Good Art is Good Business

Examining the State of the Art Consulting & Curating Business

Over the course of the nine-plus years we have worked with clients to create meaningful art experiences, the tone and conversation that surrounds art has shifted.


Not that long ago, businesses were applauded for simply including art in their project. Today, many of our clients have formed a new appreciation for the power of art, considering its impact on the experience of a space much earlier in the development process and working closely with NINE dot ARTS consultants and curators to create an expression of their vision, their values and their brand narrative.

For all that’s changed over the last decade, there are still many people for whom the process of selecting art that helps express  their brand remains a mystery. That’s why we’re excited to share with you the findings from the State of the Art Consulting & Curating Business, our inaugural research report examining the attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that shape our business.

We surveyed the opinions of nearly 200 business professionals who seek art consulting services or are responsible for curating their organization’s art program. The feedback we received is that art – and the act of bringing it into an organization or project – adds value in both measurable and immeasurable ways, but a truly successful art experience emerges from both partnership and a strong understanding of business drivers.

Below are a few key takeaways from the survey. Want to learn more? Email our team at to request the survey’s highlights report. You can also download our latest Curatorial Statements by clicking here.

Art pays for itself and adds real, tangible value to projects.

While we learned that return on investment in art is nearly impossible to measure, 67% of those surveyed said they’re ‘certain’ that art adds enough value that the artwork pays for itself while almost half – 47% – believe art adds ROI beyond its cost.

As our CEO Martha Weidmann wrote about in ColoradoBiz earlier this year, art can drive visitors through your front door, improve your office culture orgive your development a leg up in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Art is important, but decisionmakers need to be educated. Only 28% of senior leaders feel ‘extremely knowledgeable’ or ‘very knowledgeable’ about the art curation process. Another 47% admitted to having ‘no idea”’ what the average total budget for artwork in one project should be.

One survey respondent described their concerns when selecting an art curation partner by saying, “it’s critical to be in tune with both the design goals for the space, but also time and budget constraints.”

At NINE dot ARTS, our four step consultative approach is guided by a detailed budget and timeline based on your project scope and project needs. We even help bring your art experience to life and engage your target audience post-installation by training your team members with marketing materials and offering tips for art experience tours.

Art must express my brand, mission and vision.

Nearly two-thirds of our survey respondents said that art that expresses the brand, mission and vision is ‘absolutely critical’ or ‘very important.

While this might sound like a no-brainer, we take your vision seriously. In fact, this work is at the core of what we do. During these initial sessions, we make it a point to outline the vision for the project. Together, we discuss opportunities and challenges, space, budget and timeline. This effort provides a roadmap to an experience that connects art to a brand’s mission, vision and values.

There’s a reason we tell our clients that you can either buy art or you can create an experience. This survey reinforced for us that the experience is where the true value lies.

Stay tuned to this blog and our social media channels as we dive deeper into findings from the State of the Art Consulting & Curating Business over the coming weeks and months.

Martha Weidmann

Martha Weidmann

CEO & Co-Founder

When you’re born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, genteel grace and charm are just a natural byproduct of your upbringing. But Martha’s deep understanding of the art business and tenacious drive for business success are something all her own. As our CEO and Co-Founder of NINE dot ARTS, Martha oversees business planning, company finances, marketing and sales, team development, and is basically our head cheerleader and evangelist to the world. Martha left Alabama at 18 to expand her horizons and graduated from Colorado State University with a dual major – Communications and Fine Arts – to launch her journey. With her two diplomas in hand, she started her career with Walker Fine Art gallery in Denver, then moved on to the most prestigious art consulting firm (at the time) in the region, McGrath and Braun, from which NINE dot ARTS was born. Martha loves the business of art and finds tremendous satisfaction in helping new and emerging artists discover that you can actually get paid for your talent. She also loves using both sides of her brain on a daily basis, which can mean touring an amazing new NINE dot ARTS art experience in the morning and reviewing equally inspiring spreadsheets in the afternoon. When she’s not bouncing from meeting to meeting around our office, talking to movers and shakers in the art world, or giving high fives (with a handmade artistic hand, naturally) to team members, you might find her shopping at estate sales, urban hiking, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, or making cool stuff with her three art loving children.

Martha supports the art community by: currently serving on the Board of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts and serving as Executive Director for Union Hall. Past experiences include lecturer for the Americans for the Arts conference in San Francisco on Art & Placemaking, serving on the Planning Committee for Stuart Semple’s Happy City, speaking on the CBCA Arts and Real Estate Panel, lecturer for the artist education series, Moxie U, and lecturer on Artist professional development for the Pueblo Economic Development Council.

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