Public Art in Corporate Spaces: Enhancing Corporate Environments

Dr. Tamara Gillis
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This paper explores corporate art collections – and the exhibition/installation of art in corporate public spaces – as an artifact of corporate culture.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts, public art projects commissioned by local communities give the community a common expression and identity. These pieces are often tied to community events, history and lore. Many corporations invest in corporate art collections and exhibit and install these artworks in public spaces in corporate facilities. This raises the question: Does art installed in public spaces of corporate structures serve a similar purpose – to communicate to its publics about the culture of the corporation? Additionally, what impact does this public art in corporate spaces have on employee engagement with the company?

The purpose of this brief review and case study is to address the impact of public art as a medium of communication in corporate spaces. In this study, the principles of identification and image building that are part of civic public art projects will be compared with public art projects in corporate spaces. Furthermore, principles of employee engagement will also be compared to responses to corporate public art. Positive and negative elements of public art as a medium of communication and the process of developing corporate art collections and the display of these in public spaces in corporate spaces will be discussed.

Keywords: Public Art, Corporate Art Collection, Employee Engagement
Stream: Art in Communities, Analysing Artforms
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Public Art in Corporate Spaces

Dr. Tamara Gillis

Associate Professor and Chairperson, Department of Communications, Elizabethtown College

Tamara Gillis, Ed.D., is associate professor and chairman of the Department of Communications at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Her research interests include change management, civic involvement, organizational design, and the impact of new media. She also serves as a communications consultant with Cooper Wright LLC. In her career, she has led communication programs for higher education institutions, associations, and a health care corporation. She has served as faculty in Swaziland, Namibia, and the Semester at Sea program. The IABC Research Foundation honored her with the 2004 Foundation Lifetime Friend Award. In 2001-02 she chaired the IABC Research Foundation. The author of numerous articles and book chapters, she is co-author of a text on community media in Africa and the editor of the forthcoming "IABC Handbook of Organizational Communication" published by Jossey-Bass Publishing.

Ref: A06P0051