We really admire Alan de Botton’s view on the power of art – to paraphrase his great 2011 TED Talk: It is ridiculous that art be simply for art’s sake, art should be used to remind us if what there is to love, hate and fear- art should be a visceral encounter with your most important ideas.
Apply those simple ideas to business, education and society more broadly, it becomes apparent that we overlook a huge opportunity to shift mindsets, spread ideas and broadcast what matters. Instead of creating visceral encounters, we are surrounded by landscapes, seascapes, random abstracts, and hipster froth.
We had this in mind when we headed down to the new University of Miami, Toppel Career Center in December to meet its Executive Director, Christian Garcia. He is a man on a mission to connect graduates with careers; the Center is that jumping-off point where student life concludes and new horizons begin.
A quick six weeks later, we are happy to announce that we have completed the installation of the largest “Hughseum “ in the country. Nearly 80 images, all on infused aluminum plates, ranging in size up to nearly 3ft x 9ft. The entire space is curated by topic, so for example, employer/student interview rooms have images that talk about possibility, careers, and purpose. While other areas are themed to encourage creativity, inspiration and innovation.
When we think about the power of art in context – to inspire, delight and inform, to be didactic in honor of a bigger idea, the beginning of a new life, we realize this incredible power of art.
In the coming weeks, UMiami will be setting up a page to display the art and we will be setting up guided tours for small groups. Friday was the grand opening ceremony with UM President Donna Shalala and the board, so we’ll be sharing some of the pics from the event.