Monday, July 1st, 2019
When employees at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services moved to their new state-of the-art home in the Fort Worth Business Center this April, they marvelled at the newness of the facility that had been built from the ground up. And while they delighted in the “Regional Rustic” color palette that graced the walls—orange hues reminiscent of the Texas sun, land and cattle; and bluish-green and teal shades invoking images of the sky, vegetation and refreshing water—they couldn’t help but notice that the walls were a little empty.
But not for long.
Recently, the artwork of the company’s Fort Worth permanent collection, that is, the 11 pieces of art the company purchased from the annual Experiencing Perspectives exhibits, rejoined the team. Each of the four floors features a few of these works, including the most recent acquisitions from emerging local artist, Ryan Goolsby, a graduate of Texas Christian University (TCU); and Eskinder G. Abebe, an artist from Southern Methodist University (SMU).
Both had previously displayed pieces in the Experiencing Perspectives Fort Worth art exhibition, an innovative art collaboration between Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, SMU and TCU. Since 2008, more than 1,000 works of art by SMU and TCU students and alumni have been selected to be displayed throughout the company’s Fort Worth Business Center.
Now, with the installation of the 11th annual Experiencing Perspectives art exhibition the last weekend in June, the rest of the walls feature a wealth of new artwork from the current students and recent graduates of SMU and TCU.
“We are fortunate to have offices in communities with strong college and university art programs, where we’re able to find inspiration in the work of many artists of all ages and stages in their careers. At the same time we are supporting those artistic endeavors, we are bringing art to people for whom it might not be part of their daily lives, if they aren’t seeking it out,” says Leila Matta, Brand Identity, Design, and Art Programs Manager for one of the curators of the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services art program.
“While we have a robust philanthropy mission that focuses on many worthy causes, our art program is one of the most unique,” says Heather Heggie, Senior Manager for Credit Operations at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. “While we appreciate the ability to nurture young talent and help inspire emerging artists to dream big, our team receives just as many benefits. These pieces of art contribute to a dynamic work environment by inspiring creative thought and challenging the team to consider different viewpoints.”
The latest Experiencing Perspectives exhibit will be revealed to the public this fall.
Thursday, May 16th, 2019
Exploring the art scene in Germany. Meeting other artists—both aspiring and accomplished. Travel, lodging and studio space at the international cultural center Künstlerhaus Bethanien, along with a $5,000 stipend.
These are the perks that await Marianna Olague of Cranbrook Academy of Art, who has been offered a two-month residency as the school’s 2019 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Michigan Emerging Artist Award recipient.
Olague, a 2019 graduate of the Painting Department, was selected from among 10 finalists, one from each department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, who each presented to a jury while showcasing their work at Cranbrook Art Museum.
“I create narrative portraits that depict the everyday lives of my family and friends,” she says, describing her work that portrays the people and border town of El Paso, Texas, where she grew up. “I saturate my forms with bright hues, a color palette influenced by the rich culture and landscape of Mexico. As a result, each element is distinct and of equal importance mimicking traditional muralism and storytelling.”
“Growing up my family never traveled, as we simply couldn’t afford it, and I’ve spent much of my life living in one place,” Olague said. “Being accepted to Cranbrook was my first move away from home, and it has afforded me many opportunities. Now, thanks to Cranbrook and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, I get to travel abroad, which is far more than I could’ve bargained for when I chose to pursue graduate school. It’s truly amazing.”
The company also supports the Academy through its Experiencing Perspectives art program, which encompasses annual art exhibitions, tours, community conversations and other events. The Experiencing Perspectives exhibition is a year-long display of student and recent graduate art pieces throughout the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
“When you travel the halls of our headquarters, it’s easy to feel as if you’re visiting an art museum, thanks to the talented Cranbrook artists who share their work,” said Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. “For decades, our company has placed immense value on the positive influence of art in the workplace. Our partnership with Cranbrook and other schools provides emerging artists with career-advancing opportunities, and our employees with added inspiration and motivation in their daily work.”
Zieringer continued, “Our congratulations to Marianna on her accomplishments. With this award, we are pleased to be able to shine a spotlight on her talent and hard work.”
In addition to Olague’s prize, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services also awarded a $1,000 New Beginnings Award to each of the nine remaining Emerging Artist Finalists, including: True Harrigan, Fiber; Mark Wise, Architecture; Brian Vu, Ceramics; Tiffany Danielle Elliott, Sculpture; Tatum Gentry, Metalsmithing; Lorena Cruz Santiago, Photography; Brenden Lovejoy, 2D Design; Versia Harris, Print Media; Sunny Kim, 3D Design.
“We are incredibly grateful to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services for their continued support of the arts,” said Academy Director Susan R. Ewing. “This award provides our students with an opportunity they simply could not receive anywhere else. In addition to the financial award, our students gain a full roster of new connections, and each recipient returns from this trip even more grateful than when they left.”
Learn more about Marianna Olague and her work through her website.
Monday, May 6th, 2019
A two-month residency in Berlin, Germany, awaits Julia Jalowiec, Southern Methodist University (SMU) Meadows School of the Arts alumni, who has been named the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Texas Emerging Artist Award recipient.
As recipient of the coveted award, Jalowiec will receive travel, lodging, studio space at the international cultural center Künstlerhaus Bethanien, transportation and a $5,000 stipend. Additionally, one of the most exciting elements is introductions to important members of the renowned Berlin art community, thanks to a personalized networking program, as well as free admission to Berlin museums.
“From the moment we met Julia, it was evident that she embodies the award’s core values of passion, integrity, respect and discipline,” said Eileen Maxson, senior lecturer of photography with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and a jury member for the 2019 Emerging Artist Award. “In her work, Julia brings levity to weighty subject matter, like mortality, with conceptual wit and a playful approach to mediums and materials. We were moved by Julia’s twofold commitment to art as an outlet for personal transformation and as an opportunity to impact and educate her community.”
Jalowiec, who earned her B.F.A. from SMU in 2018, depicts human figures using cast iron, ceramics, printmaking and painting mediums. Her works have been displayed in several exhibits across the country.
“The figures I form with my hands see, feel and embody my pain,” Jalowiec has said about her artwork. “My figurative works become friends as I create people whom I have imagined and would like to get to know. Balancing the grotesque with occasional humor, I attempt to capture the dichotomy that life can bring as I experience joy with the realization of my own mortality.”
“We have always placed immense value on the influence art has in the workplace,” says Janet Marzett, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Vice President of Operations Americas. “In addition to fostering connections between the company and our community, this partnership with SMU and TCU exposes our employees to new and different perspectives, and inspires creative thought within our business environment—while of course allowing these artists to explore and enhance their crafts. We’re thrilled to continue this innovative partnership to support emerging artists.”
Jalowiec’s work will be among the pieces on display as part of the 2019-2020 Experiencing Perspectives display debuting this fall. Her work was also included in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 Experiencing Perspectives exhibits.
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