Facebook hires Guggenheim’s Tina Vaz to head its artist residency program

Facebook hires Guggenheim’s Tina Vaz to head its artist residency program
Leading lights  -   Artists

Artwork for Facebook’s many offices across the globe is now the task of the company’s Analog Research Lab, which was created by former Facebookers Ben Barry and Everett Katigbak in 2010, in the run-up to the company’s F8 2011developers conference.

Art has always been a key component to Facebook’s workplace culture, dating back to 2005 when graffiti artist David Choe was commissioned to paint murals in the company’s headquarters at the time. The story made headlines because Choe accepted Facebook stock in lieu of cash payment, later netting him some $200 million for his work.

Since then, artworks for the company’s global offices is now the responsibility of an in-house group called the Analog Research Lab. The group was created by former Facebook employees Ben Barry and Everett Katigbak in 2010 as they were preparing for the company’s annual F8 conference.

Analog Research Lab has only grown since then, encompassing a wide array of projects that span poster work for offices all the way to site-specific installations and artist residency programs. The company announced that Tina Vaz, the former deputy director of global communications at the Guggenheim Foundation, will be heading Facebook’s artist residency program as well as the Analog Research Lab.

Vaz will be joining Facebook after more than eight years at the Guggenheim, where she has managed its marketing, public relations, and social media initiatives. She has also been responsible for the communications at the BMW Guggenheim Lab and the Guggenheim Helsinki and Abu Dhabi projects.

Jennie Lamensdof will also be joining Vaz’s team coming from New York real estate firm Time Equities after serving as its director of artist residency, looking after similar efforts but far smaller in scale.

Facebook’s residency program was established in 2012 with aims to commission site-specific installations and art works for company offices and surrounding areas. Criteria for the works they commission must explore “human connection and community, express and cultivate empathy, and represent diversity of experiences and help raise social justice.” Facebook has so far commissioned five hundred artworks globally and has planned two hundred for 2019.

“As a community of builders and a catalyst for connection, Facebook has much to contribute to the global dialogue about the vital role of art in advancing ideas and innovation,” Vaz said of her appointment. Lamensdorf said: “This is an incredible opportunity to support the artists and designers making the most important work of our time.”