Drew Bennett is an artist, designer, and curator who straddled the art and tech scenes in the San Francisco Bay Area for years, until his worlds collided in 2012. During the process of being commission by Facebook for another art installation, drew offered to found and lead a proper artist in residence program for the company instead. The result has been a bold new chapter in the history of corporate patronage of art.
This artist-founded, artist-forward program was conceived in the belief that the process of making art is as valuable as the finished product. It is committed to deeply trusting artists, to explore their practice, as the best tack to collaboratively realizing new work. Crucially, the program is based on the belief that art has a very real, and profound impact in inspiring, uniting, and challenging communities.
Facebook Artist in Residence program started at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park in 2012 offering local, early career artists the opportunity to make new, site-specific work in a trusted and unrestricted, corporate campus environment. The open-ended residency model has given way to a globally scaled site-specific commissioning program, that seeks out artists with an authentic presence in each community to make new work in all of the Facebook offices around the world. Last year Facebook supported over 125 new artworks globally. Last year, Facebook Artist in Residence program published a book surveying 225 artists’ works at Facebook over the first 5 years of the program and hosted a public art exhibition with new work by 50 of these artists in San Francisco. In the year ahead there is much more public engagement on the horizon: partnering with arts organizations, public art installations and events, and a whole lot more original site-specific art making opportunities for artists around the world.