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Office Building Owners See Value In Art

Article by: CT Post. Photo by: Lindsay Perry


From left, Director of Business Development Gregory McBroom, Owner Valerie Cooper and Operations Analyst Tashina Johnson look at blueprints as they discuss the artwork they will be placing inside at the Picture That office in Stamford, Conn., on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Not all art galleries are found in museums.

Office building owners, companies, hospitals and hotels have turned to art to brighten their environments for their employees, tenants, patients and patrons.

Prior to the recession, businesses and building owners often were eager purchasers of art to display in their headquarters and public areas, but demand dropped with the declining economy, according to Emily Peck, vice president of private sector initiatives of the Washington, D.C.-based Americans for the Arts.

"There was a slowdown. Companies slowed in collecting art, but that's bounced back," Peck said, adding businesses and corporate property owners are increasingly seeing the importance of having art in the workplace. "It gives a company a sense of identity -- how it sees itself and how it tells its core values."

A survey conducted by the International Association of Professional Art Advisors, and theBusiness Committee for the Arts, a part of Americans for the Arts, revealed 82 percent of employees believe art is important in the work environment.

Art in the workplace can help promote creativity in the workplace, Peck said.

"It allows people to think in new ways and promotes conversation in the workplace," she said.

Citing the survey, Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said business executives believe the arts can promote team building and teach different ways of seeing the same issue.

The arts can be an important ingredient in health care facilities, as evidenced by Bridgeport Hospital using the services of Valerie Cooper, founder and owner of Stamford-based Picture That, as an art consultant for its new 120,000-square-foot medical office building on its outpatient campus at 5520 Park Avenue in Trumbull.

Over the next 18 months, Cooper's firm will provide art consulting and project management services in selecting, purchasing, commissioning and installing works of art including sculpture that will grace the lobbies, corridors as well as specialized medical suites including a Smilow Cancer Care Center with Healing Garden and a Breast Care Center.

`Distinguishable factors'

The new addition will serve as a regional hub of an outpatient campus providing ambulatory surgery, as well as support services for patients and their families.

"We have positioned our firm to meet the needs of hospitals and other health care providers that are constructing new facilities and undertaking major renovations in a rapidly changing health care services landscape focused on outpatient services," Cooper said. "When you go to the Smilow Cancer Center, you'll know you're at a Smilow. There will be distinguishable factors in their artwork."

Picture That's entry into the health care sector began in 2010 when the Yale-New Haven Health System retained Cooper's firm to outfit a new facility on the New Haven campus. Subsequently, Picture That installed art in several facilities for Yale-New Haven Health System's network of affiliates including Smilow Cancer Center-Torrington; Bridgeport Hospital's Ahlbin Rehabilitation and Industrial Medical Centers and Yale-New Haven Health System's Compliance at One Church Street, New Haven.

Recently, Picture That completed a large-scale project for St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford for its new 57,753-square foot technology and finance center. Her experience with health care facilities impressed William Jennings, Bridgeport Hospital's president and CEO.

"Picture That has successfully worked with the Yale-New Haven Health System in the past, as well as with Bridgeport Hospital," Jennings said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Ms. Cooper and her team again in selecting the art for what will be the centerpiece of the region's pre-eminent outpatient care campus."

The health care facilities art consulting sector which has emerged as the "busiest and fastest growing segment of our business," Cooper said. Full article can be found here.

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