The following Web Exclusive comes from Sylvia Greer, membership chair of the Los Angeles chapter of IFMA and expert on the subject of the role of art in the corporate environment.
“What’s an Art Consultant?” “What do they do?”
These were the FAQs 23 years ago, long before the term “FAQ” surfaced. The implication was “I never had one before, why do I need one now?” Today, everyone seems to know what an art consultant is supposed to do – provide the correct art to complement your office.
As a corporate art specialist, I like to think that we’re beautifying the business world when we complement the reception area of a high rise office building with a custom created multi-media wall sculpture or find just the right environment for a spectacular oil painting. The perfect artwork can be the solution for your décor problems, make your employees happy, and boost your image with clients.
Why Should You Hire an Art Consultant? Long gone are the days when I could take my clients to lunch; now they’re lucky if they have time for snacks at their desks. Save yourself some time and aggravation by hiring an art consultant who will quickly and easily put together a personalized presentation for you based on your specifications, while keeping your budget, corporate image, and branding in mind.
If your company is expanding or moving to a new building, now or in the future, get an art consultant on board at the planning stage. Furniture, carpets, artwork, and wall colors, etc., should all be coordinated for maximum effect. There’s a huge array of styles and prices including signed giclee prints; fine art posters; custom wall sculptures; and historical photos, etc.
Your art consultant can also commission original works to fit your parameters. We commissioned a huge wall mural for a hospital client depicting the history of Riverside County’s pioneers and representing the political jurisdictions today.
Picture framing should complement and not compete with the artwork; many frame shops don’t seem to acknowledge this point. Framing can either make or break your budget; be sure and ask for wholesale pricing.
The installation is crucial; non-professional art installers hang the art too high and don’t know how to install security mounts, which are used to discourage theft and earthquake damage.
What Does a Great Art Consultant Look Like? Your art consultant must be well connected with the community and local artists; don’t just hire a bored housewife who likes to shop the galleries. Work with someone who loves art, is an experienced consultant, and has a degree in art.
Make sure that your consultant will be onsite to supervise the delivery and installation; it’s important not to drop the project before it’s completed. Of course, it’s always easier to work with friendly people who stay in touch, rather than the snooty type.
Another warning – your consultant should carry $2 million liability insurance and so should their art installers. Good taste matters, too!
Isn’t There More Involved Than Playing “matchy-poo” With The Colors? Artwork in your corporate office lifts the business to a higher plane and energizes the mood of your employees as well as your clients. A limited edition print can be selected to harmonize with the colors of your chairs, carpet, and window treatments, and if hung on a colored wall, the art will really “pop.” Colors can match, contrast, and complement.
Art is Very Personal and That’s What Makes it so Much Fun! Color is just one aspect of the art consulting process. What’s your theme – Traditional banker? Cutting edge Gen X? Contemporary sophisticate? Do you prefer warm mahogany or cold steel furniture? An art consultant will take all of these factors into consideration, including the most important question – what do you like and what do you hate? Really!
Beauty is Indeed in the Eye of the Beholder. What you adore may drive your office mate bonkers. Our job is to find just the right artwork to complement your office space and please as many people as possible. It has been said that “ugly” or controversial artwork will gather the local art critics around the water cooler, thus making bad art better than nothing. But why suffer with the bad when you can have the good, the beautiful, and the valuable? You should be inspired, thrilled, and stimulated by your art!
Sylvia Greer Artworks, Sylvia Greer, Corporate Art Specialist, 310-474-6664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.