2024: Our 46th year in business and fourth under the leadership of Concepts in Art’s Owner and Art Consultant, Jenny Gaffney. With the new year in full swing, we figured it was time to reintroduce our fearless leader at the heart of all the action.

Keep reading to get to know more about the #1 enemy of boring workspaces and blank white walls!

When did you know art consulting was your calling?

I knew as soon as I shadowed the previous owner that this was what I was meant to do. Everything about the process – from working directly with artists to executing the installation – was appealing to me since it combined my two favorite things: art and making new relationships!

What is your #1 piece of advice/rule when it comes to choosing, designing, or installing art? 

I would say the #1 most important thing is to ensure the piece(s) that you’ve chosen is a truly interesting, but efficient, use of the space you have available. Before I even begin to start sourcing the art or deciding on a color palette, there is a lot of meticulous measuring that needs to be done to determine what size work of art will best suit the space – without being overpowering or distracting. 

Along the same line, I always like to walk through clients’ spaces beforehand since it helps me get a sense for the room and its finishes (floor color, natural light, furniture, etc). That’s one of the most common things to overlook as people normally just focus on wall color. 

Do you have a favorite medium?

Definitely acrylic – I just love the texture! Even the simplest piece of acrylic art naturally brings so much character and personality to a space just because of its texture. 

What is your favorite part of the consulting process? 

The grand reveal is my favorite part because the relationships I’ve made with my clients always makes it that much sweeter!

One of the things that makes us different is that we execute every part of the process – from planning the space to sourcing the art to installing it – so we get to see our clients and their employees’ full reactions to the finished project. We are very lucky to work with some truly amazing businesses, so their reactions mean everything to me. It’s absolutely the best part of my job. 

What are you most excited for in 2024?

Well, I’m obviously excited for all of the amazing new projects that are to come! But I am really looking forward to connecting with all of the inspiring women in the Southeast WI area at TEMPO Emerging Women Leaders (EWL) meetings and events. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to connect and learn from such dynamic business women, and I can’t wait to get started.

Outside of my professional life, I am super excited for a couple of bucket list trips I have planned – especially a trip to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day.

The holidays are officially upon us, and no matter how satisfying the end result is, the idea of lugging boxes out from storage to set out loads of tiny holiday decorations is enough to make the jolliest elf groan. 

Luckily, creating a warm and cozy holiday vibe can go beyond setting up trees and tabletop trinkets that, while beautiful, take up valuable office space and hundreds of twinkly lights that, while twinkly, tend to tangle and test your patience. This year, look into upgrading your holiday decorating by taking advantage of empty wall space that’s begging to get onto Santa’s nice list. 

Deck the Halls (and the Walls)

With the spirit of gathering in the air, many tend to focus their holiday decorating efforts on the focal points of their space: for a hotel – the lobby, for an office – the waiting room, for a home – the living room. This year, transform your space into a true beacon of holiday cheer by sprucing up oft-overlooked spaces like hallways, bathrooms, and guest rooms. 

These areas are often left barren because of logistics; there just isn’t much space to set-up the traditional holiday decorations we typically think of, like small Christmas trees, tabletop trinkets like nativity scenes, or garland. However, every room has wall space – and taking advantage of a few blank walls can really make a difference in the overall feel of your space. 

Consider investing in a beautiful framed picture of a winter scene to hang in a barren hallway, or stick-n-peel art to smooth over large glass offices. And, if you’re wondering why you should even bother decorating for the holidays, check out last year’s blog on all the benefits you would be missing out on!

Ho-Ho-Holiday Color Palettes

You don’t want to lose your company’s identity or sense of professionality in a swamp of tabletop ornaments and mismatched decorations. It may be worthwhile to identify one common theme before purchasing any additional holiday decor to ensure a sense of cohesiveness and intentionality; one of the best ways to do this is through the colors expressed in your wall art. The good news is there are a variety of holiday color palettes to explore no matter what your style is. We’ve curated a few of our favorites below:

The holidays mean different things for everyone, so one major key to effective holiday decorating is ensuring the environment you’re creating is one that every potential customer, employee, or passerby can appreciate. Consider skipping the giant portrait of Santa Claus for an oil painting of poinsettia or a serene snowscape. Additionally, the holiday season goes beyond December 25, so there’s even more of an incentive to invest in pieces that have a bit of a timeless factor – and can buy you some time if you’re not wanting to break the bubble wrap and storage boxes back out on December 26.

At the end of the day, any holiday decorations are better than no holiday decorations. But if you’re looking to explore what festive wall art can look like for your business, give us a call to discuss what options could be available for your space!

With the current focus on sustainability, Earth Day is a great way to show our focus and how we support the environment. Here is how we all can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to support sustainable art practices! 

