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Laurie Larson is a Lassonde Studios resident and artist showing her work on the Products, Design & Arts residential floor.

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute’s Arts Entrepreneur program hosted an art competition with the winners earning prize money and being featured on the wall at Lassonde Studios. This was one of the winning pieces.

HE University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and its new world-class, award-winning Lassonde Studios located in the heart of the U’s campus, have made the institution a leader in the nation for aspiring entrepreneurs – including arts entrepreneurs. Built with the vision and direction of Pierre Lassonde, alum from the U’s MBA program who wanted to facilitate more interdisciplinarity on campus, Lassonde Studios is a hotbed for innovation and creation. On the main floor, called the Neeleman Hangar, very few walls separate spaces, so that organic interactions are facilitated and ideation and peer support are encouraged. There are meeting spaces, food trucks, makers’ areas replete with equipment to sew, do 3D printing, work with woods and metals, etc. Troy D’Ambrosio, the Executive Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneurial Institute, calls it a “yes” space – where everything can be a canvas (and literally, writing on the walls is allowed). The hope is that the space will change as often as the students want it to. As an avid art collector and appreciator, Mr. Lassonde saw the value of luring art students into the spaces where science, engineering, and business students would be, because he knows creativity is the bedrock of innovation. “I think artists here act almost as a muse,” D’Ambrosio said. “They constantly bring a playful and creative energy to this space whether it’s filling the Hangar with tunes from the community piano or temporary tape art installations on the walls. It provides an element of surprise that can completely transform the space and inspire the community.” So, in addition to dedicating various floors of the residential spaces, which make up the second through fifth floors of the shiny copper building, to videogamers and artists, there is also programming specifically for artists through the Arts Entrepreneur program. For example, “Coffee with Creatives” is a series that connects students and residents to professionals in the creative industries, including faculty members from the Department of Film & Media Arts and Brooke Horejsi, Executive Director of UtahPresents and Assistant Dean of Art & Creative Engagement in the College. They’ve also collaborated with UtahPresents, who scheduled a pop-up concert by acclaimed cellist Matt Haimovitz in the Hangar. “The modern definitions of being an entrepreneur is creating something that didn’t exist before, and oftentimes doing so with the hope that it will change the world,” said D’Ambrosio. “Artists do that all the time. In fact, in that sense, artists might be more inherently entrepreneurial than business people.” ≠

For more information, visit 26 STUDIO / 2017


Studio '17  

The official magazine of the University of Utah College of Fine Arts.