Entrepreneur and 2023 graduate starting non-profit art gallery

When Libbie Jameson noticed a lack of recognition for California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students’ creativity, she came up with a business plan to serve local artists. 

Jameson is a business major as well as an entrepreneur. Her experiences at the university have set her up to create the CSUMB Observer, a nonprofit organization that will showcase student artwork. 

“There’s a lot of talent that goes unnoticed at CSUMB because there isn’t a space for it,” said Jamieson. 

“If you’re a painter you could have small exhibitions there. All the art on the walls will be student created” said Jameson. The CSUMB Observer will give opportunities to artists of all mediums from sculptors to musicians. “I want to build an inclusive space,” she added.

Jamesons business model takes ethical standards into account so that it can be sufficient and beneficial to the culture of the arts on campus. One of the lessons she values most from her education at CSUMB is the quintuple bottom line, which is the guide to a responsible business. “When you’re building a business, there’s five points you have to take into account. Yes, profits, planet and people, but also ethics and equity. These factors have been instilled in me as I’m making sure my business is responsible.”

Although there were roadblocks when it came to finding a location, she was able to find a space on 6th Avenue after reaching out to the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED), which serves students with entrepreneurial ambitions. 

The CSUMB Observer will work under 6th Avenue Studios, which is currently being restored and will soon be open for artists to devote their time to shooting videos, podcasting and other creative endeavors. 

Jameson is still in the beginning stages of planning her first event, but is looking forward to soft launching with smaller events over the summer. She mentioned exciting ideas for showcases such as galleries and open mic nights.

“If you’re a singer but you don’t really have a platform, we are planning to advocate for young artists because it’s very difficult to build an audience,” said Jamieson. 

6th Avenue studios is currently building an outdoor stage for an audience of up to 2000 people, and students have a convenient new venue where they can attend shows next year. Performances will be happening further in the future, but students now have a new gallery to look forward to submitting their work or seeking entertainment.

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