The Process: What to Expect After Engaging an Art Advisor

By Katie Giganti (Sr. Associate)

Imagine you are searching for the perfect piece of artwork to go above your bed. The colors should be in sync with your duvet, evoke a special memory or feeling, and - of course - it should be something you would be happy looking at over, and over... and over again. Now, imagine how difficult that process would be if you had a committee of friends helping you pick artwork, each person contributing their own individual vision and subjective feelings: favorite colors, styles, compositions. Take it one step further and imagine these "friends" are actually your coworkers and you are trying to find artwork that will make each of you have a certain feeling AND will also appeal to all of your other colleagues and visitors alike. Is your head spinning yet?

Enter Artists Circle. Our job is to help you navigate the process of buying artwork; we listen, educate, focus your interest, and present the best artwork answers for your space. We at Artists Circle have superhero art powers: the ability to envision the nonexistent. 

We can conjure up the soothing landscape that your visitors will look at in the waiting area while waiting for a meeting, the whimsical wall sculpture that will make children smile in the pediatric unit, the bold and colorful “statement piece” for your lobby that shouts, “You are here and no other building is like this one.”

So, how do we go about making this seemingly stressful process into something fun and manageable? I consider myself to be a psychologist-artist-designer-architect-engineer-project manager all wrapped into one. Here is how the typical process goes down and because I'm Type A, let me put it into a list for you:

  • Give us a call as soon as you know you will need art or art services. Delaying will result in sub-par results (insert sad face here). Two and half months is ideal if you are moving into a new space. If art locations, lighting, etc. can be integrated into your floor plan even earlier, it makes more a cohesive collection that feels like a part of the overall design rather than an afterthought.
  • We will then go into "pre-project planning, learning and research mode": we will ask you about budget, preconceived ideas about the artwork, and we will scour your website for background information about your company. The design of your space, size of the walls and ceiling will be ingrained in our minds. We will recommend that you keep your art committee limited to three or four people for efficiency (more than that, we find, makes for too much subjective feedback). In our first meeting, we will bring some art images for initial comments so we can get a quick gauge of what you respond to.
  • At this stage, our office is a mess. We have an "idea pile", images pulled from our resource files of hundreds of artists, on the floor because we are visual people and need to see everything laid out.
  • How many meetings can I expect and how long will this take? For a medium sized project of 20K to 30K sf, we will typically do one site visit followed by two or three meetings to select artwork. We need sign-off on the art package approximately four weeks in advance of your desired installation date.
  • Once the art package is approved, we start the nitty-gritty process of procuring everything and reviewing mounting/framing specifications with our framing studio. Once the art is far enough along in production, we will be in touch to set up the installation.
  • VOILA! You now have beautiful artwork on your walls.

See? It isn't too complicated, although I completely empathize with many clients' fear of the unknown in purchasing artwork. It isn't something you do every day and that's why we are here to make the process as simple and efficient as possible. Artwork will only enhance your space, adding to your culture, brand, and provide the finishing touch on top of the furniture, paint colors, and other finishes you select.