Sustainable art practices start with us!
  1. Reduce: Buy and use local art for your space 

One of the easiest ways to effectively reduce your carbon footprint when buying art, is to buy from local artists! By doing so, the art travels less distance, which decreases the carbon footprint that the art has on it.  It is also one of the best ways to support the art community, and a great way to show your support for your community of local artists as well. Another great thing about buying from local artists is that you may even be able to find an artist that uses sustainable art practices. This may look like earth friendly paint, mediums and display pieces, sculptures made with earth friendly materials and more. Concepts In Art supports sustainability and the focus on being green by using sustainable wall coverings and other materials in their projects!

  1. Reuse old art whenever you can 

Another great way to work on practicing sustainable art is to try and reuse current art that you already have in your space. Concepts In Art loves to work with current pieces, and if desired, will find ways to reuse the art that is already in your space. A new frame, or an area re-design can sometimes go a long way. By reusing what you already have, you’re not only saving on cost, but on material waste as well. Concepts In Art is proud to offer free consultations to those that are looking to update their spaces. When claiming your free consultation, make sure to ask about art reuse to see what we may be able to offer!

  1. Know how to properly Recycle old frames and canvases when needed 

Lastly, it’s important to try and recycle whatever you can when making the decision to redesign your space. When it comes to things like frames, prints, canvases and more, make sure to look up your local recycling restrictions and applications before tossing things out.. If your art is still intact and you’ve made the decision to not use it, consider donating it to a charity like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, St. Vincent DePaul’s, or other local donation centers. One person’s trash can be another person’s treasure! Concepts In Art is proud to donate a company’s old or unused art when updating spaces! 

Overall, there are many ways that we all can incorporate sustainable art practices into our space. Let’s work together to create an impact and make the earth a green environment!

For more information and to set up your free consultation with us, visit www.conceptsinart.net!  

How to Keep Your Framed Art Looking Loved

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we want to share some of our top tips on how to keep your framed art looking loved! Doing things such as cleaning your frame’s glass or acrylic, and cleaning the frame itself can make a huge difference in the look, and longevity of your art. 

Before reading the tips we have listed below, it’s important to know if your frames have a glass or acrylic finish, as it will alter the best approach to clean and care for them. If you’re unsure what finish your frames have, it’s best to stick to the tips below, as these care tips are safe for both glass and acrylic finishes. 

An example of framed art that we installed this fall!

Here are some tips we have on how to keep your framed art looking loved this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Avoid using water, wood polish and glass cleaner on your wood frames. 

It may seem silly to illuminate water from this list, there are a few reasons why we suggest avoiding these types of cleaners on your wood frames. The main reason for this is to avoid moisture getting into the frame, which over time can cause mold growth. Wood both expands and contracts over time and with season change, meaning that if you use a cleaner or even water to clean your frame, it can get trapped in the frame and cause future damage. 

  1. Don’t use household glass cleaners on your frames glass.

Although the cleaner may say that it is safe for glass, and may even be a glass cleaner, it doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to use on your frame! Window glass and art glass often have different finishes, meaning that some of the chemicals in your everyday household glass cleaner could actually cause damage to the glass’s finish. This would look like fogginess in the glass, and even minor scratches and unevenness in the finish. If you are in need of a frame cleaner, we suggest looking up what cleaners they have for your glasses to be sure that it won’t harm it. 

  1. Use a cotton ball to wipe down the corners of your frame to avoid build-up. 

One of the most missed places when cleaning a frame is the corners! Over time, there can be a lot of build up in these areas of a frame, which if not addressed, can lead to mold or grime build up. The best way to avoid this is to take a cotton ball when cleaning your frame, and make sure to focus on the corners! 

  1. Only use a microfiber cloth to lightly dust your frames. 

Another key thing to note when it comes to cleaning your frames, is to only use microfiber towels. Using regular cotton towels can be too harsh on your frames, especially the glass, and can lead to micro scratches. Although the scratches would be small, they can still be noticeable and can cause further damage over time if not addressed. The best way to avoid this situation all together, is to use microfiber towels for cleaning your frames. 

  1. Make sure to keep an eye on the condition of your frames, and repair them if they need to be repaired! 

Lastly, it is very important to keep an eye on the condition of your frames, and repair them if needed! If you notice that your frame is looking like it needs some extra loe, make sure to contact your framer, or Concepts In Art to get it back to its fullest potential. 

Remember to reach out to our team with any of your art needs, and to love your art this Valentine’s Day!

The holiday season is officially among us! Although it may seem a little silly, bringing that holiday cheer into the office and in your home is one of the many ways to help employees and visitors feel welcome. Just like art, decorations are a way to express emotion and set the mood for a room or environment. 

