A corporate art collection can be a great asset to any company.
Art collections provide the opportunity to support your local arts community. When chosen well, it can boost your brand and it helps to create a positive ambiance in your offices. That said, from a corporate governance perspective, it’s probably not a good idea to blow millions of dollars on a Picasso or Warhol painting.
So, what to acquire?
Emerging art is created by contemporary artists who are just starting out. Even though they are believed to be on their way to art world recognition, they are not quite there yet. Consequently, their art is not expensive yet because they usually don’t have gallery representation (or are represented by a small, local gallery) and don’t have the resume to support higher prices.
Read on for three-pointers on how to dip your toes into the emerging art market.
Choose art that supports your company’s mission statement
Unless you’re well-versed in collecting art yourself, it may be worth consulting with a corporate art consultant who specializes in working with corporations, hotels, and hospitals to choose art that’s appropriate for your facilities.
You want your art collection to support your mission statement as a company so that you can use it to leverage your brand and build your company culture for your employees. An art consultant can advise you on any copyright issues that need to be dealt with or refer you to an art lawyer with that expertise.
In other words, don’t just throw a couple of prints on the wall and call it a collection. Think about its purpose and what you want it to stand for.
Don’t forget that an art collection comes with a lot of logistics: insurance, conservation treatments, framing and lighting, and perhaps a part-time art consultant to manage and rotate the collection, particularly if you have more than one corporate location.
Consider what would be appropriate for your offices & culture
It’s not only important that your employees and other key stakeholders in your organization are on board with your plans, they also might want to have a say in what the end result will eventually look like. So before you fly to Art Basel Miami for a spending spree at the art fairs, check what your employees want.
After all, they have to look at it every day.
It’s very important to consider what would be appropriate for your particular organization. For example, anything political or sexual is not appropriate for an office environment.
But, do you want something calming and serene, like abstract art for a hospital, or fun and quirky, for a tech start-up? An art consultant can help you with this process as they’ll have access to the work of many contemporary artists.
Think of your art as an investment, but don’t think of it as an investment
Buying art for investment purposes is a much-hyped phenomenon. The reality is that a lot of contemporary art never goes up in value. Not every artist’s work makes it to the secondary market.
Additionally, even if you do collect artworks that are sold on the secondary market (i.e. high-value contemporary art, Picasso’s or Warhols) it’s important to keep in mind that art has high transaction costs, is a very illiquid asset (i.e. difficult and time-consuming to sell) and the art market can be as volatile as the financial markets.
The chances that you’re going to make big bucks out of your corporate art collection exist, but don’t count on it.
The more productive way to look at your art collection is to think of it as an investment in your company, a visual means to support your brand promise to your employees, your clients, and other stakeholders. It’s also an investment in the visual arts community. If one or two of the artists you bought go up in value over time, great. If not, you’ll still have the enjoyment of wonderful, exciting art on your office walls.
Corporate Artworks can help you with every aspect of purchasing artwork for your collection. Installation, insurance, conservation treatments, framing – we are your one-stop shop for all your artwork needs. Please visit our SERVICES page for more information.
When I watched a PBS documentary about the Medici’s role as the godfathers of the Renaissance, it occurred to me that wherever there is power, there is art, and wherever ever there is art, there is power. Think about it: kings, queens, emperors, titans, and popes throughout millennia have harnessed the power of the arts to influence others, promote ambition, and change public opinion. Moreover, art patronage is good public relations for rulers…and corporations.
Progressive Insurance is a company I admire for its vibrant art collection of world-class contemporary art. Progressive started its collection in the early 1970s, and it has become one of the largest and most respected contemporary art collections in the corporate world. Major artists include Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Kerry James Marshal, Kehinde Wiley, and Shirin Neshat. (Artist links will take you to Widewalls auction results) These works are integral to advancing corporate culture by supporting creativity and promoting innovation and change.
