A recent trend in the corporate world sees large organizations curating art in their lobbies, hallways, and conference rooms and workspaces. Corporate art has come to serve a similar purpose as personal art, namely to focus, to soothe, and to evoke the emotions and thoughts of a calm and inspired mind.
Corporate art can serve another purpose: it can reflect the culture, essence, and ethos of the company. Art can help reflect and even develop a brand by refining the feeling a company’s leadership wants their products to emit.
Corporate buyers now recruit art consultants that work directly with company-selected art committees. The consultant inquires for the type of feeling the committee wants the art to create, then the consultant goes to work.
If a certain company, for example, wanted to emphasize their global, multicultural nature, a consultant might choose antique textiles, tapestries, shawls, English bed coverings, Indian embroideries, batiks, and ethnographic artwork from locations around the globe where the company has offices.
If another company works in technology or employs a number of engineers, a consultant might choose works in molded or blown glass in conjunction with technological art utilizing computer-generated images, LED lighting, and video.
A consultant then presents electronic images of their suggested pieces to the committee. Companies on a budget have the option to rent artwork over time as part of a master plan to rotate exhibits through workspaces over months or years.
Once art is installed, the consultant offers a tour to employees and clients explaining the art’s context, creation time periods, and the artists themselves. It’s common that employees who become familiar with the art are more likely to enjoy it.
Corporations that curate art in their spaces are supporting the arts in general, which can mean encourage local artists and more public art in the neighborhood where the company’s offices reside.
Three conjoined buildings in Washington D.C.’s Penn Quarter known as Terrell Place, for example, today boast three bronze statues standing in a lobby where a civil rights sit-in occurred in 1951. More than one visitor has claimed the ambient music accompanying the power of the art and the history they evoked brought them to tears.
The growing public consciousness of art’s incredible power on the human mind and soul has no doubt fueled the trend of art in corporate spaces. With luck, this will proliferate opportunities for both established and budding artists to bring their most inspired work to life, work that can push us all toward culling more calm and inspired minds.