Assembling an Art Selection Committee

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Bronze Statue at the Entrance of the Birthing Unit at Maple Grove Hospital, Maple Grove, MN ~ Artist Heidi Hoy

 

Artwork plays an important role in healthcare organizations; it can greatly enhance the physical environment which in turn reinforces a positive role in the healing process. Since the selection of artwork influences the aesthetic role of the physical environment, it is just as important to assemble the proper committee to select artwork.

As we all know, artwork is very subjective; what one person likes, another may dislike. It is best to assemble a committee of individuals with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. These individuals can be employees of the organization, members of the local art community, volunteer community members and professional artwork consultants. A diverse representation of experience and talent is helpful. Be careful to establish a manageable number of committee members, which we have seen in the 5-9 range.

Within Your Organization

Assembling the proper size and compliment of staff is the first step in forming the Art Committee. Committee Members can be recruited from all areas of the health care organization. Each of these individuals will provide a perspective or expertise valuable to the organization. It is also important to determine if there are any individuals with a strong art background or passion for art.

 

Areas from within the hospital where committee members may be identified are:

  • Administration – Leadership of the committee, possibly a final decision maker.
  • Board of Directors – Provides input from a strategic alignment perspective.
  • Foundation – Understands legal aspects of donations and the proper donation procedures.
  • Medical Staff – Provides input as medical staff’s representative.
  • Nursing – Provides input from the patient’s perspective.
  • Public Relations/Communications – Provides input so artwork selections align to any brand messaging that the organization has established.
  • Purchasing – Will manage or assist with purchasing of artwork.
  • Volunteers – Provides input as a quasi-community member/volunteer staff, generally a courtesy extended to the volunteers.

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Outside of Your Organization

Depending on the availability of resources from within your organization, you may search for individuals from within your community to serve on the Art Selection Committee.  First, you could check internally to determine if there are any community members who should be considered for the Art Selection Committee. Other great places to consider are members from local art centers and art teachers from local schools. Local art centers should be able to provide you with names of individuals in the community who are interested and/or passionate about art.  Another idea would be to post the positions via social networking, newspaper ads, etc., asking individuals to apply for the volunteer committee positions.  Since art is an integral part of the interior and exterior design, consideration should be given to considering including your interior designer and/or architect on the committee.

Once you have your Art Selection Committee in place, it will then be important to comprise and document the objectives, purpose and decision-making authority of the committee. Several initial discussion points for your committee’s consideration are;

  1. the organization’s vision,
  2. the ambience and feel of the environment that is being created,
  3. policies and goals for the selection of artwork,
  4. who has the authority to make decisions,
  5. how to manage donations,
  6. determining if any existing artwork will be relocated and
  7. the development of a comprehensive budget for artwork/framing/installation
  8. and who will maintain the artwork collection
  9. determine the need for an artwork consultant to manage the entire process of selection, procurement, and install

Each healthcare organization is unique as will be their Art Selection Committee and art program.  Healthcare facilities are a place of great joy and sorrow. The artwork must be there to support the needs of the patients, families, community and the staff. With the appropriate members on your Art Selection Committee, you will be able to provide the best art program to foster a healing environment for patients and their families.

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