Progressive seeks artists whose diversity of identity and communication reflect those of its employees. “Our art arouses our people to dialogue and debate. Progressive’s collection can be described as compelling, visually unforgettable, innovative, rich in content, and critically representative of the times in which we live.”
As Anurag Kulkarni, a Progressive analyst says, “You cannot be indifferent about art. You look at it, you like it, you hate it, but you cannot be indifferent to it and that’s what art at Progressive does to you. I think what it does is it tells you a thousand different ways in which you can approach it that I would never think of.”
Progressive is the only company I know of that uses art in such a holistic way. The collection is used as decor throughout the workplace, in communications such as their annual report, as a catalyst for employee engagement through their own curated art shows, and through arts-based learning programs to help employees:
Understand diverse perspectives
Empathize with other perspectives
Better communicate ideas visually
Use analogies and relations to see the big picture (strategic thinking)
Can art really make you more creative?
In short, yes! New studies published by the Journal of Business Research (April 2018) on the inspirational power of arts on creativity, showed that individuals with higher openness to aesthetic experiences felt more inspired in their daily lives, and in turn, performed better on creativity tasks. When they were given a painting to look at, before being tasked with creative problem solving, they performed better than individuals who were not shown any art.
Incredibly, simply recalling a personal experience of art generated greater inspiration and creativity compared to recalling typical daily life. Art appreciation extended to a business environment in the study, where it enhanced performance in product design, brand-naming, and problem solution generation.
Collect art in your workplace and pick works that reflect your company’s values and ethos. You don’t want to be seen as bland and boring, do you?
Anyone can collect art. The trick is to have a good eye and the right instincts. Herb and Dorothy Vogel, civil servants in New York City, amassed an incredible art collection over a half-century, by befriending young unknown artists such as Chuck Close in the 1960s, who later became titans in American contemporary art.
Andrea Seehusen, founder, and CEO of International Arts Management in Munich offers this advice: “I’d buy a big piece from an established artist that fits the spirit of the company, then smaller pieces from the same artist. Then choose a new artist who points to the future — to where the company wants to be,” If your budget is limited, consider starting with the works of newer, younger, less-established artists. If you don’t feel confident about choosing art, ask a curator, art consultant, or reputable gallery to help you.
The professional Art Consultants at Corporate Artworks are experts at creating unique, eye-catching, and productive corporate environments.
Whether you want to project an image or enhance your work environment…. we will help you every step of the way.
Invest in your employees. Just like making a home feel like a haven, when someone puts love and care into the surroundings, its inhabitants feel cared for. Spending time and energy creating a space that’s meaningful for your employees can foster goodwill and gratitude. Curating art programs that include staff or employee artwork is not an uncommon request. It happens more often than you realize. Actually, it’s a beautiful way to enhance the work environment, involve employees, and create a wonderful sense of community within the company. If this is something you are interested in learning more about, please contact us today for more information.
Art encompasses a wide variety of media and affects everyone who sees it in one way or another. Employers are starting to add artwork to their offices to increase employee efficiency and creativity while also impressing clients.
1. Art inspires and unlocks creative potential.
The inspiration that one feels upon looking at art unlocks creative potential, helping to generate innovative ideas.
2. Art helps connect with clients.
By hanging photographs in the office or waiting area, a company can make a client feel comfortable and even connect with them on an emotional level.
3. Art affects the atmosphere.
A piece of artwork can add personality to a space in or around the office, making it a gathering place for employees during breaks. Artwork can also lead to employees feeling happy, calm, and content.
4. Art improves employee experiences.
Art can increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and well-being. One survey said that 83% of employees felt that artwork was important to the office experience.
5. Art can be used to promote your brand.
Images of your company throughout the years, for example, often evoke a slight feeling of nostalgia in viewers, as well as emphasize the longevity of your company.
At Corporate Artworks, our staff of experienced, creative art consultants will guide you in selecting an artwork program that reflects your company’s brand and culture, enhances your environment, and projects your success.
