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2007 BCA10 Awardee, Deutsche Bank, Opens Pathways to Students Interested in Art Careers

Posted by Mariama Holman
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2007 BCA10 Awardee, Deutsche Bank, Opens Pathways to Students Interested in Art Careers

Deutsche Bank, a 2007 Business Committee for the Arts awardee, renewed its support of New York’s famed Frieze Art Fair in 2017. With this commitment, Deutsche Bank supports Frieze New York’s non-profit arm, Frieze Education, a year-round program that prepares young New Yorkers from underserved communities across the five boroughs for future careers in the arts.

 

Frieze Education expands access to arts spaces by bringing in from students across the city for regular arts activities, such as workshops and tours of artist studios, galleries, museums and the fair. The educational programming includes discussions with professionals from different areas of contemporary art. Institutions visited in 2017 include locations such as The Met Breuer and the New Museum.

 

The crown jewel of the program is Frieze Teens, which is comprised of a diverse array of 18 teacher-nominated students aged 16-18 hailing from diverse backgrounds.

 

Frieze Teens New York 2016 from Frieze Art Fair on Vimeo.

 

According to former Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank Americas, Seth H. Waught,  “We believe the arts enhance our ability to respond to an increasingly complex and fast moving world with new perspectives, ideas, and insights. Partnerships between business and the arts embrace the vitality of the world around us and serve the human spirit.”

 

Over the past 5 years, due to support from Deutsche Bank, the Frieze Teens program has held workshops with popular contemporary artists like Urs Fischer and Julie Mehretu, who have been featured in major art events, such as the Whitney Biennial, the Armory Show and Art Basel.  

 

Deutsche Bank has had a tradition of supporting the arts for more than a quarter of a century.  The Bank believes that respect for the artist’s unique role in society as an important catalyst for change is integral to Deutsche Bank’s commitment to help create better communities and enlightened corporate citizens. 

 

Through Deutsche Bank’s arts and education initiative, it has provided youth with a supportive environment and resources to pursue arts careers.  Many of these arts programs developed skills in young people that are highly transferable to success in academic, professional and real life situations. 

 

In collaboration with Partnership for Afterschool Education, Deutsche Bank co-created and designed an arts and career resource guide targeted to disadvantaged youth to help prepare them to enter the arts field.  Deutsche Bank also provided grants to cultural organizations that work with youth in New York City public schools and local non-profits such as the Carnegie Hall Link Up, the School Partnership program at the New York Philharmonic and the Bronx Museum’s Teen Council.

 

Deutsche Bank employees actively contribute to developing the youth through annual volunteer programs.  Deutsche Bank provides volunteers to community arts organizations such as Free Arts, which hosts Free Arts Day, a special volunteer event that pairs volunteers with elementary aged-youth. Bank employees and other volunteers offered a day of mini-mentoring and art-making, focused inspiring students to pursue their dreams.

 

Photo: Frieze Art Fair

Video: Frieze Teens New York Program. Frieze Art Fair website, frieze.com. 

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Curating Your Corporate Art Collection

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Curating Your Corporate Art Collection

When you look around your office, you probably have all of the necessities of a work environment- a desk, computer, phone, pens, paper. But something just as necessary might be missing on the white walls around you: a work of art. Art collections are a growing trend in the corporate world, and businesses are starting to realize that investing in artwork goes beyond simply owning a decorative piece. Deutsche Bank boasts one of the largest and most important collections of art in the world with a 37-year-old collection of nearly 60,000 objects. The 35,000 works that make up the UBS collection support the company’s desire “to be supporting living artists at integral stages of their careers.” Overall, having fine art in the office creates a dynamic and empowering environment that fosters creativity and efficiency.

 

A study by Dr. Craig Knight, a researcher at the University of Exeter who has studied the psychology of working environments for 12 years, found that art in the office can boost employee productivity, lower stress and increase wellbeing. In the controlled study, Dr. Knight found that people who worked in an office enriched with art worked about 15% quicker and had fewer health complaints than those in an office without art. Dr. Knight said of the study, “In 12 years we have never found that lean offices create better results; and the more involved people are in the enrichment process, the more they are able to realize a part of themselves in the space.”

 

The realization of being part of the space translates into a more desirable work environment, and companies are even using art as a method of employee retention. Alex Heath, managing director of International Art Consultants, explains, “aesthetic in the truest sense means energy-giving which is what a workplace needs, rather than a bland, industrial environment which can be more like giving workers a dose of anesthetic.” Art that is energizing and engaging directly translates to an environment that engages employees. Companies are even using the intrigue of art in the workplace as a tool to fight against the growing desire of many employees to work remotely.

So how does a business start a collection? Andrea Seehusen, founder and CEO of International Arts Management in Munich, gives her take: “I’d buy a big piece from an established artist that fits the spirit of the company, then smaller pieces from the same artist. Then choose a new artist who points to the future — to where the company wants to be.” Thus, guide a corporate art collection by viewing it as an opportunity for creating a corporate identity.

 

Another important matter is the person, or people, behind the collection. A panel of experts at the European Fine Art Fair suggest that a Board of Directors or a designated committee make decisions of arts purchases, instead of a CEO. Head curator of Dutch Bank ING’s collection stated, “when CEOs change, different focus areas might shift. Strategies can change from time to time, but the art collection ideally maintains its own identity and focus. Therefore it’s best to have your art collection embedded within all levels of the entire organization. Only then the collection creates a culture that defines the corporate identity.”

 

Contemporary art collections, in particular, are attractive methods of getting employees and executives in touch with the broader socio-political implications behind the works of art. In establishing a corporate identity, curating an art collection is a perfect way to engage and retain employees, start conversations on innovation, and splash some color on the white walls of an office.  

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