Managing Partner, Nothwestern Mutual-Memphis
photography by Larry Kuzniewski
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When Jim Meeks became managing partner of Northwestern Mutual-Memphis three years ago, he used an artist’s eye to consider the group’s distinct identity. Northwestern had the strength of a national reputation but also drew from its considerable local connectivity, with more than 70 representatives on the street advising investors young and old in risk management, wealth accumulation, and wealth preservation and distribution.
The local angle appealed to Meeks. When Northwestern Mutual moved into its new offices at Forum III in East Memphis, Meeks sought the advice of John Weeden of Vita Brevis Arts Bureau and Anderson Humphreys of Humphreys Ink. Advertising to help turn the space into a gallery of notable student artwork.
Weeden, in essence, juried numerous works, some of which will be displayed in a Northwestern Mutual-sponsored exhibition at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens in 2013. Pieces will rotate as students occasionally call them back in order to send them to their chosen art schools. In the meantime, the young student artists get a chance to share wall space with professionals in the field in an office that, with its slate-colored walls and contemporary lighting, is a ready-made museum.
1. Sunshine Daydream, by Lyle Wardlaw, local professional artist. Weeden borrowed this piece to round out the opening of Northwestern Mutual’s exhibition. At first glance, the piece seems child-like, a smearing of bright primary and secondary colors in blotches and clouds. However, when seen in full-spectrum lighting, the piece shows fine contemporary details that are best noticed close up.