While some may think they don’t have a creative bone in their body, the truth is, an artist lives within each of us. From snapping a photograph to penning a poem, chances are you’ve dabbled in the arts at one point or another. Some might nurture that passion more than others, but no matter who you are or where you live, the spirt of creativity will eventually come calling.
Recently, staff with Seafair Capital Inc. (a private investment company based in St. John’s) joined artist and fellow Business & Arts NL member Susan Parsons to get in tune with their creative side during a group mural painting session at Seafair Capital’s corporate office.
“Each quarter, we set a collective goal for our team to achieve. If we reach or exceed that goal, we celebrate! We like to make each celebration unique and in keeping with our quarterly theme. Last quarter, our theme was ‘strengthening relationships’ and I thought, what better way to exemplify that in a fun way as a group than to do an art project together?” says Anne Whelan, CEO of Seafair Capital.
Once Parsons set up the materials and gave participants a quick lesson in mixing colours and painting with acrylics, the blossoming artists checked any insecurities at the door and, using a historical photograph as a guide, began to fill their canvasses with colour. At the end of the session, the individual canvasses were assembled together to create one larger picture.
“At first, some of us were a bit intimidated by the thought of painting, but it didn’t take long for everyone to start brushing their canvasses. It was interesting to see how some of the team worked together to coordinate colours, for example, while others did their own thing. We all had a great time, and were quite proud of the finished product,” says Whelan.
“There’s a lot to be said for bringing art and artists into the workplace. You take people out of their comfort zones, you challenge them to think differently, or to see things from a different perspective. Those aspects are important to being entrepreneurial, and entrepreneurship is one of Seafair Capital’s core values. So is fun. To us, fun is a necessity if you want to create an environment that people enjoy working in each day, and if you want to build a team that works well together. And doing activities like the mural project are just plain fun.”
Arts-based activities such as the group mural painting session are not only good for morale and team-building, but they also go hand-in-hand with Seafair’s purpose and slogan “Unlocking potential in our companies, communities and people,” Whelan says.
“Unlocking potential can mean a lot of things. To us, it’s about building strong companies, supporting our communities in a meaningful way, and bringing out the best in people. Taking part in arts-related projects is part and parcel of that,” she adds.
“Newfoundland and Labrador is known as a province brimming with artistic talent. We’re delighted to make these kinds of connections because, truly, they benefit us as much as they benefit the artist.”