When employees of the Kirsch CPA Group look at the large artwork on a wall of the company’s new offices in downtown Hamilton, they can say, “I did that.”
Employees of the accounting company, including those in its Oxford office and those who work remotely, recently teamed with artists who have disabilities to design and produce a 54-piece artwork that occupies most of a large, multi-story wall in the new office space in the former Fifth Third building at 2 S. Third St.
InsideOut Studio of Hamilton, which is supported by the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati, gives artists with disabilities that opportunity to create art and then earn income from it. About 40 artists work out of the studio at 140 High St. on a consistent basis.
When Kirsch CPA Group moved in May to Hamilton from Fairfield, “we wanted our building to have more in it than just pictures on the wall,” said Diane Glover, business development manager for Kirsch.
Hamilton artist Stephen Smith, the art education coordinator for InsideOut, suggested the collaboration.
“And for us, that was the perfect project,” Glover said. “We wanted to be able to collaborate and allow our team to work with each artist and develop a piece that meant something on our walls.”
InsideOut suggested possible artworks its artists could create, but Kirsch CPA President John Kirsch “was really adamant that the artwork had to be meaningful, purposeful, and he really wanted his employees integrated into the process, so it would be something they’d be really proud of,” Smith said.
Each Kirsch employee teamed with an artist to create individual artworks in about two hours, while Smith developed the overall design. The artwork was installed earlier this month.
“It was a really successful experience,” Smith said. “Our artists with disabilities love when they have visitors, because they can show the public their skills and what they can do. And we obviously want to showcase their talents as well.”
The experience has led InsideOut Studio to seek similar opportunities with other businesses in the future, Smith said.
The artwork in the Kirsch CPA office is called “Infinite Opportunities,” and represents possibilities, with the individual pieces spiraling upward toward the sky, with blue, green and turquoise bubbles, and stars arrayed in the heavens. The different-sized pieces reflect the fact people play different roles in life, but the combination of everyone’s work adds up to the greater whole.
“It was one of the most fun projects that I’ve gotten to do, outside, of course, my normal work,” Glover said. “It was great to do something different, and when you walk in, and you see that installation on the wall, and you know you’re a piece of it, it makes you feel more a piece of the organization. It makes you feel empowered, and part of the space here, as well as part of something bigger here in Hamilton, to have had the opportunity to do it with InsideOut.”
“I love that my art piece is on the wall,” Glover said. “I think that’s a neat thing.”
“I would highly recommend any other company do a project like that,” she said.