Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Cranbrook Academy of Art Master of Fine Arts student Brandon Bullard today revealed an original ﬁber art piece he constructed on site this week at the company’s regional headquarters. The custom work of art is part of the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services 16th annual Experiencing Perspectives art exhibition, which features the work of Cranbrook students and graduates. He was joined by Cranbrook leaders including Christopher Scoates, Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art, as well as Leila Matta, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Art Program Manager and curator of the full exhibition, for a conversation with employees about the inspiration and process behind creating the piece.
“Our long-standing partnership with the renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art enriches our employees and informs our culture, while giving exposure to talented emerging artists studying in our community,” said Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz
Financial Services USA LLC. “Each year, we see new opportunities to enhance the connection between business and the arts. For the ﬁrst time, we have had an artist create custom artwork on site as part of our annual exhibition. We were honored to have Brandon Bullard with us for a week, enabling team members to share in his artistic process.”
The company’s Experiencing Perspectives art program also includes additional partnerships that support art education and bring rotating art exhibitions into additional corporate facilities in the U.S. and Canada. This includes Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University near the company’s Fort Worth Business Center, as well as Toronto’s OCAD University, near its Mississauga, Ontario oﬃce. The program encompasses annual art exhibitions, tours, community conversations and other events.
The newly installed exhibition will be on display for one year at the company’s Farmington Hills, Mich. regional headquarters. A community open house will be held on Nov. 2, during which Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Cranbrook faculty and students and other members of the community will come together to celebrate the artists whose works are being exhibited this year. The event takes place in the fall since many students are gone over the summer when the work is installed.
“Art is integral to our corporate culture at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, as it helps us view our work and work life from diﬀerent vantage points,” said Matta. “It is interesting each year when we take down the previous Cranbrook exhibition, how immediately our employees miss it—they want to know when the next exhibition is coming because it creates a stimulating environment and is the catalyst for some very dynamic and valuable conversations. I feel very privileged to be a part of this collaboration and am constantly amazed at the creativity and talent the artists share with us.”
She noted that the interest in this year’s exhibition is even stronger because of Bullard’s openness to creating his original piece in the building and engaging with employees and visitors while he was working. She added that many of the materials he used were provided by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, enabling him to weave elements of the company’s identity into the piece.
“While my work space at Cranbrook is great, my real studio is the one in my head and what I love about making installations is the opportunity to engage with communities while I am creating,” said Bullard. “It is very much a dialogue with the people, as well as the environment and my own vision that informs what I ultimately create.”
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services believes its partnership with art institutions in the U.S. and Canada provides employees and artists valuable opportunities for education, networking and increased exposure. Its commitment to the arts is also appreciated by the faculty and administration of Cranbrook Academy of Art.
“Our students look forward to this annual opportunity to display their art at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services,” explained Scoates. “This collaboration underscores the value of creativity in today’s workplace, while giving our students opportunities to make connections in our greater community and see how the arts can be supported and appreciated in other sectors.”
For more information about Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Experiencing Perspectives art program and community art partnerships visit:
Twitter: @MercedesBenzFS #mbfsART
Mercedes‐Benz Financial Services USA LLC, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., with Business Center Operations in Fort Worth, Texas, provides brand‐specific financial products and services for Mercedes‐Benz and smart automotive dealers and their retail customers. In the U.S. trucking industry, it conducts business as Daimler Truck Financial and provides flexible financial products and services for Daimler Trucks North America commercial vehicles branded Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Bus and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. Mercedes‐Benz Financial Services USA LLC serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, and has approximately 1,800 employees throughout the Americas. It is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, which does business in 40 countries and has an employee base of approximately 8,800 people worldwide. Daimler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide and was named one of the 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by the Great Place To work Institute in 2014. For more information, please visit www.corp.mbfs.com or facebook.com/mymbfs. For more information about Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Experiencing Perspectives art program and community art partnerships visit: www.art.mbfs.com.
Cranbrook Academy of Art is the country’s top ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design and fine art. Each year, just 75 students are invited to study and live on our landmark Saarinen-designed campus, which features private studios, state-of-the art workshops, a renowned Art Museum, and 300 acres of forests, lakes, and streams, all a short drive from the red-hot art, design, and music scene of Detroit. The focus at Cranbrook is on studio practice in one of 10 disciplines: Architecture, 2D and 3D Design, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. The program is anchored by celebrated Artists- and Designers-in-Residence, one for each discipline, all of whom live and practice on campus alongside our students. For more information, visit us at www.cranbrookart.edu.
Originally from Colorado, Brandon Bullard is a second-year graduate student at Cranbrook where he is an MFA candidate in Fiber. Before coming to Cranbrook, Bullard spent a post-baccalaureate year in Fiber & Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After completing a year at the Kansas City Art Institute, he completed his undergraduate degree in painting at Colorado State University. He hopes one day to divide his time between the United States and Germany, using Denver, CO and Berlin, Germany as his home bases while doing on-site work and installations for organizations and communities around the world.