Commission Accomplished: Eldorado Gold Corporation

The Art Commission Blog: Commission Accomplished, January 2013
Two-sided glass wall by Markian Olynyk, Eldorado Gold Corporation, Vancouver, BC, 2010. Commissioned by Celine Pitre, Principal, Celine Interiors Inc. Photo: Brad Laughton.

Sometimes a commissioned work of art provides not only a beautiful addition to a space, but also a practical solution. Such was the case for Celine Pitre, Principal of Celine Interiors, hired to design a new office space for the headquarters of Eldorado Gold, an international gold exploration and mining company based in Vancouver. The client was intent on providing a larger-than-normal staff lounge and kitchen for its employees, but Pitre couldn’t position it on the perimeter of the high-rise building as this was is the office’s most valuable real estate. The solution to creating a large, light-filled space for employees? Art glass.

“We came up with the concept of positioning the lounge opposite the lobby, separating the two spaces with a 20′ art glass wall that would allow light from interior spaces to come through,” says Pitre. “In doing so, we created two pieces of art in one, a two-way glass art wall visible from both the lobby and the lounge.”

And when it came time to select an artist for this major creative undertaking, she knew just who to call. “I’ve known Markian Olynyk for twenty years, and I love the variety of textures he’s able to capture in glass,” notes Pitre, who makes it a point to introduce her clients to local artists on every one of her projects. “Markian has extensive technical knowledge of glass, is enthusiastic about collaborating on concept development, and he really respects budgets and timelines.”

For his part, Olynyk sought to expand Pitre’s vision of representing the gold mining process while providing privacy for the staff lounge. His inspiration for the piece came from fractured rock, and the raw gold veins and nuggets embedded in the Earth’s crust. After consulting with Pitre, Olynyk provided the clients with few sketches, a small sample of what the wall would look like, and a budget. After that, he went to work, sweating the details of the project all the way to installation.

“The wall really captures the story of gold,” says Pitre of the completed piece. “Clients and employees intuitively understand the piece when they see it, and are encouraged to talk about it.”

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