Art is a universal pursuit of the human race, and art of all sorts has been made for purposes of religious faith, upholding social norms, entertainment, sharing moral stories, political protest, and much more. It can take any form, from musical performances to poetry to sculpture to paintings, and today, high-end art is often framed paintings and photographs in museums. This is often what people imagine when they hear “art,” and paintings are indeed a popular form of it. In the U.S., artists from all different backgrounds contribute to the broad notion of “American art,” making it famously diverse. Art galleries from San Francisco to New York City to Miami are sharing art by famous artists and newcomers alike, and art exhibits are sometimes dedicated to artists from a particular background or time period. Art by Latin Americans may be popular in Florida, for example, and African American art has a strong presence in museums, too, as well as Asian American art. How can these artists improve the lives of everyday Americans who view their works?
The Art Industry
The running joke of “starving artists” isn’t always true. In fact, as of 2017, the worldwide art market was valued at close to $64 billion, and in the U.S., some 113,000 nonprofit art organizations are employing close to 2.2 million artists in the workforce. Artists range widely, from household names who make high-value pieces to local artists who are hoping to become “the next big thing.” Countless American artists, even if they don’t become household names, can gain local recognition and get their works into museums and public spaces, and those nonprofit art organizations can help them succeed.
What sort of art is being showcased? Around the world, paintings dominate private collections, since paintings appear in 83% of all art collections, far more than collages, drawings, and works on paper. Many of these collections are big, too, with 53% of them having over 500 pieces in them. Artists from many nations are represented in these collections, and Americans in particular dominate; they appear in 40% of all art collections around the globe. But even if a person doesn’t own a private art collection, they can easily find art to enjoy in a gallery or a public space, and seeing art can make them feel much better. How?
Art and Health
Viewing attractive art has many benefits on the human body and mind, more than many people might realize. Studies have been done, and they show that viewing pleasant art for half an hour or more can lower a viewer’s stress levels, including their cortisol levels. What is more, blood flow in their brain is altered to make them happy, a similar effect as looking at a loved one. Generally, surveyed museum-goers report feeling more relaxed and at ease after viewing art, and viewing art can be practically meditative.
This is one reason why art often appears in not just museums and galleries, but also in public spaces ranging from a doctor’s office to libraries and hotel lobbies, and even in schools and office buildings. The selection and placement of those art pieces is the job of art consultants, who will determine what sort of subjects are best to place in a certain venue. This is so commonplace that a public venue lacking art may look rather empty and odd, and Americans expect to see art in such places even if they take it for granted. Art can give a space a more kind and welcoming look, which can set any guest at ease, especially in a doctor’s office or hospital. Hotels and motels need to look comforting and home-like, so framed art is as important there as plush carpets and nice furniture and wallpaper.
Why does art belong in an office space, such as in an accounting firm or marketing company? Art in an office can not only relax the workers, but also make them feel more creative and more inspired, and multiple surveys can confirm this trend. Any manager would want their employees to feel more creative to bolster their work performance, and creative visuals such as framed art, innovative arrangements of desks and chairs, and potted plants can have that effect.