Bank of America's partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago brings international exhibits to the public and supports local education programs.
The success of the Art Institute of Chicago can be measured in works as well as numbers. It has been a Chicago icon for 135 years. Its collection spans more than 5,000 years of artistic and cultural expression. It has about 300,000 works of art, which are housed in nearly one million square feet in the heart of the city. Each year, it welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors from all over the globe. Of those visitors, more than 200,000 students, educators, families and seniors take part in more than 2,400 educational programs that are offered onsite.
These numbers paint the picture of an institution that helps position Chicago as a world-class center of culture. Its partnership with Bank of America, which has lasted for more than 30 years, enables it to feature great works inside its walls and do great work for the community outside. “Bank of America is an exemplary corporate partner and fully attuned to what we are trying to accomplish at the museum,” said Douglas Druick, president and Eloise W. Martin director of The Art Institute. “Bank of America helps put Chicago on the global stage through its support of exhibitions that often tour the world.”
The bank is the national sponsor of Magritte: the Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938, which opens at the Art Institute in June 2014 as the final stop of a national tour. This is the first major museum exhibition to focus exclusively on the breakthrough and formative years of René Magritte.
Over the past decade, the bank has helped bring numerous, compelling exhibitions to Chicago audiences. In 2012, it was the global sponsor of the Art Institute’s Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective. In conjunction with that exhibit, the Art Institute and the bank created one of the city’s largest canvases – the sides of the building at Ashland Avenue on the Kennedy Expressway – upon which School of the Art Institute student Adam Horrigan painted a massive Lichtenstein- and Chicago-inspired mural. It was seen by more than 400,000 people a day for several months. “That is a perfect example of Bank of America’s commitment to community enrichment through the arts,” Druick said. “It is something that the Art Institute could not have accomplished without the bank’s steadfast and innovative support.”
Additionally, as a lead partner for the development of the museum’s transformative Modern Wing, which opened in 2009, the bank has been an avid supporter of the Art Institute’s educational programs. The Modern Wing houses exhibits, collections and the Ryan Education Center. The Bank of America Studio within is a space where students, families and educators explore the museum through hands-on activities in a state-of-the-art, inspirational space.
The bank supports the Art Institute in a number of ways, because it attracts so many different visitors and sparks valuable conversations, said Tristan Slemmons, vice president and community relations manager at Bank of America. She added: “They do a masterful job of creating an exhibit that allows the artwork to become accessible and understandable.”