You know that workplace? Functional but slightly boring. Perhaps it has no art on the walls at all, or maybe the designers played it safe with inoffensive and inexpensive art. Either way, the environment doesn’t foster creativity or engage the senses.
Research tells us that art in the workplace produces positive benefits; enhanced mood, improved productivity, and enlivened creativity. So does it matter what type of art is on display?
Curation vs Decoration
A thoughtfully curated program of original artworks does more than decorate. True connection between art and the business environment can affirm the core aims of the business. When a company talks about innovative thinking, cutting edge technology, or excellent customer service, their art program should reinforce these attributes. Ill-considered art speaks to staying within the comfort zone and disaffirms those values.
Well-chosen art creates an influential experience for visitors and employees. At a recent business function, a guest said that when he saw my large artworks in the boardroom, he thought “wow, this outfit obviously means business”. The young company’s investment in a visionary art program, positively influenced his view on how they run their business in general.
Art silently speaks volumes.
Making Art Work
Art also offers genuine connections to place, local history, and culture. Art that comments on or reflects its local context offers a more complex, relevant, and impactful experience. Good art, carefully curated and considered in context, invites employees and visitors to gaze more closely, to question and discuss, and in doing so sparks connection and creativity.
In this way, art works for all those who engage with it, as well as working for the artist to convey their message, and working for the business by affirming its values.
Art at work should indeed be art at work.