Artist Spotlight: Bruno Engler; Mountain Man Photographer

Bruno Engler (1916-2001) was a legend in the Canadian Rockies.  Not only was Bruno an accomplished photographer, but also ski instructor, mountain guide, movie location scout, seeker of avalanches, snow dancer and master storyteller!

Bruno’s life in the mountains began in the Engadine region of Switzerland in 1915.  By the time he immigrated to Canada in 1939 at age 24, he was already a skilled mountaineer and photographer and by the 1950’s he was well on his way to a life-long career in photography and the movie industry.  Whenever a movie production rolled into the Rockies, Bruno would be finding the best locations, taking publicity shots or filming the toughest scenes in the most inaccessible spots.

Over the years his clients included A-List Hollywood stars Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Stewart and Paul Newman, as well as political luminaries such as Pierre Trudeau and Peter Lougheed.  But Engler’s awe wasn’t in famous people, but for the terrain of the Rockies.  “Never forget,” he once said, “that the mountain is still the master.  Mountains make people look small – very, very small.”

While working on his first Hollywood movie, “The Far Country” in 1953, Engler saved the cast and crew from an avalanche at the Columbia Icefield.  Afterwards Jimmy Stewart encouraged him to go to Hollywood, but Bruno declined the offer.  “I could never leave my mountains.”  Hollywood’s loss was the Rockies gain, and the rest is history.

Bruno Engler’s chief legacy is the hundreds of striking black and white photographs he took of his beloved Rockies.  Through them, the viewer can glimpse a world as serenely beautiful as a misty mountain peak on a summer’s day and as suddenly treacherous as a midwinter avalanche.  Long may they illuminate.” (Brian Bergman, Macleans May 7,2001)

At Reflections West Art, we have a vast selection of Bruno Engler’s exquisite Black and White photos of Western Canada’s stunning Rocky Mountains, made available for rent in your Alberta office space or hospitality location. You can view some of Bruno’s greatest works in our Western Canadian Landscape section of the Gallery. 

Hotel and Hospitality Industry Art

All over the world, hotels and those in the hospitality industry have taken advantage of the benefits that come with using art as interior décor in their suites and common areas. Some hotels, such as The Chambers Hotel in New York City boast unique art installations on each floor. Others, like The Thief Hotel in Oslo, display large show-stopping conversation pieces – including originals of Richard Prince and Damian Hirst. In any case, featuring art in your hotel is a clear path towards attracting new guests and encouraging repeat stays.

It doesn’t take long to realize that having art in your hotel not only gives guests the aesthetic experience they are looking for, it also gives them the opportunity to share that experience with their social circles. We are living in a connected time – a time where unless you post a picture (or ten) about your travels and adventures it might as well have not happened. It may seem extreme, but studies show “that the primary role of photography has shifted from commemorating special events and remembering family life, to a way of communicating to our peers, forming our own identity, and bolstering social bonds”. If that isn’t enough incentive to motivate you to create a share-worthy aesthetic experience at your hotel, you should know that “consumers trust their friends’ recommendations seven times more than conventional advertising”. For hotels, this means that when someone posts or shares their experience of your brand within their social circle what they say and share is considered much more credible than what your hotel does. 

By adding art to your hotel, you are also encouraging the space to be a destination, not just a place to crash after a day of sightseeing. The 21C Museum Hotels, in the United States, feature a contemporary art exhibition space that is free to the public. This museum space is attached to the hotel and restaurant. You don’t have to go this far though to encourage patrons to visit your hotel, or make use of its services (restaurants, cafes, spas). You can add art to the lobby of your hotel as well. The Hotel St. George features a dragon in the entrance lobby be renowned artist Ai Weiwei. In Calgary, the Hyatt Regency featured a massive collection of local artists throughout the lobby and in suites. The Hyatt Regency also was an example of using art on display to “intrigue guests, help them learn more about the local culture, understand its history and obtain a visual connection with the place they are visiting”. 

One of the barriers many hoteliers face in adding captivating art to their hotels is the high cost of original artwork ownership. Not all hotels can afford multiple Warhols or a 13 storey high painting (The Conrad, New York City). However, the solution is not out of reach – your hotel can rent art that will make your guests feel connected to the space and place. Reflections West Art provides fine art rentals of original works by renowned local artists. Whether your hotel is in desperate need of conversation pieces, like our Cherise Mia’s, or if you want to highlight the beauty of Canada by featuring a few Bern Will Brown’s, we have many choices for you that will give you all the benefit of artwork at a fraction of the cost.

In the word’s of controversial artist, Romero Britto – “art is too important not to share”. Let us help you make your hotel worth sharing.

Alberta Office Art Rentals for Your Mental Health

It’s been proven that art improves overall mental health.

With the chaos and uncertainty of these days of Covid-19, any opportunity to improve our mental health when considering coming back to the office is sure to be met with a positive reception. 

In many cases this takes the form of art therapy which is “an application of the visual arts in a therapeutic context”(1)

But you don’t even need a therapist to enjoy the therapeutic benefits as there are many things you can try from home: doodling, sketching, making collages, sculpting with clay, etc. There are even a number of adult coloring books that can be purchased for the purposes of stress relief and relaxation.
Another way to derive mental health benefits from art is through adding art to your environment. Studies have shown that in the workplace “viewing artwork, particularly realistic nature scenes, helps workers restore mental energy and reduce stress”(2)

Other studies show that beyond the stress relief factors, “there are five main ways [employees] are impacted by the art in their workplace: the art promotes social interactions, elicits emotional responses, facilitates personal connection-making, generally enhances the workplace environment and fosters learning.”(3)

At Reflections West Art we offer Fine Art originals for rent that will enhance your office environment. In the Gallery section of our website, you will see some of the best in our collection. From oils to watercolours, acrylics to bronzes, you will experience the peace of the rolling foothills, the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and the rich history of the West. Reach out if you are interested in art rentals for your mental health and that of your employees; we would love to get you started.

“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.”
~John Lubbock (1834-1913), “The Pleasures of Life”