The Barr Foundation is privileged to showcase an art collection in its office space that reflects its investment in human, natural, and creative potential. The Foundation's programs in Arts & Creativity, Climate, and Education provided a rich narrative that we sought to visualize with the work of living, contemporary artists. KCFA identified a diverse group of artists with socially-engaged practices. It was important to us that our selections inspire Barr's staff and visitors. We wanted the collection to activate topics relevant to the Foundation's important work in Massachusetts, without creating a distracting working environment.
Installation in progress at Barr Foundation of Nari Ward's Mass Action, 2016
To this end, the work in the collection looks to the world around us, often using the most everyday materials to transformative ends. Some of the work engages with the history of 20th-century art and focuses on the creative process itself. Others depict our natural environment and seek to propel a greater awareness of our impact as communities and humans. Many of the artists included are also teachers, and much of the work explores the transfer of knowledge or cultural heritage. Overall, the work in this collection shares the distinct ability to generate rigorous discourse using the lightest touch and delivered through the most beautiful means.