Renèe LaVerne Rose interviewed by Roberto Alborghetti
From visual arts to “ACS” art magazine. From beautiful canvases to a great media company which is promoting arts, artists, cultures and creativity. Everywhere. Renée LaVerné Rose was born in Chicago (USA) and raised in the Southside neighborhood Morgan Park, where grandparents and extended family resided. As a child her parents exposed her to a multitude of arts/cultural experiences which feed curious nature. As a young adult, Renée grew to relish exploring the world and take in every exotic cultural experience presented to her. She describes herself as a “renaissance woman” from continuing to expand her knowledge of arts and culture (Ms. Rose had a successful career in Government Relations, Public Policy and Government Administration).
I knew her through the world wide web (Facebook and Linkedin) and last September she asked me to write an article about “Hopes project” that I created with Mitrani Yarden. She wanted to publish it on her “ACS” magazine. She was really interested and engaged in what we were doing, from Italy to the world. And the adventure (and my collaboration) began… Now it’s my turn to interview her and to know something more about her life, her attitudes, her dreams and her personality. Along the interview, Renèe reveals herself. She talks about art, media, creativity, artists and plans. She speaks about her dearest father (Emil Jones Jr., former Illinois Senate President) and about… the home screen on her desktop computer. And about Peter Pan too…
- Renèe, which inspires you the most among these three books: “Alice in Wonderland”, “Peter Pan” or “The Little Prince”? And why?
First when I read this question I just burst out into laughter. Why? The question just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside and laugh. Okay I’ll be honest about why I’m laughing so hard! There is a local commercial on TV where Peter Pan is going back to his high school reunion and everyone at the high school reunion are now in their early 70s (I’m trying to stop laughing). When Peter Pan enters into the reunion party, the camera pans across the room to show three former classmates be grudgingly and glancing at Peter Pan with disdain (I’m so sorry but I’m laughing again) And then Peter Pan goes over to greet his old classmates and says to the lady in the group “you don’t look a day over 70”. The classmates groan and moan as roll their eyes to the back of their heads. The commercial ends with the Peter Pan flying in the air, singing along with the reunion party band “You make me feel so young.” LOL!
So when I saw the name Peter Pan and in this question I immediately broke out into uncontrollable laughter and thought about this crazy commercial. So your question is actually really relaxed me because, believe it or not, I’m shy and I don’t always like talking about myself. Yes, I like to giving interviews but I‘m shy about being interviewed Ironic! However, I love to laugh so it put me in the right frame of mind. Then I thought what ingenious way to break the ice, really get the person you’re interviewing to open up and a neat way to reveal a little piece of that person’s soul. Well I really had to think about the question to give a good answer because it’s been a long time since I read any of these fairy tales. Mmmm! So what really vividly stood out in my mind?
Well I’ve chose to talk about Peter Pan (with a straight face and no giggling Renée). Of all the three actually Peter Pan is the most inspirational for me because he rose to be a leader, fought for what he believed in and created a community (his gang) to move forward with his agenda. Ultimately thing I love about this story is through his conquest and strong inner spirit Peter Pan discovered the fountain of youth or better still immortality. Like a visual artist when you’re passionate about your work you can experience an euphoric feeling, a feeling of bliss, time escapes you and you can slip into this timeless zone where you feel immortal.
- Being an artist and a Chief editor of an art magazine was it one of your childhood’s dream?
My childhood dream and desire was to become a doctor, specifically a neurosurgeon. I passionately followed my desire throughout high school and with excellent GPA was still considering it in undergraduate school. However, I before completing my undergraduate degree I changed my major and I began to explore a completely different journey in life. I know that that’s what happens when you’re really living life rather than trying to control life. In 2008 in the midst of a successful career I decided to switch midstream and become a visual artist. Trusting myself this process led to this period of my life now as a publisher and editor-in-chief of my magazine. Being open to new experiences and opportunities while harnessing my wealth of experience led to this wonderful new journey. At this stage in my life I’ve learned to let the universe guide me rather than me insisting on taking one narrow path. So now I have arrived at this destination and I’m enjoying every moment of it.
