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Hiring an Art Consultant – What to Expect

As a specialist art consultancy, Artelier guides clients through the process of developing a bespoke art collection for their project. In this article, we answer some of the most common questions about art consultants, including:

  • What does an art consultant do?

  • Why hire an art consultant?

  • What to expect when hiring an art consultant?

  • How much does an art consultant charge?

  • How do you find an art consultant?

Read below for a practical guide to art consultancy, and the process that the client can expect.

Living Room Feature Wall | Art Consultant

What does an art consultant do?

Art consultants are experts who develop art collections for private, hospitality, corporate and public projects. After initial consultations, the art consultancy curates a detailed art proposal which responds to the project and the site.

Once the final artworks are agreed upon, the art consultants then oversee sourcing or commissioning the artworks. This involves liaising with the artists and clients, and creating specialist solutions for practical requirements. Finally, art consultants handle the presentation and installation of the artworks. This requires specialist technical and curatorial skills that neither the artist nor the client may possess.

Office Art | Board Room Art | Art Consultant

Why hire an art consultant?

The role of the art consultant is becoming increasingly important to a wide range of industries. Art consultants have a wide knowledge of the art market and connections to exciting contemporary artists, and help clients achieve their vision by commissioning a stand out piece or curating a bespoke art collection. This is especially important for larger collections, as the best art consultants are able to ensure a balance where each artwork shines individually, but is still harmonious within a coherent collection.

As well as sourcing and commissioning art, art consultants also have specialist expertise in logistics and installation. For larger projects, like corporate art consultancy or hotel art consultancy, a turnkey art service means that the client receives a complete artwork package without the need to hire any other art specialists. Hiring an experienced art consultant to handle each part of the art curation process is therefore hassle free, as they are accustomed to the expectations and challenges of a project this size.

Lobby Art Installation

What to expect when hiring an art consultant?

Every project an art consultancy undertakes is a journey. Although the client may already have ideas, the role of the art consultant is to develop nuanced concepts, introduce the client to new possibilities and artists, and curate varied options for artworks. As the project grows from concepts to proposals, commissioning to installation, the art consultant is responsible for project managing every stage, and therefore ensuring that the finished artwork is delivered perfectly for the client.

The success of experienced art consultants begins with extensive planning. After initial discussions to understand the client and their project, the art consultancy will independently develop artwork ideas and create a curatorial proposal. At Artelier, our entire curatorial team takes part in this initial process, to harness a wide range of research. When the client is presented with the concept proposal, they indicate which ideas, styles and individual artworks they like best. After this feedback, the art consultants proceed to develop more detailed and site-specific proposals to cater for the clients’ preferences. This then develops into specifications for individual pieces and spaces. The client gives feedback at every stage, but saves on the labour-intensive and knowledge-demanding tasks, including conducting extensive research and creating sophisticated curatorial proposals.

After the client has finalised their choices, the art consultant begins working with artists. At this stage, the client can rest assured that the art consultant is taking care of the complex commissioning process, and effectively project managing artwork development. The art consultant can also organise for the artist to provide samples, sketches and designs to the client, and involve them in the artistic choices. The art consultant’s involvement streamlines the process, and gives a level of security for the client.

Finally, the art consultancy firm will handle all logistical stages. They will organise specialist artwork packing, arrange shipping and secure appropriate insurance. Due to their specialist artistic knowledge, the art consultants will also develop custom plinths or frames, as well as fixings and fastenings that are appropriate to the artwork and its context. With a team of technicians and representatives on hand at every location, the art consultants ensure that the artwork is installed properly and flawlessly presented.

In an art consultant, a client can therefore expect a complete bespoke art package, with each stage of the process taken care of. The result is a world-class artwork or collection for a competitive price, and tailored by specialists to the project.

Yacht Mural | Art Consultant

How much does an art consultant charge?

Each art consultant has their own pricing structure, which also depends on the industry and how many artworks are required. A fee for overseeing the commissioning process of one bespoke artwork could be between 5-15% of the artwork’s value, depending on the unique requirements of a project.

For larger projects, which require a long-term commitment from the art consultancy firm, the art consultant charge is more typically evaluated as a package – covering the art consultancy fees and the artwork costs. The client and art consultant begin by establishing the scope of the project – such as the total number of artworks and where they are required – and the services that the art consultant will deliver. The client may have an allocated art budget in mind, in which case the art consultants will adjust the scope and their services to suit the budget.

Hiring an art consultancy firm often saves money for the client. Art consultants are experienced at finding high quality art within budget, and are familiar with fair pricing for artworks. Art consultants’ experience in working closely with artists also means that they can guide artists as they develop a piece – this prevents costly changes or potential damage, as an artwork developed without an art consultant could not meet the practical needs of a space. An art consultancy also has a network of associate art specialists like handlers, technicians and framers, and is therefore able to secure the most cost competitive prices for these essential services whilst ensuring premium quality.

Ultimately the amount an art consultant charges varies on the specific and individual demands of a project. Our art consultants therefore offer an initial consultation about your project, including discussion of guide costs, free of charge.

Bedroom Feature Wall | Art Consultant

How do you find an art consultant?

As a niche field, art consultancy firms are generally more under-the-radar than well-known interior design or architecture firms. Many high-end projects collaborate with art consultants, but they are rarely named by journalists in articles about the project. This means that, aside from drawing on recommendations from personal networks, the best place to discover art consultants is online.

Many art consultants have extensive websites, with examples of the art they have commissioned for projects and the different contexts they work in. By browsing the websites, it is often clear for a client whether the art consultant works at the same calibre as their project. This is especially important to establish for more complex, high profile and larger-scale projects, as a large amount of trust is placed in any specialists.

The most important step in finding an art consultant is having an open discussion and making sure they are the right fit. When getting in touch with an art consultant, give an introduction to your project and provide a contact number. Artelier art consultancy offer a free and informal initial consultation with our creative director, where the prospective client can explain their needs in further detail, and Artelier will happily talk through our relevant experience.

Mount Fuji Mural | Art Consultant

Artelier are a top UK art consultancy, with extensive expertise on larger projects – such as hotel art consultants, corporate art consultants, public art consultants – as well as private projects in residences, onboard yachts and aircraft.

Follow the below links to learn more about Artelier and what we do:

– Industry Homepages: Residences; Hotels; Yachts; Aircraft; Corporate; Public.

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