Not even the smell of faintly cooking hops could trump the unexpected art done by 20 marketing and advertising professionals in Art from the Unexpected, hosted by Ad Lounge and TC Media yesterday evening at Steamwhistle brewery in Toronto.
Over 200 ad folks came out to hobnob with each other and the artists who, for some, had never held a paint brush before. An exception was the CEO of Edelman, John Clinton’s, art, which was in fact a sculpture, something only to be matched in medium by CEO of Cundari, Mr. Aldo himself. Both opted to sculpt and create statuettes, of a sort; two beautiful, bronze pieces that went up for auction.
Starcom’s CEO Bruce Neve captured a casual drink between Einstein and Marilyn Monroe, in a bid to visualize what a meeting between those two icons would have been like. Einstein is thinking with his finger to his temple, and Marilyn’s signature style of hunched shoulders and opened mouth has her giggling alongside him.
I love words, as does Stephanie Nerlich, President and CEO of Grey Canada. She opted to create a piece she called ‘From Origin to Idea and the Agony In-Between’ aka the creative process in a series of words all describing feelings of creative block which lead to those a-ha! moments.
The theme for the event was ‘Origin’, and each artist had to recreate what this meant to them. A mesmerizing piece by Joseph Peters played with blues, navy to turquoise, showcasing the abstract ‘spark’ – or origin – that leads to life, ideas, and success.
The most modern piece, in my humble opinion, was done by Hunter Tura of Bruce Mau Design Inc. He used hundreds of thumbtacks, stuck in a board, to spell out the negative space around the words ‘Do Your Job’, to represent the origin of managerial philosophy. Heavy.
All of the pieces showcased the courage and uniqueness of the artists. All money raised ($20,000!) went to fund Sketch, a community-art initiative for youth who are homeless or living on the margins. The funds will go specifically towards their new art/community centre where the young artists can work and collaborate on their talents and passions together. It’s a great Toronto initiative and it was nice to be a part of something so local and important.
I attended with my colleague, Dominique Vibien, VP Management Director at JWT. We had an alternate objective. Our agency is hosting our own art show and we were there to also scope out tips and tricks learned from AFTU. The work certainly set a high standard for what we expect from our own JWT staff, only our twist is that our auction is anonymous.
When Jill Nykoliation, President at Juniper Park, took the stage, she discussed her piece, entitled ‘Innocent Wonder’, which took inspiration from her daughter. Looking more closely at it, you see goldfish swimming in the pond. She addressed this, quoting a favourite Chinese proverb that says “sometimes the fish are the last to discover the ocean.” She related this to the idea of wonder and discovery – something we all must approach without shyness and abandon.