At Azavea's Callowhill HQ, art offers a reprieve - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 11, 2018 9:18 am

At Azavea’s Callowhill HQ, art offers a reprieve

An in-house art committee is trying to bring artistic inspiration into the mapping firm's physical space.
At Azavea’s Spring Garden HQ.

At Azavea's Spring Garden HQ.

(Courtesy photo)

Azavea’s 21,000-square-foot HQ in Callowhill, opened in 2016 as a response to steady growth, had plenty of bare white walls at its inauguration.

In the hopes of making the space at 990 Spring Garden more visually stimulating, the company set up an in-house art committee that could connect with local artists and bring color and movement to the mapping firm’s office.

CEO Robert Cheetham said the company also wanted to support local artists as it went about changing the landscape for Azavea’s 60 employees.

“We believe that art, craft, and technology can be synergistic, mutually reinforcing,” Cheetham told Technical.ly via email.

The commission of Azavea staffers worked with curator Eric Preisendanz, founder of Revolvd, to set up an initial 12-week exhibit with local artists Jessica Joy London and Gregory Brellochs. Employee-made art has also been included, and there’s a plan to commission at least one yearly mural for the office’s largest walls.

"Art, science and engineering are far closely related than commonly thought, each inspiring the others constantly."
Terence Tuhinanshu, Azavea

“It’s fun to have a say in our communal environment,” said Ross Bernet, project manager for Azavea’s GeoTrellis. “Supporting local artists in Philadelphia (and our co-workers!) is great and I’m grateful Robert has given us the opportunity to let us run with it. There is still a lot more to do and it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to this year.”

For Terence Tuhinanshu, a software developer on Azavea’s Civic Apps team, bringing art into the office has a direct effect on the thought process.

“Art, science and engineering are far closely related than commonly thought, each inspiring the others constantly,” Tuhinanshu told Technical.ly. “Having art in our space gives us an opportunity to step back from our work and ponder something quite different though just as intricate. Such reprieves are invaluable to both analytical and creative thinking, relaxing and rejuvenating the thinking mind.”

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