Whether it’s fine art, giclee prints, photography, or commissioning a major artist for a corporate headquarters… we’ll get the job done with your goal in mind. From budgeting and selections to delivery and installation – we’ll manage every detail.
Our process is uniquely collaborative and backed by many years of experience and repeat clients.
Contact Corporate Artworks today by phone or email, let’s discuss your needs and how we can make your art… work for you!
Funny thing: Out-of-the-box thinking doesn’t happen in a box.
Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Wolfang Amadeus Mozart didn’t produce their best work in gray, fabric-lined cubicles. Not only are these spaces physically constrictive, but they—by their very nature—cramp the birth of new ideas.
That’s why, at least in Corporate America, that old sea of uninspired cube farms is slowly giving way to open, collaborative workspaces full of art and expression. For many of you, this seismic shift will resonate on an emotional level. But, others will want to see data to back up the notion that an energetic Jackson Pollock or engulfing Georgia O’Keeffe framed art print has any bearing on productivity, creativity, and overall worker satisfaction. This is for you.
1. Art boosts productivity
While it’s not 100% clear why art stimulates employees to work harder and smarter, prestigious universities around the world have shown it to be true. Subjects in an Exeter study were asked to do an hour of work in four different environments ranging from the bare basics to an enhanced workplace with art and plants. The result: Employees worked 15% quicker in enhanced environments. And, they were 32% more productive if they also had personal input on the art in their surroundings.
2. Art stimulates creativity
Seeing things from another person’s perspective can pull you out of a creative rut. Say you’re an employee on your way to the water cooler.
You’ve been thinking about a problem one way for hours. You have tunnel vision. Then, in the hallway, you pass a framed photographic print. Something shifts in your brain and you see a completely different side of your dilemma. You’ve just experienced an instance of art stimulating creativity and, in effect, changing your mind.
3. Art reduces stress
You don’t need cold, hard facts to wrap your head around how a tropical Henri Rousseau or a glimpse of Monet’s famed Water Lilies might have a calming effect on the psyche, not to mention the power to change your physiology (think lower blood pressure), but here’s some data anyway. According to Forbes, 78% of respondents in a survey of over 800 employees working for 32 U.S companies claimed that art in the workplace helped reduce their stress.
Hello, mental vacation.
4. Art enhances communication
Findings from a Harvard University study revealed that because art elicits an emotional response, it can pave the way to more open communication and interpersonal connections in the workplace.
This will become increasingly critical as more Millennials (the under 30 crowd) enter the workforce. Because, studies show that technology and social media are making the largest generation entering the U.S. labor force, less social.
5. Art speaks volumes about your company
According to a survey conducted by a workplace design consultancy firm, 83% of employees claimed that artwork was important in the work environment. However, think beyond aesthetics. If a picture is worth a thousand words, carefully consider what your walls convey. If they’re bare, the message might be “we haven’t quite got our act together.” On the other hand, if they’re vibrant and lined with evocative, richly-hued art, they might say “we’re smart and dynamic.” You get the picture.
Some of you might be thinking, “you had me at 32% more productive.” That’s clearly a management win. However, based on these facts, it’s evident that art can color everything about a business, from employee well-being to how connected individuals feel within an organization. Take all the facts into consideration as you embark on a crusade to canvas your business’ walls.
As professional Art Consultants, we’re experts at creating unique, eye-catching, and productive corporate environments. Whether you want to project an image or enhance your work environment, we will help you every step of the way. Contact us today or peruse our website for more information and to view our portfolio of completed projects.
We asked artists around the world: “What is your role as an artist in society, your local community, and the world at large?”
Every artist plays a different and necessary part in contributing to the overall health, development, and well-being of our society.
Creative thinkers and makers provide their communities with joy, interaction, and inspiration, but they also give thoughtful critique to our political, economic, and social systems — pushing communities to engage thoughtfully and make steps toward social progress.
