Monday, August 20th, 2018
Celebrated French painter Henri Matisse once said, “A large part of the beauty of a picture arises from the struggle which an artist wages with his limited medium.”
Matisse, who once designed an entire church—Chapelle du Rosaire—and everything in it, clearly understood that every medium and each canvas large and small presents its own limits and challenges for the artist. The opportunity of the artistic struggle was one the students of Colette Laliberté’s Painting in the Expanded Field class at OCAD University, an art, design and media university, soon came to understand when they selected a medium they had never before used.
Monday, February 22nd, 2016
We all know the term “return on investment.” It tells us whether an investment has been profitable. But what about the promotion of art and culture? Can we measure the “return on installation” in euros and cents – or in a very different kind of currency?
Monday, December 14th, 2015
DETROIT — A slender, fashionable, young woman sporting a pixie haircut stands next to five marionettes, cut from tar paper in silhouette style, hanging on a wall at the suburban Detroit offices of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
The woman is artist Ivy Johnson. She’s there to discuss her stringed creations with the captive finance company’s employees. “Most want to know: What was my inspiration?” Johnson says. (Hint: She calls the grouping Imaginary Friends.)
Monday, December 14th, 2015
Staff at Mercedes Benz Financial Services (MBFS) in Mississauga took part in a unique digital painting workshop in November. OCAD University faculty member Veronika Szkudlarek, accompanied by student Dahae Song, visited MBFS offices for an exploration of the fundamentals of Digital Painting and Expanded Animation (DXPA).
Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
Trinity Spadina MPP Han Dong rose in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to recognize OCAD University’s contribution to the cultural community following the opening of the exhibition Experiencing Perspectives at Mercedes Benz Financial Services.
Friday, October 23rd, 2015
Ninety-nine works by 74 OCAD University students, alumni and faculty were unveiled October 21 in the Mississauga offices of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS). At the opening of the Experiencing Perspectives exhibition, President and CEO Stefan Karrenbauer thanked the artists for bringing creativity and art appreciation to the workplace.
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
Emerging Artist explores unexpected contrast between concept and materials
Partnering with local art institutions allows Mercedes-Benz Financial Services in the U.S. and Canada to create partnerships that inspire diversity of thought and new ways of thinking. In addition to the exhibitions that display the artists’ work, each year one student from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is awarded the opportunity to work in Berlin, Germany for two months.
The goal is to support emerging artists through more than just financial donations. By providing artists with an entire experience, the company promotes diversity and a global perspective on artwork.
This is the tenth year Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has given the Emerging Artist Award to a Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate— In 2015, it was presented to Aaron Patrick Decker. Decker, the 2015 metalsmithing graduate, recently returned from his two-month stay at the Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien with new artwork creations, many interesting stories and memories that will last a lifetime. Along with his residency, Decker received a $5,000 expense stipend, a vehicle to use during his stay and an art pass that grants free access to museums in Berlin.
“I went with an idea, but that quickly flipped,” Decker said. “I changed my entire vision and idea after my arrival in Berlin.”
Decker specializes in jewelry-making with a twist of military inspiration. During his residency, he explored a new medium that involved knitting strands of tiny beads to form shapes and garments. He contributes the idea behind his designs to the post-9/11 world and the generation of kids who were born after.
“The inspiration for my work also relates back to the Berlin Wall,” said Decker. “There’s this underlying prejudice between East and West Berlin still alive today. People are pushing against these stereotypes, but also owning and embodying them.”
The opportunity to work in Berlin allowed Decker to take time for himself by exploring Berlin and meeting and collaborating with German artists in the area. Decker hails from the east coast of the U.S., but has decided to remain in Detroit to establish his artistic practice.
The artwork created during Decker’s summer residency in Berlin will be unveiled at the company’s 2015 Experiencing Perspectives art reception in Farmington Hills on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. To RSVP for the event, visit www.mbfs-art.com/events.
Friday, November 7th, 2014
Thursday night, I went to a fundraiser, called #onthefridge, for Art Road. This group arranges supplies and teachers for art classes and programs for schoolchildren in Detroit and southeast Michigan.
It does more than that, but that’s the core mission: Let kids have an art class. Too many schools across the U.S. have had to cut those classes.
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Experiencing Perspectives art program creates an environment for employees in which contemporary art plays a large role. The idea behind the program is to invigorate creative and inspirational work. The program offers annual art exhibitions, art tours, community conversations and other events.
Thursday, October 9th, 2014
On last month’s blog, from my post-surgical hospital bed, I wrote that there were many fine Detroit literary events that I would regretfully miss in September due to my fractured ankle. I’m home now, a 4-lb cast to the good, not getting out much, but I was thrilled to attend the 2014 Knight Art Detroit Challenge Grant Awards October 6 at Detroit’s Fillmore Theatre. It makes me proud to be part of the Detroit artistic community, with amazing ideas percolating up from everywhere – new and veteran groups, individual artists, literary, dance, drumming, neighborhood art projects – all being awarded for their creativity by the Knight Foundation’s vision and generosity.
Monday, August 25th, 2014
On the eve of its 2014 commencement ceremonies, Cranbrook Academy of Art celebrated another year of outstanding work by its faculty and graduate students at its annual Academy Awards Night on May 8.
Before a gathering of more than 200 students, families, friends and donors in deSalle auditorium at Cranbrook Art Museum, the Academy conferred more than $100,000 in fellowships, grants, awards and scholarships, including nine distinguished awards for artistic excellence. The awards are designed to support study at the Academy and to aid 2014 graduates in the transition from student to practicing artist.
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