Although 2020 was not an ideal year to launch a small business, Jennifer Correa and her husband, esteemed local artist Arturo Correa, officially opened Muzyka Art Space in the Naples Design District last summer. Their debut exhibition was an impressive who’s who of influential 20th-century Latin American artists: Steel raindrops sculpted by Carlos Medina hung from the ceiling, and paintings by late Venezuelan artists including Oswaldo Vigas and Feliciano Carvallo—personal heroes of Arturo’s—lined the walls.
There were works of Arturo’s, too, including Anyone Listening Out There, the large-scale painting that still hangs behind Jennifer’s desk. “In this painting, Arturo imagines observing life from outer space,” Jennifer says, both as gallery director and her husband’s longtime manager. Abstract and political symbols appear to float alongside actual paintbrushes and toy airplanes on an expansive sky-blue canvas. The combination of painting and objects, a signature element of Arturo’s artistic language “make this a unique and very strong composition,” she adds.
Pandemic be damned, Jennifer had realized a longtime dream by opening her own gallery last year. Antonio Ascaso, Arturo’s longtime gallerist in Miami and Venezuela, provides the work—important 20th-century painters and sculptors, most of whom had never been shown in Naples—while Jennifer runs the space, a natural expansion from her role managing the business end of Arturo’s career. For the last 25 years, she’s overseen his sales as well as relationships with clients, museums and galleries. It was through him that she started to appreciate the art world and ultimately fell in love with art. Eventually, she aspired to carve out her own place in the art world.
The couple’s story began almost 30 years ago, in the community gym at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando. Young Jennifer Muzyka had come from Connecticut to study psychology, and Arturo, already set on becoming an artist, had come from Venezuela to earn his undergraduate degree in graphic design and painting. They happened to be working out on adjacent machines when they struck up a conversation. “I was on the Stairmaster and Arturo was on the stationary bicycle,” Jennifer fondly recalls. The whirlwind that followed shows the telltale signs of love at first sight: in six months they were engaged, and three years later, they were married. By then, they had moved to New York together to attend New York University, where she pursued her graduate degree in counseling and encouraged Arturo to apply for the school’s Master of Arts program.
Photography by Erik Kellar