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New Publication: The Curated Art Collection | Schulich School of Business

The community of students, faculty and staff at Schulich are privileged to encounter a world-class contemporary art collection on campus each day. The collection, meticulously and thoughtfully curated by Judy Schulich, Art Advisor and Executive Vice-President of the Schulich Foundation, occupies key locations throughout the School's three buildings. Those students, staff and visitors who look up from their work or pause to reflect, find themselves engaged, and sometimes challenged, by the deeply enriching and thought-provoking works that explore the relationship between art, business and the economies of exchange.

This year saw the publication of the new anthology "The Curated Art Collection | Schulich School of Business." With forwards by Judy Schulich and James McKellar, Professor Emeritus, Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure, the catalogue profiles each of the 30+ artworks by the 25 internationally renowned artists displayed across the Schulich's three buildings: the Seymour Schulich Building, the Dezso J. Horváth Executive Learning Centre, and the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building.

At the catalogue launch on June 12th, Judy spoke about the vision that has underpinned the creation of the collection and her desire to align it with the core values of the School and its community. The collection has been guided by three key themes and objectives: where possible, promoting young artists, both domestic and international; acquiring art that has a business theme; and installing that art as an integral part of the buildings. Many of the works in the collection were commissioned specifically for select locations, integrating art, architecture and community experience into the viewers’ encounters with the works.

For example, Sirens (2018) by Sri Lankan-born, Toronto-based artist Rajni Perera, commissioned by the Schulich School of Business, depicts four Futurist female figures, each a representation of a key value of the School – Globalization, Diversity, Innovation and Sustainability.

The collections' artworks are conceptually rigorous, complex and multi-layered; some are emotionally charged, and others even defy the viewer's gaze or comprehension. Each piece in the collection adds to a greater story, sparks curiosity, and encourages dialogue, fostering a creative and inspiring environment.

Schulich’s visual art collection is not confined to a specific gallery or kept behind glass or stored within an archive. It is, rather, woven into the fabric of institutional life at the Schulich School of Business. The collection’s ambitious curatorial vision, generous patronage and accessible presentation are unrivalled and wholly unique. Even impressive and committed close comparators, such as Canadian bank corporate art collections or special thematic museum exhibitions, do not quite equal the vision, calibre and unique focus of what the Schulich Foundation provides to the School's community year-round.

I suggest that a core intention behind the art collection is a purposeful education in living with and understanding the art, as well as the broader practice of art patronage and investment. Graduates of the Schulich School of Business will not only be equipped with practical business skills but also with the ability to appreciate the deeper dimensions of life through and in proximity to art. Art at Schulich adds a premium dimension to the daily campus experience, unparalleled in any other educational or workplace setting, enriching the lives of those who have the opportunity to work and study there.

Miles Collyer currently serves as the Associate Director, Corporate Relations at the Schulich School of Business’ Centre for Career Design. Miles provides leadership and guidance, supporting the Corporate Relations Team to foster new corporate contacts and job opportunities that meet the objectives of Schulich's students and grads. Miles is passionate about artist-initiated activities and has served on the Board of Mercer Union, a Centre for Contemporary Art, and has worked for cultural organizations, including OCAD University, the Toronto Arts Council and Art Metropole. He earned a joint MFA (Visual Art) and MBA from the Schulich School of Business and York University (2015). His work has been published and exhibited across Canada and internationally.

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Jack Lam
Jack Lam
Dec 08, 2023
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Lovely article. Definitely can resonate with how art can spark curiosity and foster creativity, which extends into the learning environment and world of business

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