Nov 16, 2012 • By

Artistic bowls in our cafeteria

A busy-looking wall on the edge of the cafeteria at our headquarters might make a rushed employee slow down.

There’s a whole lot to look at!

When the cafeteria went up a decade ago, the architect planned for a simple, ceramic tiled wall. That changed when Don McNeil, the company’s art curator, took a glimpse at the plans. He thought the wall would be the perfect place for a mural.

Don met with some ceramic artists and selected Megan Bergstrom to create something on the wall. He was expecting a two-dimensional piece made of ceramic tiles. Instead, Bergstrom came up with several indentations or vitrines.

“We had to make sure that construction was at a point where we could still take advantage of that. Fortunately it was,” Don recalls. “We could go back in and create these vitrines that she needed and actually light them as she wanted.”

The piece is titled “Retro-fitted movements” and is based on a variation of bowls.

“Of course, bowls are not only very important to General Mills as far as what we do as a company, they’re also very significant about the activity that happens here in the cafeteria, the servery of the cafeteria.”

The bowls also represent various periods in art history including pop art, minimalism and futurism. Don elaborates on the piece, and the movements it reflects, in this video interview.

Bergstrom’s wall of bowls is another example of the brilliance behind the commissioned art pieces in the company’s art collection.

“What I really like about it … it’s more than I imagined, which is another great thing about commissioning art. Frequently, you get more. That’s what artists do. Artists are imaginative thinkers, and they think about things we don’t.”

Editor’s note: We highlighted some of Don’s favorite pieces in the company’s art collection in a series. This was the first post in that series. This was the second post in that series, here’s the first, third and final post.

Don talked about the purpose and function of art at General Mills in this post. And, we featured five of the outdoor art pieces on the General Mills campus back in July, beginning with this post.