Our Art, Why Not Yours?
Introducing the Workplace 2030 Art Program and Auction
At its most fundamental level, art is innately human. It reflects what we value as a society, how we see and interpret the world, and it provides an unbroken connection between our past, present, and future.
Art in the workplace is no less impactful. Especially when companies step back and curate art across the office with intention. From reducing stress to sparking discussion among employees and supporting culture as well as creativity, the impact of art in the workplace is profound –– and widely documented. You can take a look at our previous exploration of Art in the Workplace here.
Through the efforts of One Workplace Design and Bay Area emerging artists, we introduced an art program into our Workplace 2030 pop up space to demonstrate these benefits. And it had the intended results, humanizing and connecting that “return to the workplace” interactive environment.
An auction with a purpose. And a cause.
To demonstrate the impact thoughtfully curated art can have on where you work, One Workplace Design teamed up with several Bay Area emerging artists to introduce an art program into our Workplace 2030 pop up.
The art we featured isn’t your typical “office art.” The same goes for the artists we selected. Each represents a deep connection to a wider community. Each piece is something you’ll love bringing home. And some of the proceeds will automatically benefit local causes that our artists support.
The auction opens today and ends February 5th. For more information and to start bidding, click here.
Meet Our Artists
I'm a Taiwanese American illustrator. I started making art when I was really young, but I never really thought that it was worth pursuing as a career because in my culture and the community that I grew up in, it wasn't really a celebrated thing to be good at art, art was seen more as like a hobby. But I ended up going to art school because I followed my gut and then I studied graphic design. And eventually I got more into illustration and drawing. I ended up becoming a full-time illustrator instead of doing graphic design. Now I'm a freelance illustrator. This is my full time job. I make paintings, murals. I do editorial illustrations for publications like New York Times and Google and Apple.
My work always features this amorphous figure that is faceless and it's meant to represent human beings universally. I didn't want to attach it to any race or gender or any kind of background because I want it to be relatable and for people to be able to see themselves in the work that I make.
Recently, I started a fund raiser called "Save Our Chinatowns" to help raise funds for the businesses in Oakland and San Francisco Chinatowns that have been struggling because of Covid discrimination and then closures. And through working on it, I met a lot of other people doing amazing things. I think one of the takeaways of doing this kind of work is you get to see so many other people who are doing similar things for their own communities, trying to help or invest in the future in a different way.
Abundant Beginnings was something that someone asked if I could share it on social media because it was kind of in line with the work I was doing for Save Our Chinatowns. And when they launched their campaign, I was like, wow, this is actually so amazing. I think the future is in the hands of the young generation, and it’s pretty great to see what they're teaching the kids, how to stand up for themselves, what consent is and just about different authority figures and that kind of world. So that's why I picked that organization.
I grew up in Santa Cruz, California. It's a really supportive art community there and I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of drawing. But I really started getting into painting in high school. And from there I went on to study art at San Jose State.
For the longest time my goal was to make drawings and paintings that were as photorealistic as possible. I thought that in order to be taken seriously as an artist, I needed to show that I had a great deal of technical skill. But at the same time, I started getting really into photography and the more I started taking photos, the less I was interested in creating paintings that look same as taking a photograph. I just didn't really see the point in it. So I started embracing all of the brush strokes instead of smoothing them away. And I just had fun in the experimentation of being more loose and free and abstract. Now I try to combine a sense of realism in this kind of abstracted dream world and my artwork.
A lot of my paintings are variations on self-portraits. I try to bring out a lot of different emotions through colors and textures or paint drips and scribbles. And I love painting the eyes because they're kind of the window into the soul. And I like making portraits where the subject is staring right at the viewer.
I feel like art in the workplace is kind of needed now more than ever because a lot of people are coming back to work after working for many months at home. And so they need something to feel comfortable in a kind of safe and soothing environment instead of just going back to work. It's nice to have artwork up on the wall.
I'll be donating a portion of my sales to the Endometriosis Foundation of America. It's a disorder I have, and one in ten women actually have it. Endometriosis causes severe pain, can lead to infertility, and despite how common it is, it's also very misunderstood and often misdiagnosed. The only way to be diagnosed at the moment is to undergo an unpleasant surgery, so there's no cure for it yet and there's not a whole lot of treatments or options. This foundation helps women recognize the symptoms and funds some very much needed research in this area. It's a good cause and it's a really personal one for me.
I am a queer-identified, Chicana-identified woman. And one of my personal beliefs is that the personal is political. I feel like anything I do, whether that's through work, through just daily activities, life or my artwork, my photography, it's all kind of political and it's an extension of me. Especially art.
I saw a friend's engagement photos and I don't know what it was, but it for whatever reason I felt like I was looking at photography for the first time. And I realized that what I really appreciated about looking at these photos, was that I really saw the people just being who they are; I saw themselves reflected back in the images.
I realized that what it came down to for me in regard to photography and shooting couples, shooting families, is that the biggest thing in my life is family. Family is everything to me and I treat wedding photography in that way. And I wanted to work with people who are like me. I wanted to share stories of people whose stories aren't typically shared. So queer folks, anyone on the LGBTQ spectrum, people of color, black people, indigenous people.
When I was first approached by this project and asked to contribute, of course it sounded amazing to me. And I also had questions because as a primarily wedding photographer, it's kind of hard to think of because usually you don't go to a gallery to see a bunch of wedding photography. But there's one image that actually I immediately thought of because you were talking about really creating the community vibe, feeling like if you enter the space, you not only feel like you belong there, but you feel super comfortable. The one wedding image I chose I constantly think about when I hear the words "connection" or "home". The other three images were taken when I traveled abroad. One in Thailand at one of the floating markets, just so many people in a bunch of boats doing their thing, eating or selling, just such a community vibe. There's a certain image taken when I looked down and there was this pool of water and I saw the reflection of the Taj Mahal with a bunch of people in front of it. I took the photo and realized later I wasn't even thinking, and it's probably one of my most favorite images, so I'm excited to share it.
I immediately thought of an organization called the Loveland Foundation, founded by a black woman, Rachel Cargle. I have been following her for a while, and she's created a couple of different nonprofits. But when she started talking about the Loveland Foundation, it made total sense. Malcolm X said, "The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman." And clearly, that couldn't be more true today. What the Loveland Foundation does essentially is offer free therapy to black women and girls. And I'm going to be donating as much as I possibly can to that organization because I believe wholeheartedly in it.
Through this auction you can bring home a piece that will connect you to the thriving Bay Area art community, introduce a new visual and thoughtful stimulus into your personal environment, and provide much needed support to members of our extended community.
We hope you’ll find a piece that will speak to you. Link to the Workplace 2030 Art Auction.
When: January 19 through February 5