More Ecoartists Commissioned for the Company’s Green Trophy Collection
by Krista Van Tassel– Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo Social Responsibility Group and Judith Blankman–WEAD Board & Wells Fargo Green Team member
Following an inspiring 2010 visit to the Recology Artist in Residence program (1) at the San Francisco “Dump,” Wells Fargo’s SF Green Team members approached Judith Blankman (2)–a Wells Fargo employee and WEAD board member, to discuss an idea. The SF Green Team proposed that WEAD collaborate and manage a call for a professional ecoartist to create a unique sculpture as a trophy for the most successful Green Team projects across the country.
Well Fargo’s 50+ Green Teams—volunteer-driven groups—focus on environmental efforts at work and in the community. Judith’s active WEAD participation (as a Board member for 10+ years and WEAD website designer) and on SF Wells Fargo Green Team efforts, was a fortuitous connection. The original 1989 creator of the Recology Artist Program at the SF waste transfer and recycling plant, aka the SF “Dump,” was also WEAD’s own 1995 cofounder, well known ecoart pioneeer Jo Hanson (3). Subsequently, the SF Wells Fargo Green Team and WEAD’s Exhibition Subcommittee agreed to collaboratively manage a call for a national Wells Fargo Green Team Trophy competition.
First, however, the Green Team needed to clear up a possible artists’ misconception; the Team did not want a traditional trophy or a corporate design (although it had to be appropriate for an office setting). The Team conjectured that a compelling eco-artwork as the award trophy had a bigger potential to spark conversation about, encourage participation in, and call attention to ecological projects in the company’s workplace.
The first commission was awarded to Bay Area ecoartist Suzanne Husky (4)–who later also became a Recology Resident Artist. For the 2010 eco sculpture trophy Suzanne created a touchable soft sculpture tree and rock forest. Her work became so popular with employees that a second artist’s work was requested for 2011.
Integral to the trophy design, the jury committee came up with the idea to have the artist also create a companion token that would remain with the winning team when the trophy traveled to the next recipient. Suzanne’s keepsake for the first winning office is a small, soft sculpture tree.
During the initial artists review, the Jury had admired work submitted by WEAD listing artist Pamela Blotner (5). So, Pamela was invited to create the next trophy. As the design process evolved, her keepsake reflects the nature of the Green Teams’ efforts in the “trophy” itself. Pamela created a wonderful, recycled trophy that showcases a custom-designed token that symbolically represents the winning Team’s project. She perfectly captured the spirit of both the Orlando and Colorado teams, recipients for the first two quarters.
Pamela speaks on her own experience:
“Creating the Green team trophy from natural and human-made, recycled, materials that I’ve collected has been enormously enjoyable. I wanted the piece to be both celebratory and playful and to feature an unexpected interaction between the carved, painted and glued natural and “unnatural” elements I’ve assembled. An added pleasure of this commission is that, as the trophy itself will travel to four different branch offices this year, I have been able to design a separate, commemorative component for the Green Teams in Colorado and Orlando. I can’t wait to see whom and what I get to work with next! As an eco-artist and WEAD member, I am proud to contribute to this latest effort.”
The collaboration continues. For 2012 Wells Fargo Green Team recently commissioned WEAD listing artist Lorna Stevens (6) to create a third ecoart trophy. Lorna is at work on the design now. Wells Fargo will also fund 2 new commissions for 2012.
To learn more about the WEAD and Wells Fargo collaboration, please visit <http://blog.wellsfargo.com/environment>.
Below are the links to artists and the Recology Artist’s Residency Program.
Also see the Wells Fargo Green Team Report (PDF) [https://www.wellsfargo.com/downloads/pdf/about/csr/reports/2009_Wells_Fargo_Green_Team_Grant_Report.pdf]