As I started to focus on providing art for HealthCare I quickly realized that much of the art is selected by Art Consultants. To learn more about them I interviewed Barbara Harriman who is an Art Consultant and is president of Distinctive Art Resources.
HD: Why would an Interior Designer subcontract the art selection and installation to an art consultant?
Art consultants can become strong allies with project architects and designers. By selecting an art consultant, designers and architects are able to provide design direction to the art program without expending costly production hours. Art consultants have vast artist resource libraries and connections with art communities which allow them to offer a wide variety of selections / solutions in minimal amounts of time. An art consultant’s expertise paired with their resources can result in saving the client time and additional fees while providing creative art options and solutions. Turnkey art consultants also provide the luxury of using one source for all art needs, including installation.
HD: What percentage of your work is for Interior Designers / Architects?
HD: What percentage is for Facility Owners?
HD: How does one find an art consultant?
It is the art consultant’s job to HELP facilities create an art program that surpasses their expectations so an art consultant should be chosen based on their ability to offer creative suggestions and solutions while remaining within budget and on schedule.
Facilities and architects / designers should look for an art consultant who actively seeks direction from the facility (art committee) and the design team, as both have been integrally involved in the project long before the art consultant’s arrival. Other criteria to consider when choosing an art consultant:
- Do they work only in Healthcare?
- Do they select art based on research informed decisions so as to mitigate stress and offer the possibility of improved patient outcomes?
- Do they have a history of completing art programs on time and within budget?
- Is their pricing competitive?
- Do they charge consulting fees?
- What do past clients say about working with them?
HD: For healthcare projects, is it important to find someone who specializes in Art for HealthCare?
Absolutely as art can not only enhance healing environments but can also be integrated with marketing strategies by becoming the visual face of a facility.
HD: What percent of your work is HealthCare?
HD: Any suggestions on how to best work with Art Consultants?
Contact an art consultant early on in the project for budget information. Even if it is not time to begin developing the art program, an art consultant can help define realistic budgets as early as the design development phase. OR
Once you are ready to begin working on the art portion of a project, contact the art consultant to discuss process as well as the project’s scope, style, interior finishes and expected completion date. The art consultant can then provide you with a suggested project timeline and additional budget information.
HD: How are Art Consultants paid? Per hour or a percentage of sales?
This varies between art consultants. I can only speak for Distinctive Art Source. Typically there are no art consulting fees involved with our services. Our costs are covered in the price of purchased art. Due to our high purchase volume, we are able to pass considerable savings on to facilities. Should a facility request specific services (such as an art inventory, call for artists, or creation of a community art gallery), we will provide a proposal for the requested services with minimum and maximum fees defined.
Original or commissioned art is often sold at cost plus a percentage or at cost plus an hourly fee (for time spent finding and commissioning the artist).
HD: Anything else you would like to add?
A healthcare art program is successful when positive responses are optimized, stress is mitigated, way finding is enhanced, goals are achieved, budgets remain intact and expectations are surpassed.
HD: Could you tell me a little about your Art Consulting business?
Distinctive Art Source, a national art consulting firm, works exclusively in Healthcare. While our focus is creating Patient Based art programs (centered on research and owner / architect / designer input), our goals are twofold: to bring unexpected art options and solutions to each project and to involve the local art community whenever possible. Our firm’s architectural background is structured to blend seamlessly into the design process providing owners with necessary budgets and timelines right from the start. Budget’s and schedules are important to us; we do not exceed budgets and we do not miss deadlines.
Tradescantia_1568 (illustrated above) is one of the images that Barbara selected recently. She had it printed on canvas and sized 66 x 43-inches.