In May 2010—almost a year after Gen Art opened up about its financial problems, and despite a planned merger with Rock Media & Entertainment—the 16-year-old art events organization folded. At that time, co-founders Ian and Stefan Gerard cited a reliance on funds from a large corporate partnership that unexpectedly fell through. But Tuesday morning, in a statement through ID PR, the group announced its return.
After an acquisition by Sandow Media, Gen Art has relaunched under new leadership with a new slate of events and programs. Sandow acquired the organization—whose experiential and event marketing programs exposed and connected consumers and brands to emerging talent in film, fashion, music, and art—and announced today that longtime Gen Art staffers Elizabeth Shaffer, the former senior vice president of events and creative director (and subject of a BizBash Q&A in 2006), and Jeffrey Abramson, former senior vice president for film, will now serve as the company’s co-presidents.
Gen Art’s first 2011 event will be the 16th annual Gen Art Film Festival in June in New York, which showcases the New York premiere of one short and one feature film each night, followed by an after-party. A calendar of additional events will be announced in the coming weeks. It will include the Fresh Faces in Fashion program, which launched in 1995 and presents up-and-coming talent, and will be present at New York Fashion Week in September. Gen Art's history includes working with brands like American Express, BlackBerry, Citibank, JetBlue, and W Hotels. The organization expects to announce its new membership plans in early spring.
“Gen Art is a unique organization that understands the value of experiential marketing and uses this expertise to support emerging talent by introducing them to a savvy consumer audience,” said Sandow Media C.E.O. Adam Sandow.
In the statement, co-presidents Shaffer and Abramson said, “We are thrilled to be at the helm of Gen Art’s relaunch. We are deeply vested in Gen Art’s mission and passionate about preserving its core values. Sandow Media’s resources and innovative vision will provide us with a stronger foundation and allow us to further enhance the way we serve our artists, audience, and partners.”