Exercising Benefits


In 2002 I was awarded a Commission by the Sprint Corporation Art Collection. The commission called for a photographic work to be installed in a

state-of-the-art 72,000 square foot fitness center at the World Headquarters of Sprint in Overland Park, Kansas, and become part of the Sprint collection. This was the first time a contemporary artist had been awarded a commissioned to create a work for their campus and permanent collection.


The primary goal of the Sprint collection, in the words of curator James Martin, is “to help foster a creative, stimulating, empowering, and aesthetically pleasing work environment for its employees by acquiring high-quality art.” The collection includes a wide range of esteemed artists such as Chuck Close and Kerry James Marshall. The only requirements of the commission were that Sprint employees be the subject of the photographs, and that the work could be no more than eight feet wide and four feet high.


Exercising Benefits was the title of my proposal and the title of the completed work. But like many proposals, the completed work was beyond what I envisioned. I created three sets of triptychs. Each triptych consists of three individual light boxes that include portraits of Sprint employees in the center engaged in the three major areas of fitness activity, aerobic, anaerobic and isotonic (stretching). After spending time at the center working out with the employees and getting a sense of how it is used, I wanted to provide the members of the Sprint fitness center an aesthetic and intellectual experience to compliment the physical rigors of the center.


Each individual triptych is installed on one of the three levels of the center. To have a visual element that would bring continuity to the three works, and to encourage the members of the center to critique the pursuit of the “ideal” body type, each triptych has a center text panel reminding viewers that no body is perfect, average, or the same. The work was conceived and completed over the course of a two-week residency at the corporate campus.