When management at a local financial institution wants to commission an original work of art, they go straight to a local artist. But when Charlotte Metro Credit Union chose Charlotte artist Sharon Dowell to create an original acrylic painting for their lobby (and for a very limited edition 2012 annual report poster that will be given to members at the upcoming annual meeting), they got a local artist – with a national reputation.
“Sharon’s work has been featured in New York, Seattle, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and her travels all over the world influence her style and subject,” said Randall Beckwith, vice president of marketing, who commissioned Dowell for the project. “But we loved the layered, architectural character of her paintings; her bold, bright palette; and the fact she lives and works in Charlotte. She was the perfect fit for us.”
CMCU CEO Bob Bruns said, “We’re a local institution with deep roots in this community. Supporting local individuals, families and businesses is why we exist. We are happy to support a talented, local artist and even happier to share Sharon’s work with our customers for generations to come.” The painting will be installed in the lobby in mid-May.
Dowell’s bio says her work is concerned with “the choices we make that bring us to where we are at this moment in time.” That’s an apt sentiment for a financial institution concerned with its members’ financial choices. Part of CMCU’s mission is providing members with financial education that helps them make sound financial decisions.
Beckwith gave Dowell limited instruction: “Connect the image into the 2013 ‘Happy Place’ marketing theme, make it colorful and have fun!” From that, she created a “Happy Place,” a 36” x 24” contemporary painting that is uniquely Dowell – and uniquely Charlotte Metro. Geometric shapes suggest an urban setting, but subtle swirls and paint drippings give the work a happy-go-lucky quality. Dowell successfully incorporated lettering throughout the painting that pays tribute to the credit union’s current “Happy Place” marketing campaign. A palette of aquas, apple green, corals, and black and white make the painting simultaneously arresting and calming.
Dowell said, “It was an honor to be commissioned by Charlotte Metro Credit Union, and I admire their support of local artists. Working to create a vibrant painting that reflects their identity was a rewarding experience.”
Dowell has won multiple honors for her work and has received several public art commissions, including one from CATS Transit for the 25th St. station. She graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from UNC Charlotte and works as the university’s gallery coordinator. Her bio reads, in part, “Interested in the documentation of memory and place, I strive to find beauty in often overlooked structures and spaces.” Learn more about her at www.sharondowell.com