ART IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA TECH COMPANIES
Posted March 26, 2014
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Do San Francisco Bay Area Tech companies and their employees patronize artists and buy art? I've been doing a little investigating on this topic recently and am discovering that the answer is decidedly YES. You're about to see evidence of that here, but I'm on the hunt for more. If any of you artists, gallery owners or other informed individuals care to add to the conversation, please contact me with either images, updates, facts or impressions of how the tech and art communities intermesh here in the area (or elsewhere for that matter). Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.931.7875. And now here's little of what I've learned so far (it's only just a start):
* A number of area tech companies have hired artists and continue to hire them to do murals and large-scale commissions. Word is that increasing numbers of firms are becoming interested in hiring artists to do murals.
* A handful of companies like Google put on art exhibits with some regularity. I've personally been to art shows at Adobe, StumbleUpon, Gensler (tech/architecture) and a handful of smaller firms. The employees don't necessarily respond in a huge way, like for example buying large quantities of art or expressing interest in learning all about the artists and their work, but they are being exposed to art with a degree of consistency, and that's what counts.
* Facebook has an active ongoing artist residency program and has already given residencies to quite a few area artists. Word is that increasing numbers of tech companies are interested in doing the same and will likely be following suit.
* In terms of collecting or buying art, the tech people who are currently doing much of the buying tend to be longer term San Francisco Bay Area residents with an interest in the city and its culture more so than recent transplants... but not exclusively.
* There is not a huge influx of cash from tech into art, and just because these companies are getting involved with art and artists, at least to a degree, doesn't mean cascades of capital will soon be raining down on the art community. But good things are gradually happening and with increasing frequency.
Now here's a little glimpse of how artists are sprucing up the interiors of area tech firms. Hopefully, you artists and your galleries will send more such images in the near future so that I can make these columns an ongoing occurrence. All of the following photos are courtesy of the artists:
Mural by Brian Barneclo at Spotify.
Brian Barneclo art at Facebook.
Mural by Kelly Ording at Verizon, Palo Alto.
Walkway art by Kelly Ording at Facebook.
Art by Ian Ross at Google.
Art by Jet Martinez at Facebook.
Jet Martinez art at Facebook.
Art by Tucker Nichols at Jawbone.
Tucker Nichols art at Jawbone.
Portion of a Tucker Nichols installation at Facebook.
Mural by Shawn Feeney at Genentech, South San Francisco.
Shawn Feeney art in above image closer.