Be Moved by Art: The JMSB North Stairwell Gallery

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Photo: Matthew Haley

Organization: David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise 

Title: Be Moved by Art (North Stairwell)

Year: 2014

Materials: Stairwell, photo-based art.

What is the piece’s impact? The piece transforms the stairwell of a large Canadian business school into an ambulatory sustainability-focused art gallery, with the intent of driving patrons of the building away from the elevators and towards the stairwell. “The idea is to get people using the stairs and to have them be inspired while doing so,” says David Lank, DOCSE program coordinator. (source)

In the north stairwell, DOCSE collaborated with Mouvement Art Public (MAP), a group that installs public art around Montreal. For the first year, the gallery is showing a series called “The City,” by New York-based photographic artist Lori Nix. Different images are featured on the landings of the 3rd to 15th floors, along with quotations meant to encourage walking and use of the stairs.

How does this project relate to this change as art? “Narratives, stories, music and images served to warn our early ancestors against predators and natural disasters,” he says. “Art helped them develop defence mechanisms. My colleagues and I believe that art should be used to deal with modern survival threats such as climate change and environmental crises.” (source)

To launch the project, DOCSE invited participants to walk through the stairwell together (see photo below), to view the art, but also the architectural character of the gallery, which includes floor-to-ceiling windows with excellent views on the city. The project hopes to demonstrate an increase in the use of the stairwells over time.

Other works by the same organization: