Which art in which workplace?

Art not only has to hang in museums, galleries and living rooms, it can also play a role in the workplace. But there is no job. If we want to find out how art and everyday working life are related in the , we have to differentiate. Certainly, for example, no nude photographs should hang in doctors’ treatment rooms. Or in a hectic office corridor, it doesn’t make sense to exhibit highly sensitive paper works. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at the respective work environment.

How do I choose the right workplace for an exhibition?

The following criteria can play a role: Is the art seen primarily by employees or also by the company’s customers? Should the art rather enrich the everyday life of the employees or does the company create a higher attractiveness for existing and new customers through the exhibited art? In the first case it is important how big the company is, in the second case the composition of the company’s target group.

These simple preliminary considerations will help you decide whether or not to offer an exhibition of your paintings or sculptures to a company. (Yes, exactly, you read that right: YOU offer it to the company and not the other way around!) In any case, I strongly advise against applying wherever you see art in the workplace or you can see it. In countless doctor’s offices and cafes there are pictures of artists who wish to be noticed – but unfortunately the opposite is often the case. When visiting a doctor’s office, for example, most patients primarily have their illness in mind and they often do not notice the art on the wall more or less than the selection of magazines in the waiting room.

Study of art in German offices

Interesting information on the subject of art and the workplace provides a recently published study carried out on behalf of OnePoll for the office equipment company Viking. The aim here was to find out how much art objects are already represented in the workplace and what people might hope for from art in the workplace. A small area of ​​more or less general art knowledge was also asked to see to what extent these people had already dealt with art. In principle, the survey took place across all sectors, with a large proportion assigned to the education system or trade.

In summary, it can be said that most of the respondents do not find any art at work, but that the majority would definitely rate the presence of art there positively. In the opinion of the respondents, this could increase creativity and productivity and have a calming effect. A total of 72.9% explicitly want art in the workplace. The interviewers were “shocked” when they found that the majority of those questioned (especially the younger generations) could not assign a number of famous paintings to the respective creator (unfortunately no creator) despite their great interest in art. (As communicated to me in an email dated January 24th, 2019) Perhaps this also explains the fact that the majority of those questioned would prefer to see photo art or landscape paintings, because as a “non-art connoisseur” one is most likely to feel an emotional connection.

How can you use this knowledge for yourself?

Even where you don’t expect art experts to be, art unfolds its pleasant effect on people. So there are always new areas that you can tap into if you align your marketing to (d) a, perhaps new, target group. Do not hope for the passing customers of “just any” café, but rather exhibit on the walls of a larger company, where your works of art are seen every day by the same employees and superiors and maybe warm one or the other heart over the course of a few weeks. Of course, a café can also be a great exhibition space – if you don’t save time and money there, do proper advertising for yourself and organize a vernissage for you with a lot of regular customers.