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by | Aug 17, 2018

Selecting Artwork for Your Workspace

Workspace Art: Where to Start?

It’s time. Time to replace the dogs playing poker in the sales manager’s office. Time to ditch the velvet Elvis that adorns the reception area. Unless your office people – and their visitors – have a highly developed sense of irony, that is.

But where do you begin when changing the art in the office? And why?

Choosing art is highly subjective, of course. One man’s prized Rothko is another man’s “How much?! For a red rectangle??” Here at Brooks Corning, we’re fans of more abstract and modern. Meanwhile, your office might lean to more scenic landscapes or classical work.

In any case, let’s look at some reasons and resources for upping your office’s art game.

  • The feels. Ever walked into an office with cool or impressive works of art? It certainly makes an impact – suddenly you’re dealing with a company that you want to be associated with; if they’ve put this much thought and effort into what goes on their walls, it’s highly likely that they do the same with their products and services, as well as with their own people.
  • Productivity. As an article from the Guardian explains, people in a workplace with art worked 15% more quickly and had fewer health issues than those in “lean” workplaces. This figure doubles when employees also have a say in which art is selected and where it is placed.
  • Creativity. Paintings, photos, sculptures, and in particular light installations and kinetic pieces can inject energy and dynamism into otherwise dry or repetitive work environments.
  • Buzz. To maximize the impact of the new art you’re acquiring, consider unveiling it (along with the artists, if possible) with a special customer event of some kind. Maybe invite some local media to tag along too. The images and videos for the event can be re-purposed many times over on social media. Eventually, the exposure you generate and the talent you attract might pay for the art itself.

German investment firm Deutsche Bank is all-in on these benefits and more, as they hold some 60,000 artworks in 900 offices around the world.  

Friedhelm Hütte, global head of art at the banking giant, explains: “Art offers a window into the social, political and economic aesthetics around the world, and this makes it a good inspirational fit for our business because we live on developing new ideas for clients and reacting to what is happening in the world.”

A Calgary-based company brought in a street artist to do a few large pieces for them, and held a wine and cheese with the artist to accompany the final product unveiling. And it all worked: solid image credibility for the company, a fun event with a good opportunity to connect with customers and employees, along with good exposure and support for a local artist.

As for the where, here’s a quick starting point:

  • Saatchi Art is a useful place to shop around online. They’ve got a huge collection of artworks, and they’re browse-able by price range –  below $500 for the budget-conscious office and up to the $5000-$10,000 range for the bigger spenders. You can sort by style (fine, abstract, art deco, and so on.), as well as subject, size and more.
  • CanvasPop is another, billing itself with “inspiring office art solutions.”
  • Your local galleries are always keen to connect with the corporate world, so give them a call and set up a meeting with their curator.
  • For those with a fear of commitment, renting art is also an option. Googling “art rental + your city” will reveal a host of choices, so you can keep things fresh at all times.

We have a few favourite artists of our own, if you’re interested in learning more about the artwork we select for our spaces, feel free to give us a shout. We’d love to help out.

Photo Credit: Artist – Carla Tak