Written by Sarah Provost
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Having artwork in your office can do a lot more for you than just break up a blank expanse of wall. Artwork influences the first impression of a visitor as much as what you wear and how you shake hands. It also allows you to create a welcoming environment and express facets of your personality in a corporate setting.

Choosing Artwork for Your Office

Much has been written about the psychology of choosing art for an office environment, but in my opinion, there are three basic guidelines. Choose a piece of art that sincerely interests and pleases you, avoid pieces so common they have become cliches, and Invest in the best quality you can find. Don't forget that artwork is not just limited to paintings, but includes sculptural objects, textiles, ceramics, etc.

If your work is very stressful (and whose isn't?) you might choose a piece that calms and centers you, such as a landscape or portrait. A soothing work is also appropriate if you have clients who are stressed and need reassurance. If your business needs to project high energy, bright colors and abstractions might be best suited. Be aware of all the nuances your artwork may suggest. If sincerity and trustworthiness are paramount to your clients, a wall full of masks might not be the best choice.

Online galleries offer an amazing array of choices, so look beyond the safe and obvious. I recently interviewed two agents. In the first waiting room hung a small print of Monet's Waterlilies. One whole wall of the second was given over to a vintage French circus poster. In a business where boldness, originality and imagination are key, which one do you think made the better impression?

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