View Full Version : Connecting with developers
09-27-2005, 05:12 PM
I am curious to find out how many of you have tried to connect with Real Estate Developers and others involved in changing our planet. I am sitting in the middle of condomanium! Its like everyone is moving into HI RISE land with zen gardens wine cellars fountains etc. but I don't see a whole lotta art goin on. These places with multi millon prices have downright stupid statuary etc. Is this an avenue any of you have taken? Or is it simply a dead end?
Hi bluedog I don't know what to tell you. Maybe a lot of those developers aren't sure what they want but there's some good architects that use good art. Maybe you're just sick of bad art.
09-28-2005, 06:23 AM
Interesting topic. From my experience in trying to interest developers in modern housing (when I was designing that sort of thing), I can tell you that the market for sculpture, if there is one among real estate developers, is going to be among developers of commercial real estate. Where that's concerned, most are not going to be interested. These are pretty simple folks, usually, and they just want to build a development as profitably as possible. Most of the market for artwork is going to be among the architects and especially among interior designers who do specifying for large commercial projects, especially office buildings, shopping malls, educational institutions, etc. But, the real market for art in the architectural realm lies within the public sector; i.e., projects for the government, at all levels. All municipal, state and, especially federal projects usually have a mandated budget for artwork. In fact, unless there has been a recent change, the federal government requires, by law, that a percentage of the construction budget for all new public buildings be devoted to artwork. Your best bet to get your work considered is to contact the GAO (General Accounting Office) and/or the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts), as well as the appropriate agencies within your state and local governments.
09-28-2005, 08:03 AM
Hi, I'll sell all my "stupid statuary" to any developer who's interested!
As Gary said, "1 percent for the arts" is, I believe a mandatory expenditure for any federal construction jobs. I think that states and/or municipalities have an option to pass legislation along those same guidelines.
I live in New Mexico and NMArts (the state beaurocracy) has a 1 percent program and other programs too, one being a "purchase only" program where they buy already existing artwork at a price of up to $5000. ALL the larger municipalities in the state and even some of the smaller ones have an arts budget, and an arts advisory panel to look at slides and choose works to purchase. This is for artists who live in the state of NM, so don't get any big ideas, just kidding.
They do make you jump through some hoops but the people at NMArts are extremely helpful to the artists in making this work. I've dealt with them and I can't say enough about how nice they are.
Perhaps the state where you live has an "arts beaurocracy" that you can plug into and hopefully, they'll be as nice and be able to direct you to some public art opportunities.
Have a nice day,
You'd be amazed at how much money is out there!
09-28-2005, 09:04 AM
I am somewhat familliar with the % for the arts. Sort of "force feeding" art to the public. Does the tax law give developers a credit for having free standing Art? I mean I know its all about money but this might provide the seed... If you give capitalist a tax break won't they take it? If people expected art to come with the architecture they are buying wouldn't that open a whole new realm for us? Developers are required to have green space, pedestrian friendly space etc., why not require a cultural component? I guess what I am saying is a lot of people don't even know what they are missing because its been taken away over the years.
09-28-2005, 04:10 PM
Bdog,you also have to take in acount many people move into these condos,kids out of schoo,no yard maintece,ect,and the reason there might not be a lot of sculpture around also goes back to the designer used on the project.Many designers would rather place a couch,so they can charge you to cover it to match your freeking curtins.They can not make as much money off the art so they dont place as much.Gary hit it righ on,developers as a whole could care less about placing large scale art in ther projects,then there is John Portman.He just designs most of his own and gets sapps like me all to willing to show"on LOan" ie free.Welcome to are world.............. :)
09-28-2005, 08:03 PM
Jeff, there are lots of cities that now have art budgets for new construction. Here in Edmond, Oklahoma there is an annual budget of $150,000 devoted exclusively to public art, whether there is any new construction or not. I can't say I care for the tastes of the committee, though.
Blue, in the case of public art, it's the city, state or federal government who is in the role of developer. They hire the contractors, architects, engineers, etc. Sometimes, there is a new office complex, office park, mall, etc. that a private developer uses public art for, but, in most cases, it's an afterthought.
09-29-2005, 09:15 AM
Understood..thank guys. I guess I spend entirely to much time with could be instaed of is. As far as loaning pieces I get that "exposure sh..t" all the time.
My rule is I don't lend my tools and I don't lend my art. I just think its frustrating that so many times people have treated me like I'm a helpless child and they want to "do me a favor". I have never treated artist like that and have purchased art work myself. When I'm really P.O. I get out and show "them" I can "make money" at thier game. Sorry, been kicked around lately and I'm looking for ways to make this "my sculpure business"work...