- How have you had the idea to create Art & Cultural Strategies, Inc.? Had you planned it or it happened in an unexpected way?
My entry into the art world was of a traditional path. But come to think of it nothing about my professional career has ever taking the traditional path; I always seem to be to my own drummer.
My entry was a wonderful way of expressing my inner voice yet as soon as I entered into the art world I was immediately drawn to the business side of the art world. When I told my friends I was going to become a visible artists and quit my thriving consulting business. I was met with a bit of skepticism. As I reflect back on life I’m never really been one to listen to other people about what I should do. I’ve always trusted my inner way to the in guide me in the right direction even when the experience unpleasant it still hasn’t been a learning experience. As I reflect back on my life I would do it all over again exactly the same to be sage person I am.
I didn’t plan on creating Art & Cultural Strategies, Inc. it was pleasantly unexpected and the process is still revealing itself. I started the original company which has now emerged into a family of companies (ACS Magazine, ACS Gallery and ACS Consulting Services). What I do know is I was very certain about wanting to combine my wealth of experience with these creative concepts that were swarming around in my head every day. I was confident I could transition my expertise into a thriving art business because as I indulged more into the art world I felt the timing for my business was right.
Like everything I’ve excelled at in the last fifteen years and all the unsuccessful outcomes I have gained wisdon from I always following my muse, continually do a reality check to be certain that I am not fixated on any particular path to propell me forward, I always remain flexible to the opportunities that are present themselves, and adapt strategy in accordance with the valuable resources available.
- There is a person, an experience or a book that helped you in your professional training?
There are a multitude of individuals, experiences and books that combined have been extremely influential in my professional career. However, undoubtedly the most significant impact for my professional career, and personal enhancement has been my father. My father (Emil Jones Jr) is a self-made man who was raised in a working-class family only to successful reach become a prominent elected official as the former Illinois Senate President for the State Legislators and mentor to then a younger version of President Barack Obama.
Even though women have made strides in the business world we are still a long way off to achieve true equity. So, the wealth of knowledge derived from my father’s guidance and my observations of him brokering business collaborative partnerships gave me the ingredients to armor myself with invaluable strategies in the political/business arenas. A person attended college and achieve multiple credentials yet what really matters in the business world is how you apply that knowledge. I was extremely fortunate to learn the tricks of the trade and how to apply that information to propel myself towards successful outcomes.
- What do you ask expect from co-workers and collaborators? Creativity is always a priority?
Fostering collaborative partnerships has been the foundation of my career. Usually depending on the time in the season of my life my collaborative partners are naturally drawn into my path. It’s the law of attraction for me like-minded people will gather. For any given entrepreneur comes the I conceive when it’s time for implementation the right collaborative partners will appear. None of that particular about will I work closely with. The people have to have the right synergy for me to be working with them on a daily basis. Part of the selection process is finding partners professional expertise that cover my business weaknesses.
The name of the game isn’t too reproduced myself but create greater potential for the project. I personally want collaborative partners that think out-of-the-box, challenge me professionally, and who are committed to the partnership through the challenging creative process. Creativity for me has a multitude of meanings. Therefore, depending on the particular project goals or professional preferences determines the priority for the creation process.
- What excites you the most while preparing a new issue of the magazine? Gives motivation to people or watch what happens out there in the world?
I’m thoroughly enjoying the process of interviewing and meeting so many interesting people with fascinating careers plus their challenges and tribulations it takes them to reach their personal goals. It’s really thrilling to establish a rapport with individuals being interview to find out what really makes them tick and to discover their creative genius. The whole interview process has given me a deeper appreciation of the artistic creative process, arts/culture in general and the utmost respect for the journalism profession.
Even though I am a visual artist, I’ve grown to have an even greater appreciation for the courage it takes for artists to share their thoughts/concepts and display they to be naked before the world. That’s awesome! Being open and completely honest takes integrity, an inner strength of knowing who you are and being comfortable with yourself despite what others think.
Being artistically inclined and having the will to expose your thoughts to the public is a noble. The artistic process is extremely beneficial to improving the quality of life for others. There are so many creative minds with fascinating stories to share. I am honored when artists give me the opportunity to be the vehicle to present their story to the world.