Here are a few ideas on how the magic of holiday decorations, like Art, can bring out the happy and joyful emotions in your workplace and home: 

  1. Colors are associated with different emotions.  

When you look at specific colors, your brain automatically associates it with an emotion. This same concept goes for color schemes as well, such as the example to the right. Around the holidays, colors such as green and red, and blue and white are paired to bring in a feeling of nostalgia. Often with this feeling, people are more likely to experience calmness and happy emotions! By using these colors in your space during the holiday season, chances are, your space will feel more cheerful and those around you will feel welcome and included.

  1. Holiday decorations are proven to increase dopamine levels!  

Did you know that people who put up their Christmas decorations early tend to be happier and enjoy the season?  Scientists, such as the ones at Texas A&M have proven that decorating for the holidays, or even looking at holiday decorations, increase the dopamine (a feel-good hormone) levels in our brains. This often correlates into a rewarding feeling, which can inadvertently lead to increased production around your space! It’s crazy to think that the simple addition of themed art such as holiday decorations can create a space that makes employees and visitors feel happier and more productive!

 

  1. Lastly, remember that holiday decorations are an art themselves! 

When you choose to decorate your space, it’s important to find decorations that set the mood you want! When working with art, you are constantly thinking about placement, how it relates to the area it’s within, and how you want it to look over a period of time. These same ideas should be applied to your holiday decorations as well! Treating your holiday decorations like they’re art will change your entire mindset, and help you make sure that you achieve the Holiday Spirit you are looking for! 

Overall, decorating for the holiday season is one of the best ways to bring the holiday cheer into your space. At Concepts In Art, It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we are sending wishes of warmth, joy and tranquility this holiday season!! 

Research source: 

Author— Kelly Sopchak. “POV: Does Decorating for the Holidays Early Improve Mental Health?” Vital Record, Texas A&M University , 20 Nov. 2020, 

Working with a small business has many benefits like flexibility, expertise, and satisfaction. When you put all those components together, it creates an overall personalized experience that is unique and special to each client.

At Concepts In Art, we value the personal relationship that we get to build with our clients. That’s why we wanted to give you the chance to get to know our Owner, Jenny Gaffney!

Are you a Wisconsin native? If not, what led you to move to Wisconsin?

Yes, I was born and raised in Wisconsin and will be a lifelong Packer fan!

What industry did you work in before entering the art industry?

I started my career working for a small frame shop focusing on my customer service skills. From there I worked for a couple manufacturing companies, but realized I had a passion for being creative, and missed that part of my career. I then found an opportunity with a large retail company where I was able to take on various customer experience tasks, including my favorite, remodeling store fronts and local offices. And that led me to where I am today!

What is your favorite art medium? Why?

I would say Acrylic. I like the rich color you get from this medium, as well as the different depths that it can create, varying from transparent to chunky.

Being a female, small business owner; what advice do you have for other women out there that want to potentially own their own business one day?

Don’t sell yourself short! Life is a journey and each step I had taken in my past careers made me stronger, and offered growth, helping me to get where I am today. It doesn’t all come fast or when you want it, but working towards your goal over time, and taking it step-by-step has helped me to be a successful female, small business owner! So always keep your end goal in mind!

What makes you want to get out of bed and run Concepts In Art?

A combination of loving what I do every day, having a passion for art, and wanting to help bring out the joy and excitement from employees, clients and businesses, that wouldn’t be there without art!

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

I love summer, so basically anything you can do outside in the summer! Some of my favorite activities are boating, golfing, camping, and relaxing on the beach. But, regardless of the season, spending time and making memories with friends, family, and traveling are my favorite!

Building an emotional connection in the workplace with Art

As we transition employees back into the workplace some things to consider are re-connecting our employees with office culture, reconfiguration of the space to allow for more distancing and inviting customers back into our buildings.

For the staff who has spent the better part of the past year working remotely returning to the office routine may feel uneasy or unsettling. Obviously, you want everyone to feel welcome and safe upon returning but this transition represents a change for both you and them.

Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:

  • How do I motivate employees to want to come back?
  • How do I make them feel comfortable and safe?
  • How can I re-connect or improve the workplace culture?

For our customers, this represents an opportunity to re-connect with the brand in person and solidify the relationship visually. In either scenario, art is an easy way for you to completely re-connect people with your culture and your brand. Art is a non-verbal way to inspire and motivate people.

Some considerations are:

  • Nature / Landscape Art – reduce stress and can help boost productivity.
  • Vibrant / Bold Abstract Art – increases positive mood, broadens attention and allow us to see more possible solutions to creative problems.
  • Office Branded Art – fosters the pride you take in your company and your office, which trickles down to your employees and your customers. Office art creates a workplace that your employees are proud to walk into every day.

For those continuing with a more flexible work environment finding fun ways to incorporate artwork for your work-from-home employees can help them feel more connected and promote teamwork even when they aren’t physically there.

No matter what direction your company decides to go, visually creating a space that showcases your culture and boosts your brand is important and can help to create long-term success.