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A meeting of art and business minds

An evening of art with Tom Barnett
Photograph © Jay Williams

An Evening of Art with Tom Barnett, Artist in Residence (2013-2014) at Girton College, University of Cambridge, was hosted by Cambridge Judge Business School on Wednesday 25 June 2014.

The collaboration between the School and Girton College was part of the Cambridge MBA Capstone project by students on the Culture, Arts and Media Management Concentration.

Tom’s work for the evening was entitled Images & Moor. Images represents a new series of mono prints made by Barnett in Grange Cottage, his studio in the grounds of Girton College, while Moor displayed a new performance work incorporating film and music, which took place at the beginning of the evening in the main lecture theatre of the School.

Tom, born London, England 1984, studied painting at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Through performance, drawing, painting, video and installation, his practice broadly investigates creativity and its relationship with human behaviour. His ambitious Images & Moor exhibition celebrates the end of his nine month residency at Girton College.

During their second and third terms at the School, Cambridge MBA students have the opportunity to specialise in a concentration tailored to their interests. The Culture, Arts and Media Management Concentration explores the issues confronting businesses in the creative sectors from non-traditional perspectives, including: globalisation, new technology, brand-building, customer development and exploitation of intellectual property.

The Capstone Project is a practical culmination of the students’ concentration work. It uses a real life case study to explore international business theory and brings together all the learning from the MBA curriculum in students’ chosen area.

Through the project the MBAs gain insight from leaders in art, culture and media to develop their global understanding, explore future career interests and build connections with organisations who may become future employers.

The evening represented a real-life case study and a unique learning curve for the students, as MBA May Chu explains:

“As a business school student, most of time we deal with commercial concepts. It was a great opportunity to combine what we learned to commercialise art and understand the rules of the art world.”

“Tom’s artwork illustrates the beauty of nature, which featured this beautiful environment of Cambridge in which we live, study and grow ourselves. Though art and business seems very different, art can be a great business. I was happy to work with Tom to show people how the academic institution, artist and student can work together to promote art.”