From documenting human history to expressing collective emotions, these nine artists from around the world tell us how they view their role as creative contributors.
Artists are a vehicle for expressing universal emotion
Art is about connecting with people’s emotions. It’s personal and at the same time, universal.
I’m an expressive painter, working from the landscape and my memories. And yes, my work is personal, although it may not seem so at first. Feelings about my relationship with my mum, dad, and family creep into the work.
It’s a human urge to express emotion through the medium of mark-making. We all carry with us memories of our past experiences.
An artist has the ability to ‘feel strongly’ to be ‘sensitive to things and express this in the paint, gesture, or color. The artist ‘absorbs’ the atmosphere of a place or the memory of a feeling. Sometimes, it’s a burden for the artist to carry all this emotion – to be so sensitive.
Most folks block out emotion. Then, suddenly, a painting ‘speaks’ to them. At that point, the artist has done their job. For me, it is wonderful to connect with people through my work — when people respond to a painting and really ‘feel’. My painting is mainly about my self-expression communicated out there on the canvas, but really I think it is everyone’s expression — I’m just a vehicle.
Everybody hurts. Everybody loves. Everybody hopes. And, everybody dies. Mainly, art is about our own sense of mortality.
Lesley Birch, York, UK
Artists are responsible for unearthing the truth
I believe that the artist’s role, above all things, is to be as true to themselves as they can — within society, the community, and the world at large. This sounds like a cliche but is in itself much harder than it seems.
Being an artist involves wearing all sorts of masks, just like any other job, but the difference is we have the lingering responsibility to unearth the truth of things. Sometimes we will seem vulnerable, sometimes we will make mistakes. But the main thing is not to give up.
This resonates with people on a personal and global level, because it is not only empowering but starts from inside ourselves. Before deciding to follow my own artistic path, I co-founded a community arts cafe. This was an amazing experience in itself, but as it wasn’t my true vocation I felt there was a limit to how much I could give. This is because I started from the outside in, trying to fix things around me, before realizing I needed to tap into something central to myself.
Artists work to illuminate the margins and make societal change
Rather than the word “role”, I prefer “commitment”. Over many years as an arts educator, I have helped people and communities find their voices and express their concerns through individual and collaborative art projects. This used to be called public art. Now, it is often known as social practice.
My own work is rooted in feminism – where expressing my emotions, goals, and ideas, in the realm of the personal, social and political, is an exercise in communicating my individual experience. Working with artists and in art spaces in other parts of the world, beautiful exchanges of ideas often happen –which creates artistic growth, empathy, and new understandings.
All of these acts can illuminate what lies hidden or repressed in the margins or shadows. New ideas can be brought to life. These ideas can lead to small or large changes in attitudes and even society.
They tell stories and pass on traditions
Holland is a crowded space. Our history is filled with stories about how we made land out of the water and tamed the deadly seas. Honored by writers, poets, and painters. The word ‘landscape’ stems from the Dutch word ‘landscape: View of the land. It was invented here in the 17th century, with low horizons and great cloudy skies.
Millions of landscapes were painted here by the great masters as Rembrandt, Ruysdael, Hobbema, Weissenbruch, Mauve, van Gogh and Mondriaan. All were inspired by our flat landscape and big horizons. It is this centuries-long tradition in which I stand. ‘Creating the Dutch landscape’ is my motto, my theme, and my life.
But, our landscape is changing. Our ever-growing population is altering the look of the land. Cities grow and our landscape history is sinking beneath concrete, buildings, and tarmac.
So, as an artist, I not only want the world to see the beauty of the Dutch landscape, I also want to grow awareness about the lasting visible traces in the landscape. From our 5000-year-old megalithic monuments to our recent day modern windmills. As a photographic detective, I search for stories about our landscape.
We have to be careful with this landscape which is difficult with so little space and more than 17 million inhabitants. That’s why I decided to donate 10 percent of all my income to the organizations that protect the Dutch landscape. That’s the least I can do as an artist — to protect the horizon.
