(Mississauga—November 11, 2014) Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada today announced the 2014-2015 installation of its sixth annual Experiencing Perspectives art exhibition, featuring artwork from students, faculty and alumni of OCAD University. The installation is the company’s largest to date and represents a partnership between art, education and business that remains the only one of its kind with the largest and most comprehensive art, design and media institution in Canada. The exhibition was celebrated at the company’s community art reception in its national headquarters in Mississauga on Monday evening. Attendees included: Stefan Karrenbauer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada; Natalie Waldburger, Chair of Contemporary Painting and Print Media, Faculty of Art, OCAD U; and Anda Kubis, Associate Dean, Outreach, OCAD U.
“Our unique partnership with OCAD U has enriched our work environment and enabled us to support emerging and established artists working and studying in our community for six years,” said Karrenbauer. “This is our largest exhibition to date, featuring nearly 100 pieces of contemporary art. As the program has grown, so has our ability to develop meaningful connections between business and the arts.”
In addition to the art exhibitions, the program offers employees interesting opportunities to engage in art tours, visual thinking discussions and community events. Art has also been used as a creative tool in the workplace, empowering employees to give visual meaning to key business themes and topics.
Another signature element of the company’s partnership with OCAD U is a $2,000 annual award given to a graduating student and a $1,000 annual scholarship awarded to a current student. The purpose of the awards is to recognize talented emerging artists working and studying in the greater Toronto area.
“These scholarships build confidence in students while providing much-needed financial support,” said Waldburger. “In addition, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is giving graduating students opportunities to exhibit, see their work in publications and experience the momentum of a professional event as they transition into their own professional practices.”
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Experiencing Perspectives program includes several creative partnerships that bring rotating exhibitions of artwork into Mercedes-Benz Financial Services facilities in the U.S. and Canada. The program began in 2001, when the company partnered with the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. In 2008, the program expanded to the company’s Fort Worth, Texas, Business Center through partnerships with the art schools of SMU and TCU. In 2009, it expanded to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, through a partnership with OCAD U.
“Through our partnership with OCAD U, art has become a foundation that bridges community and workplace culture together,” added Karrenbauer. “Some may wonder if it adds value in a business environment. I would say it has absolutely played a valuable role in expanding perspectives, inspiring creative thought and cultivating innovative ideas.”