- by Barney Davey
Working with a corporate art consultant can be lucrative for visual artists.
Learn how Natalie Blake’s, experience worked out for her ceramic art business.
Working with a Corporate Art Consultant Can Be Lucrative
Barbara Markoff is one of the most well-established and well-connected corporate art consultants in Southern California. Also, she and her husband, Rob Markoff, have owned and operated a successful picture framing shop in San Diego for decades.
In 2010, Barbara wrote Becoming A Corporate Art Consultant. It quickly became the definitive book on how to establish a career as a corporate art consultant.
Insider Info for Visual Artists
For visual artists, I believe there is no better guide to reverse engineer how they can get their work picked up by a corporate art consultant.
In 2010, I wrote a blog post about it titled How to Become a Corporate Art Consultant. Vibrant readership in the post continues to drive frequent traffic to it. This indicates a strong ongoing interest in learning about corporate art consultants.
It Pays to Ask
At Barbara’s suggestion, Natalie Blake, a ceramic artist, inquired about a guest post. She explained she had recently worked with Barbara. They collaborated on a successful installation of her work in the healthcare fine art market.
The guest post below is written by Barbara. In it, she describes the job and working with Natalie, including accompanying photographs. While this job entailed using ceramic art, it nevertheless illustrates the possibilities for any visual artist who can deliver quality works designed for specific installation purposes.
Besides the income from the job, which had to be a nice boost for Natalie, the residual effect of having one’s work daily exposed to high income earners in the healthcare market is huge, as is having the installation on one’s resume.
Barbara Markoff, has been a corporate art consultant for 31 years, she owns Artrageous!, an art consultancy based in San Diego, CA. Here is her guest post:
An Interesting Healthcare Corporate Art Challenge
By Barbara Markoff
The following case study was written to highlight how I chose Natalie Blake’s handmade, ceramic wall art tile (www.unaluntile.com) for this prestigious healthcare project.
The six story building is the newest addition to the hospital’s campus which originally opened in 1957. The
state of the art facility houses the Hollfeld Emergency Care Center on the first floor, a 20 bed ICU unit on the 2nd floor, 40 medical/surgical beds on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors and a cafeteria in the basement area.
The theme for the new tower at Methodist Hospital of Southern California was to celebrate and embrace the splendor of the southern CA landscape. Within a 100 mile radius of this facility are mountains, valleys, vistas, deserts, beaches, lakes, lagoons, rivers, parks, gardens, and a variety of vibrant and interesting native plants. The artwork on each floor of the hospital had a specific theme.
For this project I needed to find artwork that was three dimensional, light weight, would protrude from the wall no more than 4”, and would fit into a 72” circular recessed wall across from an elevator.
A perfect solution was to suggest ceramic tiles by Natalie Blake (www.unaluntile.com). Knowing that Natalie
would customize the tiles in terms of glaze color and subject matter made her work an excellent choice for this project.
An art committee comprised of two project managers, the chief operating officer, and hospital staff (total of 12 all together) reviewed each artist for the overall art program. Budget concerns were a factor as well, and Natalie’s work was well priced meeting their allocated cost for the recessed wall. I recommended a series of eight 12” tiles to span the area. Each row of four had a contiguous design.
Natalie’s work was selected due to her ability to produce themed artwork in specific colors within budget for this project. I requested a sample of her work which showed the outstanding technique of carved clay. Having been a ceramic major in college I was very excited about her attention to detail and design execution.
When I showed her sample to the hospital art committee everyone was thoroughly impressed with her ability to produce what was needed. In this hospital project there were four 72” recessed walls within the facility and the decision makers requested a different artist and different art media for each floor. Unquestionably, Natalie’s work was the ideal candidate for ceramic art.
This project was my first one working with Natalie. Having visited her website and seen images of other projects, especially in the field of healthcare, helped relieve any reservations I had in moving
forward. The tile sample and accompanying photographs showing other ocean themed works also made selling her work to my client fairly easy.
From the start I found Natalie and her staff to be professional, communicative, responsive, and experienced in handling every facet of the commission. I especially liked seeing each phase of the project unfold as I was sent images of the unglazed tiles and later images of them glazed. At all times I was kept abreast of the progress.
When the tiles arrived they were well packaged and beautifully executed. Once installed at the hospital the feedback was very positive; in fact they among the art committee’s favorite art pieces.
My company offers art in all media and began working with Natalie only recently. I hope to continue placing her work in my projects. Many of my clients are in the healthcare sector, and Natalie’s work fits right in with nature themed artwork.
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