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"Every single corner of the office . . . needed a piece of artwork," Hedges says. This led to a sort of pecking order of art placement, in which the biggest roosters get the best art. The grander original works are placed in high-visibility areas, where attorneys and clients travel. Brown's personal office holds cherished original work by Mir¢. Attorneys have original work or prints in their offices; the paralegals' cubicles have posters.
Every coffee station and photocopy machine is accentuated by a print or poster; so is every rest room, water fountain and telephone area. The accounting department is decorated exclusively with posters, as is the employee lounge, which Jack Brown designed himself in primary colors.
The collection of originals housed in the hallways outside attorneys' offices features whimsical otters and wilderness scenes by Alvin Eli Amason, an Alaskan artist. A firm favorite is Howard Post, who uses light and shadow to create impressionist works.
The lawyers' lounge is filled with more outrageous pieces, not for consumption by the paying public: bright, geometric sculpture, a table shaped like a cow and a larger-than-life statue of a shocking-blue-suited attorney type.
Firm lore has it that the blue man was originally destined for the reception area, only to be banished by a senior partner; Suzanne Brown and Marley Hedges say he was always meant for the private lounge. Another myth: that Suzanne must approve all art that is to hang in personal offices. Absolutely not, she says.
Lynne Adams, recently named a partner of the firm and assigned a different office, says she always hangs the work of her husband, local artist Bob Adams, on her walls. She's considering a display of his work, composed completely of matches, for her new space.
The firm does not make a practice of loaning its work, Hedges says. "Historically, no, it sort of stops here. . . . Insurance poses a problem, you know."
Some of the Brown & Bain collection has, however, been seen outside the office walls, reprinted on invitations and announcements in a deft marketing move. Artist Patti Cramer's "Face the Music," a painting depicting a musical performance, was used to announce the firm's sponsorship of a Phoenix Symphony performance.
One of the Browns' favorite artists is Richard Bunkall, whose realistic paintings depict the fa‡ades of fading moviehouses. After the firm invested in a luxury sky box at America West Arena, Hedges says, Bunkall was commissioned to create a work that was later printed on invitations to basketball games.
The movie advertised on the marquee? White Men Can't Jump.