By the time I have finished editing an issue I start to feel the urge to get started on the next. Having the need to collaborate with other human beings in this manner is a rewarding experience.
- Renee, what do you want communicate in your work as an artist?
I haven’t been creating artistically for a while now have started my business. However, I definitely intend to slowly get back into the artistic process. What I promise my audience grew by artistic process is I will always be true to my heart and capture on canvas what moves me. What drives me is capturing audiences’ mind and hearts. As I am painting new works the questions that dance through my mind is “Can I seduce the audience into losing themselves into the work and being open without judgment to what is revealed. I often want my words to improve the quality of the life.
- What counts today for an artist to be able to communicate properly and sincerely his work and art?
Having the ability to express yourself in any professional format is a valuable asset. The artist who has the ability to communicate effectively with their audience effectively conveys their interpretation of the art and controls their branding message.
- Aesthetic or contents? Which of them is the most important for you while you are working on a new ACS Magazine issue?
Even though my digital magazine covers the arts/cultural world the aesthetics or graphic design is catchy and very pleasing to the eye; however, what is imperative is the message that is being delivered this digital media. The ACS Magazine the practice is being the vehicle to explode those artistic, creative entrepreneurial and human stories with the general public. So publishing ACS Magazine is creating the right combination of aesthetics and content for each issue.
- “Art” seems to be today a sort of wonderful world. But what does really deserve to be named “Art”?
I think the determination of which artistic works are considered authentic art is determined by the viewer. Arts and culture are one and the same for me. What is pleasing to the eye for person in Nairobi may be completely opposite will person rooming the Siberian tundra. That’s what makes the arts so welcoming and universally pleasing; what deserves or does not deserve to be considered art is subjective. However, I will interject there is fundamentally something misguided in the institutional structure of the art world where the 1% at the top dictate what is the latest trends in the art world. That will only change once the general public is reinvigorated ultimately becoming more engaged with the art world. The laypersons personal choice will drive the art market and that is how it should be. Not some billionaire sitting on their perch determining this is the latest trend for 2017! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
- Considering the current way media are communicating art, what would you like to change or to renew?
My decision to publish ACS magazine was derived from having the desire to increase exposure of the globally diverse arts/culture in the world. For each issue I publish I’m changing the conversation internationally regarding the arts and culture.
- What advice would you give to emerging artists?
It should be a given that the emerging artists must harness their intuitive artistic talents to hone their skills. Each time artists presents their work to the general public they in opportunity is presented for them to present their brand. The artist success should be determined on their personal goals not by what is latest trend in the art world. Finding your voice is everything to your success artistically. The artist needs to understand that they are a creative entrepreneur and should approach their artistic practice as such. To excel at the business of art it’s imperative that artists acquire the necessary professional career development skills to gain a competitive edge and reach positive results. Developing an artist career or any profession career takes repetitive practice, the great nurturing, and patience.
- Renèe, I love, in my artworks, to play and work with colors. How color is important for you? Have you a favorite color?
I love the array of hues that occur in nature. In 2008 when I initially started as a visible artist it was as if I were blind and I opened my eyes for the first time. All the colors that surrounded me in nature were much more vivid; it was like I was seeing everything in HD for the first time. This personal artistic awakening is the litmus that determined my artistic path for wanting to include vivid color in my works. I can’t say I have a favorite color because to be honest I love the whole spectrum of colors that naturally occur in nature. Nature is so brilliant because to try to reproduce those colors that occur naturally is a feat in itself.
- My last question: what have you put in these days on the screen of your laptop? One of your paintings? A photograph? Nothing?
That’s an interesting question. Let’s start with my desktop computer. I don’t have any special home screen on my desktop computer. On my desktop computer is one of the Microsoft screen savers that shows the Microsoft Windows logo. Real original ha! Now for IPAD, I have a screen saver that shows the stars and the top of a mountain top. Very peaceful and calm. And finally on my cell phone the lock screen is my favorite photograph of myself.
© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI
© RENÈE LAVERNE ROSE
ABOUT RENÈE LAVERNE ROSE