When you walk through the doors of Las Olas Capital Advisors, the only sound you expect to hear is the muted sound of voices discussing investment strategies.
But on Oct. 17, you would have instead heard a piano and hum of a crowd, and been greeted by a sea of smiling faces and walls adorned with colorful, captivating art.
Under the direction of Jodi Jeffreys-Tanner, the offices of Las Olas Capital Advisors had been transformed into a celebration of local art spotlighting the work of artist Jarred Corey. It’s all part of Las Olas Capital Arts, an innovative program Tanner created to provide support, encouragement and exposure to emerging artists in South Florida.
When Tanner, who serves as a member of the Broward Cultural Council, considered how she could further give back to the arts community, she came up with an innovative idea: “My walls!” That vision led to the creation of Las Olas Capital Arts, which provides a venue – namely the office walls of the wealth management firm founded by Tanner and her husband, Paul – where the work of local artists can be showcased.
“Ultimately, I want to help people make their passion into a business to support themselves,” Tanner says. “When you have a thriving arts community, you have a thriving community. It feeds into the creative economy. We want to be a part of that. We want to promote it, we want to support it, we want to show people how to support and promote it.”
As the founder and curator of the program, Tanner seeks out artists who seem ready to take their career to the next level. She also keeps an eye out for artists who are giving something of themselves to the community. “It’s all about supporting our arts community and also engaging artists to support each other,” she says.
Corey’s exhibition included exquisitely detailed portraits in pencil along with colorful mixed media canvases and glazed giclee. Specializing in his own blend of surrealism and realism, he often finds inspiration in his passion for pop culture, music and the female form.
Corey, who is the twelfth artist to be featured by Las Olas Capital Arts, is also an art teacher at MacArthur High School in Hollywood who loves helping his students discover a creative outlet for self-expression. “I tell my students all the time that it doesn’t really matter what you do for a living; in anything, creativity will set you apart,” he says.
Corey encourages them to explore a variety of artistic styles and media as he does in his own art. He has worked with everything from acrylics on canvas to dry erase markers on a white board, and even painted a pair of football cleats for James White of the New England Patriots as part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats initiative.
Tanner organizes a solo exhibition for each artist selected for the Las Olas Capital Arts program. Artists’ work remains on view for several months.
“It was awesome,” Corey says of the opening reception for his exhibition. “I’ve done shows before but never a solo exhibition. It’s cool that everyone was there for just my work. To see everybody show up and love the work tells me I’m on the right track.”
At first, Corey thought Las Olas Capital Arts sounded too good to be true. “I was thinking, ‘What’s the catch?, he says. He soon learned, however, that some things are as good as they seem. “[Jodi] is a very sincere and genuine person and she loves the arts. She’s such a positive person.”
Corey was moved by the amount of work taken on by Tanner and her team on his behalf. “It’s very motivating,” he says. Working with them to set up the exhibition was also a learning experience for him; one that he feels has equipped him to take advantage of the opportunities that are now coming his way thanks to the exposure his work has received through the Las Olas Capital Arts program..
“It makes me feel so good to watch them grow and thrive,” says Tanner of the artists she works with. “They’re already fantastic artists in their own right; they’re just going to different levels,”
By the end of the evening, Corey had sold a few of his pieces and had picked up a commission for a mural. “I made some new connections, as well,” he says, seemingly as excited about meeting other artists as he was about connecting with buyers.
Phoenix, a fine-art photographer who was recently selected to serve as artist-in-residence at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, had a Las Olas Capital Arts exhibition in early 2018. “It’s a wonderful opportunity,” she says. She’s grateful to Tanner for showing her work and for introducing her to people who could appreciate it. “[Jodi] is a marvelous friend to aspiring artists. She puts in the key and opens the door. It really helps put you on the map.”
Like Corey, Phoenix can’t get over how much energy and heart Tanner puts into the program. “That’s her personality. She supports art big time,” she says. “Jodi is a jewel and a treasure for individual artists like myself, as well the broader arts community in Broward County.”
Las Olas Capital Arts will be hosting their 13th exhibit with artist Florencia Clement de Grandprey from February through April 2020, and with the artist reception on February 20, 2020. For more information you can visit them at lasolascapitalarts.com.