For some, artists are just imaginative people. But others see more than that.
Several business people from Arizona have been working to keep close ties with Mexico, the state’s number one trade partner. And among them, one group wants to make the arts and culture part of that growing trend.
“Artists are business people, artists are creative entrepreneurs,” Dorina Bustamante said. She is one of the five people coming from the U.S. to Mexico City for the Phoenix-Mexico Art and Culture Exchange program (PMACX).
The Phoenix Trade Office in Mexico City helped PMACX for this first trip, and the organization is already planning to bring another group in the fall.
“I think the way we can relate business and arts is very simple: building relationships," said Janielle Penner, entrepreneur and head of this new initiative.
Penner brought the group during Mexico City’s art fair week. One of the highlights is Zona MACO, Mexico's largest contemporary art event.
Penner said PMACX will build bridges between art investors and artists from both cities.
Wayne Rainey is an artist and owner of The monOrchid Gallery in Downtown Phoenix.
“The artists are really cutting some new paths," Rainey said. He likes what he sees in the Mexican contemporary art scene.
"The contemporary work that we saw in Zona MACO is incredible," Rainey said.
Reiney plans to get some art from Mexico City and strengthen the relationship among artists, while hoping that the art dealing business may grow between his hometown and here.