Art is a universal human interest, and while art is a famously subjective field, the art industry has grown to an enormous size, and art galleries can be found all around the world. Cities such as Paris and New York City and others will have many of the world’s finest and biggest galleries, but other urban centers are bound to have an art gallery or two as well. And besides, these smaller, more local art galleries tend to exhibit works made by local and amateur artists, to help them gain exposure and add more variety to the art world. Many art patrons would agree that this is essential for the art industry, and some parts of the United States emphasize art from certain populations. An art gallery in Miami may show off fine examples of Hispanic artists, who make up a small but growing percentage of American artists. Art exhibits are also good for the human mind, and studies can confirm this. Anyone can feel better after browsing an art gallery, and this is why art is often found in places of business, too.
The Business of Art
In centuries past, kings and queens openly patronized the arts, and today, nonprofit organizations have taken over that role, along with art museums and galleries both temporary and permanent. As of 2017, the worldwide art market was valued at an impressive $64 billion USD, and 53% of all collections in the world today have 500 or more pieces in them. American artists are well represented, with their works appearing in 40% of all art collections. Meanwhile, in the United States in particular, nonprofit organizations are going far to keep the art industry running strong. Some 113,000 nonprofit art organizations collectively employ 2.2 million artists in the modern American workforce, and that is a significant slice of the overall economy. Often, these are painters, and paintings have a large presence in any art gallery or exhibit. The same is true in private collections; 83% of art collections feature paintings, and only 15% of collections involve collages or drawings or other paper works.
Art in Everyday Life
Many people visit art galleries large and small, and for good reason. Not only is an art gallery a cultured and fun place to be, but viewing art is actually healthy for the human mind, and studies have confirmed this. For example, studies show that after at least half an hour of art viewing at a gallery, a person feels more relaxed and less stressed, and their cortisol levels may be lower. Places of business, such as hospitals and doctor’s offices, feature artwork in their hallways and rooms for similar reasons. A study showed that in a hospital’s neurosurgery floor, some of the patients had artwork added to their rooms. This variable alone made those patients feel more comfortable and well cared for. And of course, a hotel simply must have art in it, so guests can enjoy a more homey atmosphere along with the nice furniture, polished surfaces, and plush carpeting. A hotel guest may actually find it conspicuous and odd if no art of any kind was present.
Art can also make employees feel better about their work. After all, any employee at an office is a human being, with human needs and sensibilities. An office does not have to be a dull and utilitarian place; in fact, corporate art consultants get a lot of work. An office can easily have many different paintings and framed photos or sketches set up in the general spaces, hallways, and rooms, to add more visual flair to the office. This, combined with creative arrangements of desks and tables and the addition of potted plants, can actually make employees feel more creative and productive. Any manager would appreciate that mental boost in their employees. And of course, pleasant art in the office building is bound to impress guests and make them feel more at ease, which could have all kinds of psychological effects on a business visit. The same is true for landscaping on the front grounds, to help make a good impression. Litter, or a dull exterior, may make a guest feel unwelcome or uneasy.