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Set an art budget that pays dividends

This post specifically covers artwork in healthcare facilities. However, most of its content also applies to educational and commercial facilities as well.

There is a growing recognition of the role that art plays in the healing process. But how should you set an art budget?

Great American Art has shared a white paper written by Jessica Dellenbach and Debbie Cerra from the architectural firm of Kahler Slater. The document gives you some fundamental knowledge such as where to place your artwork and how to budget for it.

Here are some estimates of the cost of individual art pieces:

  • Commissioned art: $5,000 – $15,000
  • Original art: $1,500 – $10,000
  • Limited edition art: $500 – $3,000
  • Print or poster art: $200 – $500

Different areas of your healthcare facility call for various types of art. You can distinguish areas of a hospital in a general way by identifying the purpose of the area.
In high traffic, broad exposure areas the focus of the art may be more on creating a visual impact, branding or even wayfinding. If you are using higher-end art like commissioned or original pieces, this is where it would go.

In patient areas, the focus of the art will be more on healing benefits. In these areas, the theme of the art is more important that it’s price tag. You want to emphasize ideas that have been shown to support the healing process.

Estimating a budget

To get a budget for a renovation project you would first need to do an assessment of the spaces to identify the number and types of pieces required. You can adjust your budget up or down by changing the proportion of art being used from each of the above categories.

If you have a new building project and need a ballpark estimate, use $.75 – $1.25 per square foot. For projects requiring a lot of original art or large lobby installations, your cost could be as high as $3.00 per square foot.

More tips for a comprehensive art plan for your facility are in the report.

How we can help you

No matter what your art budget is, we here at Mason, Inc., can be your local resource for developing and deploying a strategy that works for you. We can help you with the art in your facility.

Great American Art designs, produces and installs works of art. They help us create spaces that improve the quality of your workspace and your time in it. Visit our art site and start choosing the art your clients and staff deserve.

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Also, see Great American’s  the Art of Nature, the Art of Spring and the Art of Healing.

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