Wells Fargo Artist-in-Residence Joins Efforts to Support Diverse- and Women-Owned Businesses

    SAN FRANCISCO (BUSINESS WIRE)– Wells Fargo is expanding its existing efforts to support diverse- and women-owned small businesses by welcoming graphic designer and illustrator Sophia Yeshi as the bank’s first-ever artist-in-residence.

    For her first project as the Wells Fargo Artist in Residence, Yeshi reimagined the “Open” sign as a bold statement to symbolize the perseverance of millions of small business owners through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic – as well as the long road ahead to full recovery. The new “Open” sign is available for download at wellsfargo.com/together and later this summer, small business owners can pick up a sign at any Wells Fargo branch while supplies last.

    The Artist-in-Residence initiative is part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to offer small business owners access and assistance to tools, guidance and resources – including financial grants and loans available from nonprofits via the Open for Business Fund. The fund is a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort for those hardest hit by the pandemic. A list of Open for Business Fund grant recipients is available here to help business owners connect to CDFIs and non-profits so they can explore new avenues to capital and support.

    “I’m honored to continue working with Wells Fargo in their pursuit of sharing the stories of resilient small business owners, and making critical resources available to all small businesses as they recover from the pandemic,” said Yeshi. “It was very rewarding to shine a light on the stories of individual diverse small businesses as part of my recent collaboration with the bank. With the new “Open” sign I created for my first project as Artist in Residence, I’m excited to celebrate the passion and dedication of all small business owners as they begin a new chapter.”

    The Artist-in-Residence initiative follows the bank’s recent collaboration with three artists including Yeshi, Deborah Lee and Gabriela Alemán – who created custom “Open” signs bringing to life the unique stories of diverse- and women-owned small businesses. These business owners, from traditionally marginalized and historically underrepresented communities, were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and their stories are part of the inspiration behind Yeshi’s new “Open” sign.

    Yeshi is Wells Fargo’s first artist-in-residence, and her residency runs through December 2021. In addition to the creation of the new “Open” sign, Wells Fargo will tap into Yeshi’s unique style to influence the look and feel of internal campaigns and design assignments. Yeshi will also provide Wells Fargo small business customers with branding consultations as they reimagine their businesses in the months ahead. The Artist-in-Residence program is part of the company’s “We made a way. Together.” campaign, focused on helping entrepreneurs connect to resources and learn from peers about new ways to evolve their businesses.