Art in the Workplace and in Healthcare Facilities Serves Many Different Purposes

An old debate which is not likely to be settled any time soon centers around whether art should have a purpose or if it exists only for its own sake. The truth is that like beauty, the meaning and purpose of art lie in the eye of the beholder. Art may exist for its own sake, and serve many different purposes at the same time. It can inspire reflection and creativity, soothe and even heal, and energize working and public spaces. Corporate art consultants can help managers and designers to find the right artwork for spaces in healthcare facilities, corporate offices and the hospitality industry.

Art in public spaces
Art in public spaces can serve many different purposes beyond aesthetics. It can inspire, energize, soothe, and even heal. Art in the workplace can boost creativity and productivity and hospital art can help patients and their families to relax and feel more at home. In corporate and work spaces, art design can soften the often impersonal feel and look of public buildings and bring a spark of life and meaning into otherwise dull environments.
Corporate art consultants can help managers and designers to find the right artwork for their buildings, and advise on the entire process, from purchase to framing and display and beyond. Art consultants can also provide valuable perspectives and contacts for security and insurance of artwork.

Benefits of art in the workplace
Art in the workplace helps to reduce stress and boosts productivity and creativity. A study of art gallery visitors looked at the potential of art as a way to provide stress relief. Visitors self-reported their stress levels on entering the gallery and then spent 35 minutes exploring the space and the artwork on their own. On leaving they said that they felt less stressed, and their levels of the stress hormone cortisol also decreased measurably.
This study has important implications for the ability of art to help reduce workplace stress. It correlates with other studies that show workers who have the freedom to decorate their workplace with plants and artwork are 17% more productive than their counterparts working in plain spaces. This shows that art doesn’t only help to reduce stress, it has a positive impact as well.

Art in healthcare facilities
Art in healthcare facilities is intended to serve a very different purpose, promoting a relaxing and soothing environment for patients and their families, and helping them to feel at home. The Cleveland Clinic has a contemporary art collection which includes fine art, prints, public sculptures, and nature and abstract designs, all produced within the past 30 years. A recent survey of patients found that for 60%, it helped to reduce stress.
Hospital art can also help patients and visitors feel more at home, when they might otherwise feel lost in the busy, impersonal atmosphere. Art in hospitals can also be an activity for patients to engage in during the recovery process. A 2013 study by the Arts and Health Alliance found that more than half of the 129 veterans medical centers surveyed had bedside arts programming for patients. Over 40% of the centers had their own collections of artwork.

While art does exist for its own sake, it also serves many different purposes in many different settings. It can promote productivity and creativity in the workplace and a calming atmosphere in healthcare facilities. Corporate art consultants can help workplaces, corporate offices, and healthcare facilities to identify and acquire suitable artwork for their buildings.

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