Art at Work
Art at Work: from the workplace to the public collection
An exhibition of Canadian Contemporary Art highlighting three recent major art donations to the University of Lethbridge from the prestigious corporate art collections of; Canaccord Capital Corporation, Norcen Energy Resources Limited, Shell Canada Limited.
Organized by the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery in collaboration with the Museum Studies and Curatorial Internship courses.
(Images: U of L Art Gallery Archives)
To many people “corporate art collections might seem an incongruous term, but for two University of Lethbridge art students and the Trianon Gallery, the perceived incongruity has made for a successful exhibition of contemporary Canadian Art. ” In the past few decades there’s been a trend among Canadian corporations to become more involved in collecting Canadian art,” explains graduating art student Derek Lidstone, who along with philosophy/art history major Jamie Flower, is co-curating Art at Work the the fifth street gallery.
Featuring recent donations to the University of Lethbridge Art Collection from Canaccord Capital Corporation, Norcen Energy Resources and Shell Canada, Art at Work includes some of Canada’s most renowned artists in an exhibition running until May 24. Art at Work is a collaborative effort between the Trianon, the University of Lethbridge, and Lidstone and Flower, both of whom completed the Museum Studies and Curatorial Internship course offered by the School of Fine Arts. For both students, Art at Work is a continuation of their coursework.
“The focus of this show is not why companies donate the pieces but why they collect art,” explains Flower. “Corporations collect art for office beautification, to improve employee morale, and to support Canadian artists. Corporations take great pride in their collections and often organize lectures for their employees to enhance their appreciation of the art. It helps to unite the employees and create a common ground.”
There’s a better education about art in the corporate community,” adds Lidstone. “There’s a real feeling of Canadian heritage and as corporations become more global they become ambassadors for Canadian art. Having creative work in the office environment also helps stimulate the staff towards increased creativity in professional problem solving.”
-excerpt from Lethbridge Herald Article, Terry Whitehead, May 1996