student artist to professional artist is challenging at best.

    Students in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program plan to help that uncertain stage by starting Original Theory, a Web site that can help market any student’s artwork – paintings, drawing and photography – to a broader audience and new levels of appreciation.

    Most galleries desire emerged artists who have already sold multiple pieces, said Alex Farkas, vice president of operations for Original Theory.

    “”There is a major source of artwork being produced here at the UA, and we’re basically promoting the next generation of great artists,”” said Farkas, a senior majoring in art history and entrepreneurship. “”Many academic artists have gone on to do great things.””

    Original Theory comprises president Greg Rosborough, vice president of marketing Jonathan Pucciarelli, vice president of finances Stephen Tanenbaum and Farkas.

    The students behind Original Theory plan to eventually showcase more than 20,000 selected pieces online at $750 a piece, from artists from the top 50 art schools and universities across the nation, said Tanenbaum, a senior majoring in finance and entrepreneurship.

    “”We want to both see the art school and the artist succeed, so (Original Theory) is the next logical step towards achieving that goal,”” Tanenbaum said, adding that artwork will range from $300 to $2,000. “”We’re really excited about this concept.””

    The artists keep their artwork until it has been sold on the Original Theory Web site, whereby the group then owns the exclusive rights to the piece for 180 days, netting the artist a 50 percent profit upon the online sale, Rosborough said.

    “”We want to be the platform to starting new careers,”” said Rosborough, a senior majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship.

    With many elementary, middle and high schools deciding to drop music education from their curriculums altogether because of budgetary concerns, the students are taking it upon themselves to promote art among students and revive what they believe is a program worth saving.

    “”Art isn’t just for the rich and powerful, it’s for everyone to enjoy at an affordable price,”” said Pucciarelli, a senior majoring in accounting and entrepreneurship. “”We’re trying to publicize art in a new way and to get that spark back.””

    Farkas agreed.””I’ve grown up with art and I think of myself as an artist, so it’s great to help students,”” he said.

    The group recently completed its first sale to the Eller College of Management for a year-end awards banquet ceremony next month. Eleven pieces of artwork from UA artists sold at $100 apiece.

    Though Original Theory’s Web site, www.originaltheory.com, hasn’t yet been launched, recognition of the group’s potential was seen across North America last month during two separate entrepreneurship competitions, which earned the group a total of $22,500.

    The group first competed in the Queen’s Entrepreneurship Competition, held by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which is ranked as the No. 1 business school in Canada by Business Week magazine, Rosborough said.

    There, the group won $15,000 and beat teams from some of the top business schools in Canada as well as the University of Hong Kong, Princeton University and Cornell University, Rosborough said.

    Original Theory was also a part of the “”Enterprise Creation Competition”” held by Ball State University, Syracuse University and Indiana University. There, the group won $7,500 during the competition, which saw them square off against the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and Texas Christian University, Rosborough said.

    The group will compete in the finals of a UA-sponsored entrepreneurship competition on Friday.

    “”These are some of the most prestigious undergraduate business competitions around,”” Rosborough said. “”All of these winnings will go into our business.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search