The Benefits of Early Art Integration

Michael Whiting deer
Michael Whiting’s pixelated deer at Jackson National Life’s headquarters. Photo by Paul Brokering.

We know (much to our chagrin) that art can sometimes be overlooked in the development of a new space. While we live, breathe and sleep art, we understand the rest of the world thinks differently. That is until you’re standing in the middle of an art-less space wondering why it feels so sterile/institutional/blah/sad/like something’s missing.

Such was the case at One Chase Manhattan Plaza in 1961. Architect Gordon Bunshaft told David D. Rockefeller to “put some art on the walls” to warm the cold, stark design. In swooped former Museum of Modern Art curator Dorothy Miller to save the space with then emerging-level artists Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell and James Brooks, setting into motion a niche industry dedicated to matching companies with artists. An industry spawned from an afterthought.

Andrew Tirado hand sculpture
The Quantifiable and the Ineffable by Andrew Tirado. Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post.

But we dots understand the positive impact of early art integration and keep our eyes on the prize: the future. We imagine the nonexistent, conjure up the crazy, the weird, the wonderful, the stunning, the wild, and we do it months and even years in advance. We’re equal parts dreamer and doer. We’re able to hang a ten-foot long, 300-pound hand from the ceiling at The Maven because we had the right structural support added before the ceiling was closed up. We can have special art niches complete with art lighting created at Four Point Energy because we could contribute to the schematic design. We can have a giant painting wrap a corner at a hotel. We can create drama and beauty with the right lighting at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell because we worked hand in hand with the architects and lighting designers on the project.

Because we like lists (we’re part Type A after all), we’re spelling out the benefits of early planning:

  • Understand the spatial context of the space
  • Maximize the art program’s impact
  • Plan for special needs (blocking, art lighting, recessed niche)
  • Update construction documents
  • Create seamless harmony between the art and design
  • Low risk
  • Easy to implement – we do it for you!
  • No additional costs for our pre-planning services
Adam Buehler abstract painting
Untitled #151 by Adam Buehler. Photo by Paul Brokering.

We spend an inordinate amount of time engaging with a client’s culture, brand, and architecture in our pre-project planning process because art is more than décor. It’s a tool your business can leverage to attract and retain talent, humanize a space, differentiate itself from competitors, create unforgettable experiences, and support the creative economy.