Corporate Art Collecting and Commissioning
Few organisations are motivated solely by the investment potential of art collecting, so why do so many successful companies buy art, and what are the benefits of having art in the office?
Why prints – and why us?
One of the most desirable attributes of fine art prints is that they are typically made as an edition, so the price is much lower than that of other original artforms, including painting. Companies don’t need to compromise on the quality of the work they buy, instead the work of the artist is simply in a medium that is less expensive to acquire. The work that we stock reflects the diversity of our artists, from outstanding graduates that join our studio through our graduate award scheme to the majority of Ireland’s best known artists – most of the work that we hold is made at our very own studio, a printmaking centre of excellence!
To enliven the work environment
Artwork has the capacity to improve the workplace, and make it more aesthetically pleasing, and is often an essential component of interior architecture. More than merely decorative – art can stimulate conversation, and provoke thought. Employee sentiment is improved, and many companies wish for the workforce to be encouraged creatively. Some provide information on the works they own, and host talks and demonstrations by artists and galleries to increase interest. We deliver print making demonstrations by our exhibiting artists, as part of our gallery programme, and also run off-site versions of these for our corporate clients!
To promote the company’s image
Art can engage clients, and enhance a particular image, by presenting a firm in a way that reflects its core values – be it as a company that embraces diversity, as an innovator, a sophisticated organisation, a company that is groundbreaking etc. It is also sometimes used as an internal communications tool, to enhance core values within a firm. Publishing catalogues and announcing the visual art activities of a company, are external communication tools that companies sometimes utilize to reach new and existing clients.
To provide support and as a function of social responsibility
Art collecting today is a component of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Companies that buy art provide support to the visual arts. They are also involved in the lending of artworks for public exhibition. Collecting is often linked to sponsorship, which directly benefits the companies themselves through image promotion and also the companies they support. Graphic Studio Dublin is a non-profit organisation with charitable status – our work, and companies support of it, provides tangible assistance to artists, and broadens access to visual art and education about printmaking.
Although we have the largest stock of fine art prints in Ireland, sometimes commissioning new work is more suitable for specific projects – it’s also cost effective. From creating editions for hotels, to the commissioning of artworks to be given as gifts, we have a long history of making fine art prints on behalf of companies.
Below we’ve outlined three case studies to highlight some of the commissioning work that we do!
Behaviour & Attitudes
Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) is Ireland’s leading independent market agency. In an Irish context, their art commissioning practice is unparalleled. We started making their unique limited edition Christmas gifts almost 30 years ago – back in 1989, and have printed a new suite of work for them every year since. To date they have commissioned 29 artists, to make 75 different images, that we print by hand in large editions. Their commitment to the Arts is demonstrated through this long association. The partnership between B&A and Graphic Studio has been widely applauded, and recognised with awards from Business to Arts in recent years: ‘Best Business/Arts Collaboration by a Small Business’ in 2003, and the ‘Jim McNaughton Perpetual Award for Best Commissioning Practice’ in 2008.
B&A take great care in their selection of each artist, some are part of our studio and masters of printmaking, whilst others are very established painters who work collaboratively with us to make prints. They are also proud sponsors the Graphic Studio Dublin Wilkinson Award for printmaking at the RHA. Commissioning achieves a number of objectives for B&A – singling an appreciation of their business relationship with clients, demonstrating synergy between business and the arts, and showcasing talented Irish print artists and various print techniques.
Pat Harris and Maser are the most recent commissioned artists.
Mason Hayes & Curran
Mason Hayes & Curran (MHC) is one of Ireland’s leading law firms. Renowned for their collection of contemporary art, their giving of fine art prints to overseas clients is linked to their desire to support artists at the beginning of their careers. MHC are proud sponsors of the Graphic Studio Graduate Award. They commission an emerging artist from the pool of previous winners of this esteemed prize – the best recent graduate printmakers from Dublin’s Fine Art Degree courses, to work with us to create a series of limited edition prints. All of the work is printed by hand at our studio, and signed and numbered by the commissioned artist. Vaida Varnagiene and Melissa Ellis are the most recent commissioned artists.
A Dublin landmark, the Davenport Hotel is situated right on Merrion Square. The hotel wanted art for its bedrooms, that gave a nod to the historical significance of the building, that was also contemporary, and took account of its unique location. We specially commissioned hand made prints by Elke Thonnes, to occupy 120 rooms at the hotel.
Giving an original print is perceived very much as giving an original gift, it’s clever, and the overwhelming responses that our clients receive from their customers signifies that it’s a gift that is truly appreciated.