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Curating Your Corporate Art Collection

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Curating Your Corporate Art Collection

When you look around your office, you probably have all of the necessities of a work environment- a desk, computer, phone, pens, paper. But something just as necessary might be missing on the white walls around you: a work of art. Art collections are a growing trend in the corporate world, and businesses are starting to realize that investing in artwork goes beyond simply owning a decorative piece. Deutsche Bank boasts one of the largest and most important collections of art in the world with a 37-year-old collection of nearly 60,000 objects. The 35,000 works that make up the UBS collection support the company’s desire “to be supporting living artists at integral stages of their careers.” Overall, having fine art in the office creates a dynamic and empowering environment that fosters creativity and efficiency.

 

A study by Dr. Craig Knight, a researcher at the University of Exeter who has studied the psychology of working environments for 12 years, found that art in the office can boost employee productivity, lower stress and increase wellbeing. In the controlled study, Dr. Knight found that people who worked in an office enriched with art worked about 15% quicker and had fewer health complaints than those in an office without art. Dr. Knight said of the study, “In 12 years we have never found that lean offices create better results; and the more involved people are in the enrichment process, the more they are able to realize a part of themselves in the space.”

 

The realization of being part of the space translates into a more desirable work environment, and companies are even using art as a method of employee retention. Alex Heath, managing director of International Art Consultants, explains, “aesthetic in the truest sense means energy-giving which is what a workplace needs, rather than a bland, industrial environment which can be more like giving workers a dose of anesthetic.” Art that is energizing and engaging directly translates to an environment that engages employees. Companies are even using the intrigue of art in the workplace as a tool to fight against the growing desire of many employees to work remotely.

So how does a business start a collection? Andrea Seehusen, founder and CEO of International Arts Management in Munich, gives her take: “I’d buy a big piece from an established artist that fits the spirit of the company, then smaller pieces from the same artist. Then choose a new artist who points to the future — to where the company wants to be.” Thus, guide a corporate art collection by viewing it as an opportunity for creating a corporate identity.

 

Another important matter is the person, or people, behind the collection. A panel of experts at the European Fine Art Fair suggest that a Board of Directors or a designated committee make decisions of arts purchases, instead of a CEO. Head curator of Dutch Bank ING’s collection stated, “when CEOs change, different focus areas might shift. Strategies can change from time to time, but the art collection ideally maintains its own identity and focus. Therefore it’s best to have your art collection embedded within all levels of the entire organization. Only then the collection creates a culture that defines the corporate identity.”

 

Contemporary art collections, in particular, are attractive methods of getting employees and executives in touch with the broader socio-political implications behind the works of art. In establishing a corporate identity, curating an art collection is a perfect way to engage and retain employees, start conversations on innovation, and splash some color on the white walls of an office.  

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The Artist's Role in Health + Exponential Technology

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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The Artist's Role in Health + Exponential Technology

In a post on ARTSblog, Josh Miller and Theo Edmonds of IDEAS xLab explore how artists can be catalytic agents of change, innovation consultants in a transforming health industry. "Crowd-sourced genomic data, 3D printed hearts, robotic surgeries, dramatic shifts in medical education and population health-the future of how we think about, define, and create health is explonentially changing," they said. For corporations like Humana and GE, artists "have an amazing ability to synthesize seemingly disparate resources, reframe challenges, and expand possibilities."

 

IDEAS xLab's new multi-year initiative, Cultural Blueprint for Health, is an evidence-based portfolio of artist-led strategies to measurably improve community health outcomes.

 

"Consider how pairing an artist-innovator with a genomic research team could change perception, understanding, and participation in crowd-sourced clinical research. How might an artist help clinical care delivery teams reframe challenges around continuum of care. Or, even how artists might help communities catalyze changes in health behaviros to interrupt generational narratives of poor health due to diabetes or cardiovascualr disease."

 

Read how artists can help move the health industry forward in the full ARTSblog post.

Consider how pairing an artist-innovator with a genomic research team could change perception, understanding and participation in crowd-sourced clinical research. How might an artist help clinical care delivery teams reframe challenges around continuum of care. Or, even how artists might help communities catalyze changes in health behaviors to interrupt generational narratives of poor health due to diabetes or cardiovascular disease. - See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2015/12/03/nexus-of-artist-innovation-health-exponential-technology#sthash.UJQt0S1i.dpuf
Consider how pairing an artist-innovator with a genomic research team could change perception, understanding and participation in crowd-sourced clinical research. How might an artist help clinical care delivery teams reframe challenges around continuum of care. Or, even how artists might help communities catalyze changes in health behaviors to interrupt generational narratives of poor health due to diabetes or cardiovascular disease. - See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2015/12/03/nexus-of-artist-innovation-health-exponential-technology#sthash.UJQt0S1i.dpuf
Crowd-sourced genomic data, 3D printed hearts, robotic surgeries, dramatic shifts in medical education and population health–the future of how we think about, define and create health is exponentially changing–which is why we are pioneering new roles for artists in this ever-changing industry and societal landscape. - See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2015/12/03/nexus-of-artist-innovation-health-exponential-technology#sthash.UJQt0S1i.dpuf
artists can become a catalyzing force for making new options visible for - See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2015/12/03/nexus-of-artist-innovation-health-exponential-technology#sthash.UJQt0S1i.dpuf
artists can become a catalyzing force for making new options visible for - See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2015/12/03/nexus-of-artist-innovation-health-exponential-technology#sthash.UJQt0S1i.dpuf
artists can become a catalyzing force for making new options visible for - See more at: http://blog.americansforthearts.org/2015/12/03/nexus-of-artist-innovation-health-exponential-technology#sthash.UJQt0S1i.dpuf
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Classical Concerts at Clinics Can Calm Patients

Posted by Brooke LaRue
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“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley.


In 2008, Michael Silverman, Director of Music Therapy at the University of Minnesota, and Jon Hallberg, Medical Director at the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic, created a program through which students studying classical piano and guitar at the university performed in waiting rooms at medical clinics to help calm patients. The program, which had an overwhelmingly positive response from clinic staff, also provided a way for young musicians to hone their art while connecting with new audiences.


In the April 2015 issue of the journal Musicae Scientiae, Silverman and Hallberg report on the results of a survey they conducted with clinic staff who were involved in the program. One of the results they reported was an unexpected one—patients would often play the piano in the waiting room when the musicians weren’t around. “[This] seemed to enhance staff abilities to initiate non-medical discussion with patients, potentially increase rapport, trust, and therapeutic alliance,” the researchers said.


“I think it can calm people—get their minds off themselves in a way if they’re stressed or unhappy or whatever—which is what most people are when they come here,” one nurse claimed. “It speaks to the soul.”


“An intimate setting, an appreciative audience, a chance to bring a little joy and creativity into people's lives at a time they could really use it—what's not to like? Plenty of research has found music helps people heal; here is one unobtrusive way to jump-start that process,” noted Pacific Standard Magazine.


Read more about the healing power of the arts from Americans for the Arts President and CEO, Robert Lynch.


Has music transformed your workplace? Tell us about it by emailing pARTnership@artsusa.org or using #ArtsandBiz on Twitter.
 

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