Corporate Art Advice Art Blog
As the resident art consultant for Minds Island, I thought it would be a good idea to share what I feel is relatively important information for artists to know. For almost 15 years, I have been placing art in a variety of healthcare facilities from specialty hospitals to nursing homes, corporate offices including Fortune 100 companies, and upscale small hotels. I am always looking for new art and artists with whom I can work since it is essential to my business. I need to be very conscious of my ability to present fresh, new work to established and new clients.
Unlike a gallery that generally represents a few artists, I, as an art consultant, represent my corporate client. Consequently, like 90% of other art consultants, I do not have a brick-and-mortar store and do most of my business from my home office. This makes it a challenge to make contact with artists outside of the region from where I work. I would love it if more people would come to me, but the reality is, I'm hard to find, just like many of my competitors. And because I am so often very busy, I find it extremely difficult to find the time to visit open studios and outdoor shows, as much as I'd love to schedule them into my calendar. I do, however, make it a point to attend Art Expo every year, as many gallery openings as possible and I do peruse the premier trade magazines such as Art World News, American Art Review and Art News.
I have, however, found a less time consuming way to discover new art and new talent. In one word, or rather two words __" the Internet. It has become an integral part of my business. The advent of this technology has made my job of locating images easier and it facilitates the compilation of a slide presentation that can be emailed to a client for the ongoing art selection process. The usual cumbersome procedure of scheduling face-to-face meetings to review and cull through hundreds of images with all members of a selection committee has been made easier with electronic presentations. Much of the initial groundwork to eliminate and select images can now be done at the convenience of the client on a computer. Once the client expresses an interest in something, I can then contact the artist.
At the point where I need to show the client actual artwork, I prefer to have it unframed. That's right, unframed. Generally, when working with corporate clients, the whole process of looking for art includes selecting the proper framing. The corporate facilities people (design and planning department) along with the architect have preconceived ideas about what they want the space to look like. This includes everything from architectural detailing down to the wall and floor treatments. Aside from that, when I__™m putting together several (sometimes 1-2 hundred) pieces of art together for a presentation, frames can make my job TERRIBLY cumbersome, not to mention heavy. I will show art framed, but I definitely prefer it unframed.
I am presently working on a very nice project and we have already twice gone through several hundred images electronically. We have narrowed it down and I will now begin contacting artists to arrange getting the actual pieces. I will continue to put together electronic presentations to further the selection process until we finalize the whole collection.
So, if you__™re an artist, and you have a cyber studio or website that is acting as your business card, it is probably working for you. and you may not even know it. Having available electronic images of your work is helping streamline my business dramatically. I can store information without taking up valuable space in my office, and I can easily find and transmit this information at my client's convenience. If you are considering being 'found', or if you prefer, 'discovered,' continue to use the traditional methods of getting your name and work out there by participating in as many open studios and art shows as possible. And whenever you can afford it, advertise in one of the better trade magazines. And if you don't already have a presence on the Internet, do it now. The time is right, and the trade is using it.