The Zen of a Beautiful Workplace
Just recently Inc. Magazine published an article entitled "How to Design Your Office for Maximum Productivity (and Happiness)". The author concentrates on several areas for rethinking your workday and workspace, including giving workers personal control of a workspace, bringing the green in from the outdoors, designing for keeping the blood pumping, thinking about safety, and, lastly, creating beauty.
While Mantle has incorporated each of the several areas of re-thought into its new workspace, beauty is something to which we have paid extra attention. The article points out the cognitive effects that pretty things have on our psyche:
It not just a question of putting paintings on the wall or sculptures in the halls. It's the design of the physical space itself. The emotional impact of entering a beautiful space can be incredibly uplifting--the play of proportion, light and material is often enough to inspire a sense of surprise, curiosity and awe (emotions that all have benefits). For the more analytical- or scientific-minded, believe it or not, research tends to agree on the importance of beauty. When looking at something beautiful, the reward part of your brain lights up.
Of course you may want to work at Mantle because of the design aesthetic created in-part with our local partners from CDFL Architecture-Design and cutting edge furniture from Interior Elements, or because the original windows from our building built in 1940 flood the entire space in gorgeous natural light, but maybe, just maybe, its because we are curating some of the coolest local artist around to give you a little eye candy, too! We know it's not just about the artwork, but who could blame us when there is so much creative talent around us.
Here is a sneak-peek at the artists that will be gracing the walls of Mantle and lighting up the reward part of your brain. Each artist gives us quick glimpses of insights into their art, the world and the beauty within it, along with why they love working in Jackson, in their own words:
Lately, I have worked more in the commercial and editorial fields, along with documenting families, which I love and will always continue to do. More recently, however, I started to get back into exhibiting my fine artwork in galleries and I am very excited about that as well.
I absolutely love traveling and exploring new places with my camera. This photo was taken in one of my favorite cities in Vietnam, Hoi An.
Jackson is a great place to work as an artist. Everyone is very supportive and there is so much inspiration around here from other artists, characters and writers. I especially love how it is the center of the South geographically.
Ginger Williams Cook
After graduating college with a BFA, I said yes to nearly every project that came my way: portraits, painted murals, did graphic design, sculpture, tv commercials, backdrops for plays. Over time, through many efforts (some not so great), I began to develop my own style. Learning different trades and visual applications was a lot like a kid needing to learn the alphabet before beginning to write. I will never forget when I established my own visual language. Though I limit what jobs I take now, I still find myself crediting the improv of saying yes to so many fun an exciting projects as a young artist.
Fast forward a decade later and I am married and a mother to two young children. My feisty and work-around-the-clock days have been traded in for a more predictable schedule and my painting sessions usually happen in between carpool times. This new lifestyle actually helps me use my time more efficiently and to be more productive. Plus, I've always wondered what it would be like to be a morning person. Having a chance to slow things down after having children has really narrowed my focus as an artist and has helped motivate my career path.
The pet portraits with detailed backgrounds and clothing are examples of where I currently am in my work. I could spend months on detailed patterns and portraits. Especially of animals, because bringing their spirit across on canvas or wood panel stirs my soul. I feel like its a great gift to have to be able to bring across a pet or a person's spirit with a few tubes of paint, brushes, and canvas.
One of my favorite things about the creative community in Jackson is the spirit of collaboration. I've always run in circles that usually get together and talk about big ideas, dreams, and our faith. All of my earliest beginnings have involved collaborating with other artists, chefs, musicians, and photographers. I think a lot of people from Jackson feel they have something to prove. The creative spirit that lives and moves here is why I personally thrive in a city like Jackson, we have a unique vision.
In the past, I've always created art for specific reasons, maybe a commission or a gift for someone. Now, I am creating pieces that are inspired by my own life experiences with my husband and two young boys, using mediums that I love!
This piece (at the top of the post) is all about color - it's neutral but fun and dynamic too! It's one of the first that I did and remains a favorite. Each circle is it's own individual work of art.
Jackson, as well as Mississippi as a whole, is such a creative place. It reminds me a lot of New Orleans (where I grew up). People are very loyal to their community and I find inspiration in the wonderful people and life experiences in Jackson and across this beautiful state. I also love how the Jackson community embraces the arts and artists. From world class museums and festivals, to the opportunities made possible for artists through funding and events, it really is a creative community!