Tools: Art Placement

The Art Connection carefully reviews prospective recipient agencies to ensure that criteria are met and enthusiasm exists for the donation process to move forward. Agencies must go through an approval process consisting of an initial application and Site Visit before we determine that a placement will move forward. If the application is complete and the Site Visit goes well, The Art Connection will schedule a Placement Visit during which the artwork is selected by staff and clients of the agency, and will then facilitate the transfer of ownership of the selected works.

Click here to learn how agencies are eligible to receive art

Site Visit

A key component of a successful placement process is the site visit to the agency. This visit includes:

Meeting senior staff
This is an opportunity to educate staff about the program and process (e.g. art is to be placed in public areas, next steps, etc.), address any questions they may have (e.g. insurance, framing), and assess the enthusiasm of the contact person and directors to follow through with the responsibilities of the process. We’ve learned that the most successful art placements are dependent on the quality, ability, and enthusiasm of the primary contact person.

Understanding organization’s vision for the art
The agency representatives have the opportunity to expand on the rationale for artwork included in their application, and to further express how the art may impact the staff and clients during the Site Visit.

Making the organization aware of responsibilities included in the process
Agencies in Boston are responsible for picking up artwork, framing some works, installation and care of the artwork, requirement to meet deadlines, completing a six month report, and inviting The Art Connection to visit at an art reception or Inventory Visit if no reception is planned.

Touring the site
This is the time to determine if the organization has appropriate space for a permanent installation. Possible locations for art placement are noted and the number of works expected to be placed is assessed. Measure and take photos of the walls to help you remember the site during the Placement Visit if the agency is approved. Here is a  sample Site & Placement Visit Form.

Determining appropriate number of art works for selection by the agency
We place a minimum of 1 work and maximum of 25 works during a Placement Visit, depending on the size and capability of each agency. (NOTE: If an agency we are confident can manage the responsibilities of receiving art has room for a few more than 25, but no more than a few, we will allow for the selection of 26-28 works, so there is no need for the agency to reapply for only a couple of pieces.)

Repeat Agencies
If a placement is successful and the agency meets all deadlines and responsibilities, they are invited to submit an application after one year for additional artwork. We have a limit of three placements per agency. (NOTE: We did place artwork four times at one agency, due to their size, commitment to our artists, and clear benefit of art to their community!)

Placement Visit

Soon after we’ve conducted a Site Visit at a potential art recipient agency, we schedule a second visit to the eligible agency, the Placement Visit.

The Placement Visit is the centerpiece of our art donation program.

Artwork is selected by staff and program participants after viewing a digital portfolio of images of available artworks. While we facilitate the art selection process, it is agency participants who determine what art is most meaningful for their site. In this way, staff and clients alike are empowered in the art selection process and work together to make choices about their preferred selections.

The Placement Visit lasts approximately three hours and we request participation from an “art selection committee” of 6-10 people affiliated with the recipient agency. We stipulate that a selection committee of staff, senior staff, facilities staff, and if possible, program participants as well as board members, be on hand.

Every participant’s opinion in the meeting is considered equal as discussion is facilitated regarding people’s responses to the artwork. As works are decided upon, the group also brainstorms locations for installation. Agencies are reminded of responsibilities of framing, ownership, transport, and installation.

The agency’s primary contact will receive instructions for the next steps after the artists have been notified by The Art Connection staff.

 Transferring Ownership

Immediately following a placement visit:

  • Our database is updated with placement information about all art works
  • Artists are contacted to inform them of the selection of their work, to tell them about the agency, and ask them if they are willing to make the donation and confirm that selected work is still available
  • Placement Packets are sent to agencies to outline their responsibilities, provide contact information for artists, and other documents (described below)
  • A disc of high quality images of the artwork selected is created for the agency to use, after they have received artists’ permission
  • Letters are sent to artists acknowledging their donation and providing recipient agency location and contact information.

Additional assistance is offered as needed.

The Placement Packet

The contents of the packet includes the following documents:

Six Month Report

This report is sent to all recipients six months after their Placement Packet is sent. The deadline for them to pickup, frame, and install all works, stickers, and plaques is nine months after receipt of their packet.

Here is a sample of our Six Month Report, which we have agencies complete on Survey Monkey.