Published: Feb. 22, 2024 By

From the plains of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the streets of New York, and finally settling into the vibrant art scene of Denver, the journey of Benjamin Burney who has traversed the realms of athleticism, academia, and artistry embodies a tale of relentless pursuit and transformation. His athletic abilities shone through during his time at the University of Colorado, where he not only pursued an undergraduate degree but also joined the CU football team. This period of his life was marked by both academic and athletic pursuits, with a particular focus on experimental Benjamin Burneyfilmmaking, a passion fueled by the university's department named after Stan Brackage, a pioneer in the field. However, his journey took a dramatic turn when he ventured into professional football, briefly playing for the Cleveland Browns. This experience was short-lived due to injuries and a realization that his heart was not fully in the sport. Despite the physical and emotional challenges, this phase was a pivotal moment that led him to question his true desires and aspirations.

After a bold move to New York, driven by a desire to explore his artistic ambitions, his career took an unexpected turn towards photography, a field in which his film degree inadvertently served him well. Despite an offer to return to football with the Green Bay Packers, which would have been a lucrative but ultimately unfulfilling detour, he chose to remain steadfast in his commitment to art. This decision underscored a profound moment of self-realization: his identity and future lay not in the sports world but in the realm of creative expression and community engagement. The rejection of this offer was a testament to his determination to forge his own path, one that led him back to Denver and into a myriad of roles that spanned photojournalism, styling, directing, and even modeling.

This eclectic career trajectory was not just about personal survival but about a deep-seated desire to make a meaningful impact through art. His journey was marked by continuous learning and adaptation, from navigating the complexities of business management during a pandemic to becoming Creative Director of Zoid Art Haus with the aim of fostering community through art. 

Zoid Art Haus: Creating Community Through Art 

Zoid Art Haus specializes in creative direction and project management, offering a tailored approach to businesses and artists alike. The foundation of House's ethos lies in leveraging marketing savvy and a comprehensive understanding of the creative industry to foster tangible success for its clients and collaborators.

A prime example of House's innovative approach is the production and management of the group art show "We Wear the Mask," which was hosted this past Halloween for a newly established art gallery. This event not only served as a platform for artists to showcase and sell their work, thereby boosting their confidence and market presence, but it also significantly enhanced the hosting gallery's sales and client base. Such outcomes underscore House's capacity to generate meaningful exposure and financial growth for both individual artists and art venues. Through initiatives like "We Wear the Mask" and its publishing endeavors, House not only champions the economic benefits of integrating art into business models but also highlights the profound societal impact of such collaborations.

“ A lot of wonderful things happened from that exhibition. I think for me, like more the intention that the artists now have around their artwork and just the self esteem boost they have, having their work being displayed already and also having sold some work. I think that was huge for them."

Beyond art exhibitions, Zoid Art Haus extends its expertise to various facets of creative and business development, including marketing strategies, grant writing, and even project-specific consultations. This adaptability reflects a broader mission to amplify the role of art within society, not just through exhibitions but as a fundamental component of economic and social ecosystems. The agency's commitment to this vision is further illustrated by its involvement in publishing ventures, such as releasing a book of poems and short stories, demonstrating House's ability to navigate and connect different segments of the creative industry.

Emphasis on Community and Art 

Beyond the practicalities of data and resource management, Benjamin delved into the foundational aspects of entrepreneurship, such as establishing a clear mission, vision, and values. He Photography by Zoid Art Hausshared how his own company, inspired by Haus’s holistic approach to design and creativity, centers on community, art, and bringing people together. Understanding the core purpose of one's business can guide entrepreneurs in making strategic decisions and rejecting opportunities that do not align with their values.

On community and art, Benjamin expressed that art acts as a catalyst for community formation, transcending mere aesthetic appreciation to become a medium for cultural identity and collective experience. He argued that art, in its many forms, from music and architecture to shared rituals, fosters a sense of belonging and understanding among people. By facilitating dialogues and connections, art can break down barriers of individualism, promoting a more inclusive and empathetic society.

“I feel that art creates community, and some of the first most valuable things in history were first art or considered to be currency because they were art. And the art is the is the vehicle for cultural identity.”

Benjamin's insights offer a holistic view of entrepreneurship that balances practical business strategies with a deeper understanding of art's role in society and the importance of creativity in driving change.

 

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