Art and the Corporate Market

Is your work appropriate for placement in a commercial environment?


Photo by Jennifer S. Beavers

This photograph by Jennifer S. Beavers is shown in a healthcare setting.


Artwork is often purchased by corporations, hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants, government agencies, municipal offices, and other businesses. It may be procured through the efforts of interior designers, architects, curators or building managers. There is an ongoing need for art to create environments that are welcoming to visitors, and that project the brand and the public image of the businesses that buy it.

Artists who have portfolios that are right for the corporate art market may find opportunities to sell original art or reproductions, and they may be able to do this locally. Businesses often want to support their local economy, and act as a “good civic partner” that celebrates and displays the work of artists in their community. It’s good for business, and for artists.

If your art is a good fit for corporate settings (large enough in scale, not controversial or violent in theme, and using color palettes that work well in commercial spaces) you may want to get in touch with professionals in your area who can help you locate and take advantage of sales opportunities in the corporate market. Art consultants make it their business to work with companies to locate, purchase and install art, and that may be a good place to begin your entry into this sales channel.

Do an online search for art consultancies in your area – most big cities have a number of these agencies. Take a look at their website to see if they specialize in a particular market, and the projects they have completed to see if your work may be a good match. Many will accept submissions from artists. Read instructions carefully, and follow them to the letter to avoid rejection or having to correct an application later.

Likewise, you may want to reach out to local interior designers who take on corporate projects. Contact them by phone or email, and see if you can submit a presentation of your portfolio, or ask them to view your website. It is helpful if your website has professional presentation, including in situ photos that show the work in appropriate environments. Stay in touch over time with designers and others who may be able to use your work. They are obligated to provide the type of artwork required by each project they undertake; thus, your work may not be right for most of their clients. Over time, however, you may be sourced as a local artist with a body of work that is a good fit for a commercial space.

If this market appeals to you, do your research to learn as much about this industry as possible. Then, prepare your portfolio so that you can present your work, while indicating that you understand the needs of the client and can deliver work on time and as represented.

The International Directory of Corporate Art Collections is a resource that may be valuable to you in learning more about this market and the art that is purchased in the corporate sector.


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