Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Crash Course in ... Bringing Art to the Workplace

Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Crash Course in ... Bringing Art to the Workplace

Article excerpt

The lugubrious portraits of your last five chairmen are a brooding presence in the boardroom, while the Constable prints in the corridor are just so 19th century. It's time you thought about brightening up the workplace with some fresh art.

Take stock. First, make an inventory of what you already have, and its valuation. Says Andrew Hutchinson, director of International Art Consultants/Art for Offices: 'We sold a single Lowry for one client, which was enough to fund an entire contemporary collection.'

Work out the why. The most common business benefits achieved by art at work are the projection of a positive image to clients and other external audiences, and improved morale among staff. Decide what you're trying to achieve, and who your audience is.

Assemble a brief. Unless you have lots of time and in-house expertise, you'll want to call in the specialists. 'We would want to know the style, the subject matter, the medium and the budget,' says consultant Tom Tempest Radford. 'Choosing art is very subjective; our job is to make it objective.'

Don't form a committee. Keep decision-makers as senior and as few as possible. 'You can't ask 3,000 people to decide on every picture,' says Hutchinson.The chairperson can choose, so long as he/she subjugates their taste to what's right for the business.

Be bold. Art that's wishy-washy is a waste of space. 'Good art is a symbol of success,' says Colin Tweedy, CEO of Arts & Business. …

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