When one thinks of a bank, it’s not likely the next thought would be artwork, but that’s not the case for several local artists, whose work adorns the walls of BayCoast Bank’s corporate offices, conference room, and branch lobbies.
Supporting local artists with an expansive corporate art collection was the brainchild of BayCoast Bank President and CEO Nicholas M. Christ, said Ann M. Ramos Desrosier, senior vice president, chief community banking officer.
Ramos Desrosier, who was put in charge of procuring the artwork, worked with Christina Leigh, an art consultant with East Greenwich, R.I.-based Corporate Art Group, Inc.
When the bank moved to its new corporate headquarters on Swansea Mall Drive in 2012, Ramos Desrosier said they had a lot of bare walls in the three-story building. “BayCoast is very focused on supporting the communities that we serve, so we felt it was only right to support the artists who live in those communities,” she said.
With that goal in mind, the two women set upon a nearly year-long project of meeting with local artists and narrowing down the field in search of artwork focusing on local landscapes. They selected four well-known area artists: Tony Henriques, Chuck Boucher, Ron Lister and John Eddy.
“We wanted to be able to showcase the kind of artwork that you wouldn’t typically find in a bank,” said Ramos Desrosier.
Initially they purchased about 35 pieces from the four artists, which were installed in various places in the building including the conference room, halls, and in each of the offices.
Ramos Desrosier, who inherited a painting she “hated” in her former office, made sure that the BayCoast employees had the opportunity to select a piece of artwork for their office from the 35 or so initial pieces.
Some of the pieces are original paintings, such as the landscapes by Ron Lister in the conference room, and others are prints on canvas of original pieces, said Leigh. And rather than the unfamiliar scenes and non-descript artwork one expects to find in offices, the collection at the BayCoast Bank features scenes that are well known to those who live or work in Greater Fall River including the Braga Bridge, Mount Hope Bay, and the Swansea dam.
The value of the collection, they said, isn’t in its monetary worth, but with the fact that it supports the local arts community.
Since the original pieces, they have procured even more artwork from more local artists including Sarah Desjardins, Arthur Moniz and Molly Pettengill.
“The employees definitely appreciate being able to pick out the art in their offices,” said Ramos Desrosiers, “and in the areas that are open to customers, they do comment on the local artists, so it gives them some recognition, too.”
(This article was originally posted at The Herald News.)