Spotlight on Local Art at Dallas Corporate Center
The curated collection carries on the JPMorgan Chase tradition of art at work.
Like many who have gone west, art curator Jason Molchanow was called to the wide open spaces of Texas.
But it wasn’t the expanses of the Great Plains that drew him, it was the blank walls of the new JPMorgan Chase Dallas Corporate Center, a 1-million-square-foot regional campus located in Plano.
Molchanow is a Chicago-based curator who has spent the last 16 years working at JPMorgan Chase. He was tasked with hand-selecting art work featured at the Dallas Corporate Center, a modern office park that is home to 6,000 employees.
“This was not just ‘here is a new building, go decorate it,’ ” he said. “It was ‘source and find interesting artists working locally, and find works that represent the time and geographic location and also complement the technologically-advanced building and its architecture.’ ”
Matt Kleberg (American, born 1985) | Bike Sock Shock Jock, 2017 | Oil stick on canvas | JPMorgan Chase Art Collection | © Matt Kleberg, Image courtesy of Barry Whistler Gallery
The project was also an opportunity to support local businesses and artists, an approach consistent with the guiding principles of the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection: “that arts and culture are the lifeblood of vibrant communities.”
“It was big for us, but a huge step for these artists,” Molchanow said. “And when we made the orders at the galleries, it made a big impact in their careers.”
The number one rule is that the art is for the employees. It always has been.
Curating Local Artists
On the hunt for emerging, developing, or overlooked artists, Molchanow visited 20 local galleries. Eventually, he settled on four Dallas-based galleries, among them, the locally-celebrated Craighead Green. Now, more than 150 pieces by Texan artists hang throughout the campus.
“They gave us a great slice of emerging and developing artists in the region,” Molchanow said.
He also tapped local artist Ruben Nieto to create a mural that overlooks the campus “Main Street.” Molchanow interviewed different muralists and artists before finding Nieto, whose work is inspired by pop art and by the comic books he devoured as a child in Mexico. The modern mural is an energetic mix of colors spanning an entire display window.
Ruben Nieto (Mexican, born 1972) | Warhol and Motherwell traveling the Milky Way, 2018 | Digital print on vinyl |
© Ruben Nieto, Courtesy of the artist | Photography by Ronnie Dunlap, JPMC Employee
“I hope all the people that encompass this great institution [JPMorgan Chase] will be able to enjoy my art and feel reinvigorated every time they walk by and look at it,” Nieto said.
Calling for Art at Work
The Dallas Corporate Center captures the spirit of the Art Collection, which has long championed “art at work.”
“The Plano project is a great example of our commitment to creating an experience of ‘art at work’ that extends to an acquisition strategy focused on supporting artists and galleries where the firm does business — nationally and internationally,” said Charlotte Eyerman, who joined the firm six months ago as director and chief curator.
“In this case, our team collaborated with Global Real Estate to really cement that engagement with Texas artists and galleries, which, after all, are also important driving forces of entrepreneurship.”
The collection housed at the Dallas Corporate Center also includes pieces from artists living in the U.K., Denmark, Germany and Switzerland to reflect the firm’s global reach. The curated selection was unveiled at the “Main Street” celebration held in April at the campus.
Rima Canaan Lee (American, born Lebanon, born 1967) | Archival pigment print | JPMorgan Chase Art Collection | JPMorgan Chase Art Collection | Courtesy of the artist and Talley Dunn Gallery
“I think the employees were and are very impressed with the architecture and the environment, and we finished off that experience for them with the art,” said Molchanow. “They got very interested when they found out that many of the artists were local. The number one rule is that the art is for the employees. It always has been.”
The Art Collection features more than 30,000 works, which can be viewed at 450 JPMorgan Chase offices around the world. David Rockefeller, the former Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank, established the collection nearly 60 years ago in New York City.