Maarten Westmaas, the Netherlands
Artists connect with and inspire people globally
As we live in a global village, we are somehow all connected via some form of social media. Artists are no longer hermits and we are all “out there [in the world]”. I hope my role as an artist is to inspire, connect, and collaborate!
My abstract works are paintings and drawings at the same time. Paintings of geometric and organic shapes and lines, composed of layers of ink, acrylic, and other mediums allude to the gestural surface marks of Abstract Expressionism. My paintings reflect not only the radical conflict between the two “colorless” colors (black and white) but also their interaction and interdependence. There is a historical richness here, the temporal quality of landscape ink painting, the physical strength and boldness of the black ink, and its generosity and infinite possibilities.
Shih Yun Yeo, Singapore
Artists record and preserve our human history
We live in an ever more intricate society where every individual regardless of its specific role plays an important part in the social biodiversity of the world.
Artists have been crucial from the very beginning of our existence. From prehistoric cave paintings to frescos around the world, to scientific drawings, to the avant-garde movements, artists have contributed to expanding human evolution from many different perspectives.
This expansion, much like the universe, is still going on and artists still play an important role. I see myself as part of a community whose work as a global force contributes to this human growth.
There is a crescent complexity in the way the art world evolves and the myriad agents who orbit around it are intimately interlaced with artists and their production. Although artists typically work alone in their studios, they are part of a much larger community and they play a much larger role than one might anticipate.
Bruno Castro Santos, Lisbon, Portugal
Artists offer messages of hope
I take my role as an artist very seriously, although I still have endless amounts of fun and experience great joy in my studio. I try to be very thoughtful and socially and politically aware of my surroundings. Whenever I experience feelings of discomfort in my life, I need to find an answer by transforming those feelings through my art.
An artist’s role is almost that of an Alchemist — capable of transforming a few humble materials into objects which are imbued with spiritual and aesthetic value and then possibly also material value.
I prefer to be a harbinger of good news and hope, in this increasingly broken world of ours and I find that images have immense power to restore collective emotional pain and lift the spirit.
Because I transform my own anguish concerning the present and also the future into something tangible which is simple, hopeful and beautiful, my role is to offer through my art and without being superficial, a message of hope to society, my community and the world at large.
Aleta Michaletos, South Africa
They are ambassadors of the natural world
I have always lived within walking distance of the ocean. I feel my role as an artist is to be an ambassador for the natural beauty that is found here. I paint out-of-doors as often as I can to get the clearest vision I can of my surroundings. That helps me capture it the most the highest level of truth.
I make my paintings to capture the parts of our landscape that I cherish and find beautiful. In doing so, I am preserving views that may disappear without notice. Think of all the paintings made of the Northwest landscapes that are no records of what those environments looked like there before the wildfires that have swept so much of that part of the continent.
One of my recurring subjects is the herring weir, which is made of nets to catch wild herring. The weirs are largely unique to the Bay of Fundy. When I was young there were herring weirs everywhere; they were commonplace. Now, they are almost all gone. I now have to travel a fair distance to paint the remaining ones while they are still here. These rather odd assemblages of netting might not mean much to people who have no connection to this area, but they are instantly recognizable to the people from here, who find great meaning in my paintings of the weirs.
I go out to paint the things that I find beautiful, never knowing what might someday become extra special because it, too, may no longer be easily seen outside of paintings. I put my paintings out into the world so that people who will never get a chance to come here might still be moved by the views of this place.
Poppy Balser, Canada
Artists create a sense of community
There are many roles that an artist fills. But, in smaller cities, having local artists brings a sense of pride to the community. It also sets examples for young people who might be considering careers in the arts. Artists support their communities by teaching their art and craft.
Also, in most communities, there are auctions that benefit local causes and charities, and donations of art by local artists are some of the most popular items at these auctions.