Artist as CEO – Vanessa Diaz

Vanessa Diaz

What if an artist treated her project like a project, her business like a business, and became the CEO? Vanessa Diaz is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculpture and site-specific installations created from discarded furniture. She reimagines architectural pieces to distort conventional perceptions of how rooms and physical spaces should be used. She is also a 2015 CHF Business Accelerator Grant Recipient. The Clark Hulings Foundation is funding and supporting her work “Possibility of an Exit” – an immersive installation that re-contextualizes a house impacted by natural disaster in the upper half of a 5,000 sq. ft. room provided by ArtsUP!

Neil Ramsay the head of ArtsUp! says the artist is the “CEO of the project” – specifically that the artist – in this case, Vanessa – is coming in and designing the whole environment. We found that idea so intriguing that we devoted almost the entire show to it. Topics include:

  • Scaling an artist’s business at the pivotal career moment.
  • What does it mean to be the CEO of an art project?
  • The path to being a self-sustaining artist.
  • The bottom line business impact of an art project.
  • Creative control as the CEO.
  • Collaboration as the CEO.
  • Collaboration and branding.
  • Installation art in particular.

For more information on Vanessa Diaz, visit, and be sure to check out ArtsUP! as well!

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Daniel DiGriz
Daniel DiGriz is CHF's Creative Director and Director of Educational Programming. He's a founder at corporate consulting firm Free Agent Source Inc., and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe which provides creative direction and marketing leadership to multiple firms. His background in Fortune 500 life is in sales and education. Daniel is a corporate storyteller and collector of brand stories who speaks at conferences and hosts podcasts, including The Thriving Artist™ Podcast. His personal website is

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