Josh Silverman is the founder and CEO of Jericho Incorporated, a business management and financial strategy company. But he keeps his hands firmly in the arts. Silverman is an art history major from the University of Pittsburgh, and has a Master’s in Art History from Williams College. He merges that background at Jericho with Jericho Arts, an art gallery that keeps a healthy rotation of diverse art exhibits. Recently Jericho launched the Avondale incubator, which “offers startups, artists, and entrepreneurs a collaborative, professional environment in which they can grow their companies, network with peers, showcase their wares, and gain access to mentors and best practices for their businesses. It is designed not just to enrich, but to allow for experimentation and growth within an affordable, high visibility location.” We sat down with Josh for this week’s Friday Fiver.
Jericho Inc. focuses on business strategies, which are often a contrast to the very subjective nature of art. What made you decide to incorporate an art gallery into your business?
Entrepreneurs and artists rely on innovation, training, and a bit of good fortune to craft their vision into something transformative for their audience, and I’ve found that both personalities can be quite similar, so it seemed a natural fit. Since graduate school, I’ve also had a dream to run an art gallery with a dance floor, and with the space I leased for our offices, we have been able to do that. We just re-launched that part of the business as 4th Wall, and you can check us out at www.4thwallchs.com
If you could pick any artist from any point in history to have an exhibit at your office, who would you go with and why?
Andy Goldsworthy. His outdoor site-specific installations are elegant and thoughtful, contemplative, and at times humorous, and the idea of bringing his use of leaves, stones, and sticks indoors into the gallery, with the natural light we get in our space – it would really be quite special. I don’t think I’d get a lot of work done.
With the launch of the Avondale Incubator, you are opening office space for entrepreneurs and artists to launch their dreams. Why is Avondale the right place for such an initiative?
After having offices downtown for the first few years of Jericho, I wanted to move to a tight-knit community close to the peninsula that was affordable, and offered amenities like restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops that were locally focused like my company. With extra space in our space, launching the incubator was a logical step, and I created offices for other professionals to use, with shared conference and break rooms, and our gallery is now being rented as experimental retail for other businesses and pop-up shops. Avondale is wide open for creative ideas and companies, and the neighborhood is extremely supportive of our efforts – I thought others might want to benefit from that type of environment.
What was on the radio on your ride into work this morning?
When I started Jericho in 2011, one of the first things I did was get a Pandora radio station going. Music is pretty constant in my life, and Pandora is great once you train it with your likes and dislikes. Funk, Soul, Hip-hop, and Jazz – Jericho Radio is frequently on when I drive. Windows down, system up!
If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what would be the one thing you would make happen?
Fast-forward the improvements to our infrastructure. From flooded streets to growing congestion to Grand Canyon size potholes, a underutilized public transportation system, suburban sprawl, and some pretty hellacious commutes, getting around is becoming a major undertaking. Fixing all that with a magic wand would be a real pleasure.