Corporate art collecting adds value to your brand, gives your company connections to the community, supports an artist (may God eternally bless you), effects your work force, and could lead to other business. But you aren’t a Guggenheim? You don’t have to be. Art can be collected at many price points, and a regional art collection can be bought for much less than the “masters” and still be very high quality.
How does one start?
You can start with established regional artists, then move on to support younger ones. I like to introduce variety in an art collection, but there should be cohesion. Your corporate art collection should embody the spirit of the company-perhaps pieces from a well established artist accomplishes this. Perhaps the pieces by a less established artist relate to where you are going in the future. Your business may choose to support the arts in other ways by hosting an art event to unveil their collection, thereby using their art collection to form a bond with customers, the community, and employees. This is an opportunity to be involved in an investment in culture. I have a corporate client that after their fiscal year rolls over, I put in a call to them. They usually have a budget and several office spaces that they are looking to fill. I send over suggestions, and they choose. Their art collecting is slow but steady, and part of their budget.
So who gets to choose?
Good question. The CEO may love art, but the collection should be steered by those that have tenure and longevity in the business. Maybe that is the CEO-or maybe it is a Board of Directors or senior partners. Many large corporations have a committee that meets with executives to make recommendations. In my experience I can tell you right now (one of the perks of my job is I have rotating office walls) that I adorn my own office walls with art that inspires me, and I change it around. I don’t like static design; I love the dynamic. In corporate jobs I have completed, employees tell me over and over again; the art in their work place inspires them-they find it uplifting.
What is in it for me?
Corporate art collecting improves your brand image and gives you ties to the community. It enhances and invigorates the clients and employees that walk through your doors everyday-while every piece you buy supports an artist. If you have a business where you are servicing high end clients, they are going to notice your original art and how it differs from a famous home decor store offerings. Make an impression! Your art collection can also provide opportunities to network-if an artist is recognized by a potential customer it could lead to a connection and other referrals. Your art collection could increase in value- please hear me I have never told someone to buy a piece of art because it will go up in value. I always encourage buying because you love it. I actually insist people love their pieces. However, according to Forbes the value of the art market has increased by 154% since 2003 to nearly $66 billion. Whatever happens, think of the value an art collection could bring to your business and the community.
Until next time, buy art, for arts sake!