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Why Art Collections Benefit Companies of Any Size

Clear Guidance From an Art Consultant

It happens. You build your corporate identity, hone your mission statement and nurture your company culture. Then one day, you look around and feel like something’s missing. Your office doesn’t reflect the tone you’ve worked so hard to set. From your employees to the building that houses you, every aspect of your company tells a story about how you do business. Your corporate art collection can and should be a vibrant chapter of that story. But where do you begin? Buying art for a public business setting is much different than purchasing art for a home.  It’s about more than making a room look pretty or finding motivational art posters to hang on office walls. Searching for options and deciding on an aesthetic that best conveys your brand identity and culture isn’t an impulse purchase.

Here’s How to Kickstart Your Art Collection

Starting from scratch? Or adding new pieces? In this guide, I share helpful tips on how to choose art for office and corporate spaces. Along the way, I’ll explain how your company benefits from building an art collection.

Oh, and just to be clear, building a corporate art collection is not JUST for multi-million dollar businesses with miles of wall space. Any size business can begin with moderate funds. In fact, a local animal hospital has a colorful and uplifting set of original paintings adorning their waiting room. That qualifies as a corporate art collection.

Andrea Bogart, Founder/CEO Embrace Creatives
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Pictured above: 'Turning the World Upside Down III' by Anish Kapoor and 'Biotin-Maleimide' by Damien Hirst in the Deutsche Bank, London art collection via https://www.fnlondon.com

An art collection extends your brand message.

Branding is not just a buzzword. Offering outstanding products and services is a piece of it. As you likely know, communicating a compelling story also means engaging customers as well as employees. Creating an environment that further defines your brand speaks volumes too.

A cohesive thread that runs between the mission statement on your website to your social presence to your office and beyond, builds trust which increases your client base and in turn generates additional revenue. So, before you start investing in an art collection, it is important to clearly outline your company’s values and identity and what your brand represents.

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Pictured above: Commissioned mural for Doner Advertising in Southfield, Michigan by Tristan Eaton, Los Angeles based painter & designer. https://tristaneaton.com/#/doner-mural-detroit/

Personal Story: People can literally feel your brand. I recently visited a law office that specializes in family law (divorces, wills, elder law, protection from abuse, etc.). We met in the firm’s larger room where he typically hosts client meetings. Immediately, I felt forlorn and cold. Why? The grey walls were dotted with black and white, cool-toned Ansel Adams prints. Although masterful, the photography didn’t convey the secure, trusting and compassionate message I would expect from a firm trying to build warm relationships.

Hang on to happy, productive employees.

Do your employees smile on their way in the door every day? Does a potential hire get an instant feeling that your company cares? Do your clients and vendors feel excited to visit your building? Making a great first impression on everyone who matters to you is worth a great deal. It inspires loyalty, which can be priceless. Post-pandemic it will mean even more as we persuade people to reconnect again at the office.

Research shows that art can improve employee productivity by 17%. In a separate study conducted by Cass Business School in London, 64% of employees agreed that art in the workplace made them feel more motivated at work. 

When growing your corporate art collection to support your corporate culture, it’s important to keep all this in mind. There’s a return on investment you may not have considered.

Start where your visitors arrive.

Building your art collection is a lot like building your business. You strategize for growth and create a clear strategy for sourcing artwork that stays true to who your company is. Do a bit of work up front on the type of art you want to acquire and how each work supports your goals.

Think through where art can have maximum impact. What are the high traffic areas or rooms that need a certain aesthetic?  Often, it’s a lobby, waiting room, or large conference room. That’s where you’ll want to place the first pieces in your collection. Then you can move on to secondary focal points like hallways, breakout rooms, smaller offices and employee kitchens.

Next, measure the areas where the art will be showcased and think through wall or floor size. A large wall may call for a single large piece or for the more adventurous, a series of smaller pieces will work as well. An open space with a high ceiling may benefit from a floor sculpture or an impressive glass piece hanging down from the ceiling. 

Now, on to color. What story is your company telling? What colors reflect that story? There’s no need to sync the artwork to your logo colors. Instead, use the emotion of those colors to inform choices in your art collection. Conservative companies like accounting firms might choose low key, non-judgmental abstract pieces that support their brand color scheme. On the other hand, a more outspoken media company can source bolder, thought-provoking pieces in bright colors.

 Learn more about color trends.

When you grow your collection, think about how supporting local artists resonates with clients and employees who care about the surrounding community. If you’re a global company, finding overseas pieces to showcase your company’s global reach will be noticed and send the right signal.

Art Consultant Tip: Don’t get all matchy-matchy. You run the risk of your art collection ultimately becoming invisible by repeating the same colors and styles in every area of your office. Choose pieces that have synergy and hang well together but do not look exactly the same from room to room.

Try an Executive Art Consultant to save time and money.

For those who don’t feel confident choosing art on their own, working with an art consultant is the easiest way to build a corporate art collection. There is quite a bit to consider creatively, financially and strategically and you’re uber busy moving your company forward. An art consultant will guide you through the art buying process with a bevy of diverse options. This professional will then also manage any commissions, handle delivery and installation, while also ensuring that your budding collection meets your financial and brand goals, and space needs.

Art consultants take the time to truly understand corporate customers. They get to know your likes and dislikes, as well as what you want to “say” to your clients and employees through your art choices. Educating clients on the various techniques and medium types is an important piece too. In addition, an art collector connects you to each artist’s story, building an emotional bridge to each piece . In doing this, you get more than an art advisor, you get an art partner.

You Don’t Need Deep Pockets To Get Started.

You can build your corporate art collection easily with any investment amount. Did you know that you don’t even have to own the artwork? Renting art is a perfect way to support the local art scene, enhance your brand identity in your space and offer variety and excitement. If you’re not quite sure of the size or style you want, it allows you to test an art grouping. Renting can increase the comfort level for those new to collecting and can be less financial commitment when building your collection.

According to cognitive neuroscientist Aracelli Camargo: “Any space without change can become un-stimulating with time.”  Periodical rotation of artworks can make the office more visually interesting and subsequently “more neurologically stimulating,” Camargo claims. By using rented art, changed out bi-yearly, your office will feel like it’s constantly evolving.

An art rental program also means that you don’t have to remove art that may become dated. However, be aware that there’s a cost of repeat installation/deinstallation with rentals that purchasing artwork outright avoids. And remember, if you fall in love with artwork while renting, there’s always the option to make it yours.

Your Corporate Investment Supports Artists Too.

Some corporate art is viewed as a financial investment. It’s also a human investment. In addition to inspiring employees, welcoming clients and enhancing your brand, you also support artists themselves. Office art provides important support for living artists who are dedicated to their craft. It makes life worth living and helps artists make ends meet.

Investing in a corporate art collection, even modestly, is a financially sound and completely satisfying decision all around.

This article was written by Andrea Bogart, professional artist, art consultant and the founder of Embrace Creatives, matching you with original art to love.

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