Tag Archive for: art install

Examples of biophilic art that can have positive effects on aging adults.

Great art does more than fill wall space or even tie a room’s visual aesthetic together. Great art possesses an emotional quality, and knowing what types of art best match the emotional purpose of a room can make the art selection process much easier. 

For example, recent studies suggest that aging adults benefit greatly from being surrounded by paintings or images of nature – a fact that guided the Concepts in Art team for a recent project at a senior living community. 

As humans age, they naturally lose their ability to participate in activities that once brought them joy – most of which involve some aspect of connecting with the physical world around them. Late-life depression affects about 6 million adults over 65 as losing the physical ability to independently participate in activities, like mowing the lawn, swimming, or even just going for a walk, can be a very isolating and upsetting experience.

The root cause of those upsetting feelings can be attributed to biophilia. Biophilia is the concept that all humans have an innate desire to connect with nature and the living world around them; it’s why taking a walk outside after a stressful day of work or opening a window during a rainstorm makes us feel better than before. As humans, we have a natural desire to connect with nature, and as we age we lose our ability to act on that desire. 

However, there is a way for familial and professional caretakers to tend to the biophilic needs of older adults. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to imagery of nature can have a number of profound physiological and psychological benefits – especially for elderly individuals grappling with age-related ailments or cognitive decline. 

First, serene depictions of a beautiful garden or powerful waterfall evoke a grounding feeling of calmness. In a phase of life where there is so much change and movement, nature-inspired artworks can create an air of tranquility by rooting the individual in a calming environment. Scenes of nature can also enhance cognitive function and memory retention in elderly individuals as intricate details  stimulate the mind, fostering neural connections and cognitive engagement. For elderly individuals grappling with memory loss or cognitive decline, engaging with this kind of art can assist in the preservation of cognitive function and mental acuity.

Beyond its physiological and psychological benefits, this kind of art can foster a sense of connection and belonging among elderly individuals. Reminiscing about past outdoor adventures serves as a catalyst for meaningful social interactions and shared experiences. In retirement communities and assisted living facilities, nature-inspired artwork often becomes a focal point for communal gatherings and storytelling sessions, fostering a sense of camaraderie and belonging that is often lost as we age. 

For elderly individuals who may have limited mobility or opportunities to explore the outdoors, nature art serves as a means of connecting with the natural world – something humans long for naturally. Certain types of art – like images of landscapes, wildlife, and plants – can contribute greatly to the overall purpose of any given space and knowing which types of art can evoke certain emotional responses can be a great tool in choosing the best piece for your space. 

How hard can hanging art really be? 

Actually, it’s pretty technical. 

Properly installed art requires a tad more than a few nails, a hammer, and a “Looks even to me!”. For those brave DIY souls bypassing the expertise of a professional art installation service, Concepts in Art Owner Jenny Gaffney outlined her top tips for hanging art like a pro. 

  1. Make sure the center of your picture is at eye level. 

The last time you went to an art museum did you have to strain to see the art, or was it laid out in a comfortable location your eyes could easily access?

The most common mistake people can make when choosing to hang their own art is that they pick a position that is far too high up on the wall. Hanging art too high makes for an awkward location beyond a person’s natural gaze and interrupts the room’s overall aesthetic. Positioning your wall art at eye level generally means the midpoint of the picture is approximately 60 inches from the floor

Bringing the art to eye level makes the art much easier to appreciate and gives the room a sense of cohesion by eliminating any awkward wall space from the floor to the art. So break out that measuring tape – it’s worth it!

  1. You’ll have to become a bit of a mathematician. 

It’s often underestimated how much math is involved in hanging art, but it’s true that measuring tape isn’t the only piece of equipment you’ll need. A calculator is a must to achieve proper sizing and spacing. 

Depending on how many pieces of art you’re planning to hang, and the sizes of those pieces and any furniture located underneath the art, there are a LOT of ratios to take into consideration when hanging a piece of art in any area – especially a high-traffic one. You want people to focus on the gorgeous art you have hanging, not that it’s a little too big (or small) for where it’s hung. 

It can be overwhelming, but it all comes down to the details. Taking the time to figure out the math will pay off in the long run to ensure your picture is hung correctly!

  1. Make sure your picture is level!

This seems intuitive (especially if you’re taking the time to do all of the other calculations), but it’s not surprising to see people skip this step. After spending so much time and effort determining everything else, it’s not uncommon for folks to just eyeball the orientation of the art for the sake of ending the process. 

It’s true that people don’t notice things done right, but always notice something that’s a little off; nobody notices art that’s level, but everyone will notice something that’s crooked. While we’re sure your friend has excellent eyesight, your smartphone has a level app that will work even better – we promise! 

Remember, art is an investment that you want people to appreciate when they step into your space. While the process is highly technical (and a real patience tester), the end result – beautifully hung art that ties the room’s aesthetic together  – is always worth it. Whether you’re taking the process on yourself or employing the help of a professional service like Concepts in Art, these guidelines are the foundation of a properly executed installation that should be present in every room. 

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.