09-29-2005, 11:55 AM
Well, what I'm usually told is that the surest route to getting a public sculpture commission is to enter a competition for it. Not many of them seem to come up, though, and when they do, it's usually for a representational piece, which leaves me out. Hang in there, Blue.
10-01-2005, 08:01 AM
I dont loan tools either,but I do place work on loan if the situation is to my advantage.Sure I prefer to sell,but with large works it is better to get exposure then dust in a studio.I have a monumental horse in my little town of Ellijay ,GA in front of city Hall and it created such a stir with the local crwod they had to put it in the paper and explain what it was all about,free press my man blue.As far as the "Business of art" it can be tuff,and if it was easy everybody would be doing it.Turn that negative enery into positive by cranking out new work,thats what I do.What works for me is constintally producing and showing regardless whether it is financially feasable sometimes.Sales will come,god only knows not enough,but they will and use that money and positive feeling to make more work.Like they say a big wheel going around,sometimes up sometimes down...............IA
10-01-2005, 08:57 AM
Thanks Ant, Gary. You guys obviously know discouragement when you see it. Perspective and keep working, got it. Correct about loaners too. Actually the local art museum is looking for a loaner come to think of it. I was referring to private individuals which is another story. :o
10-01-2005, 09:16 AM
Yep, discouragement is never in short supply. ;)
my philosophy on public monuments & artwork opportunity is don't wait for someone to call a competition create a project and approach people.Sculpt a maquette. be the originator of the idea and the creator. But don't make a sculpture that has nothing to do with public interest. Find a target market (ie:local goverment official, local rich philanthropist) create something that would be of interest to that person. If they like it they are usually interested in supporting the project with $ or even putting you in contact with other people. Just for example maybe there is a locality that has a unique connection to 9/11 or there is some unique cultural or historical event to which there hasn't been any sculpture marking the event or piece of culture. Design a sculpture around this and try to get in contact with people who would be willing to support it.The key part is to touch a nerve with the persons sentiment & inspire them with your idea. Be agressive and don't wait for opportunities to come about create an opportunity. Plus I find in competition you have 20 other people looking for the same job, with this method you have already eliminated competition. If the idea doesn't pan out at teh very worst you have one more maquette to add to your portfolio and to go towards a show. Anyways just a thought this strategy has worked for me in the past. Maybe this has sparked some ideas. Anybody want to buy a sculpture? :)
10-01-2005, 11:09 AM
I've had much the same thoughts, Jamo, as I'm sure many others have, as well. The problem, where I live, is that the entire region is infected with a nostalgia for the 19th century, or some ficticious copy of it, anyway. If I did a maquette for a non-objective piece and presented it to the local powers that be, I'd be laughed out of town. As for presenting to municipalities in more enlightened areas, such as New York, they'd probably think I'm just a nobody hick from Oklahoma and laugh me out of town. If I were living there, it might be a different story, but I have no desire to live in New York (not to mention no money for it, either). I'm sure a lot of us living in the middle of the country and doing abstract or non-objective sculpture face pretty much the same dilemma.
Granted, some town somewhere might eventually like what I'm doing and decide to invest in it, but it would be a long and expensive process to find them. One has to consider, also, that such decisions are made by committees, not individuals. My sculpture might touch something in one or more committee members, but if the majority of them aren't on board for it, it will never be approved. Based on what has been approved in my town, I don't stand a snowball's chance in hell.
10-02-2005, 04:06 PM
I'm looking for ways to make this "my sculpure business"work...
I think that line of inquiry is most valuable. I do loan out work, and have pieces at several locations. I fly at my own expense sometimes to show work, if a given show has a good chance to produce a sale. I think the best way to tilt the odds in your favor when showing is by telling the world.
Wherever I do show, I try to whip off an article or press release for local papers. This Spring, I'm installing a piece I sold to a museum in Chicago, and am planning to leverage that event by contacting Chicago-based galleries ahead of time.
Developers might be a viable place to go, if only because other sculptors aren't marketing to them. Have you taken a Creative Capital workshop?
http://www.pd.creative-capital.org/ they provide a good overview, for short money. All the teachers were artists, in NY this summer. I would love to see this site engaged in conversations about marketing development.
10-03-2005, 02:55 PM
Developers might be a viable place to go, if only because other sculptors aren't marketing to them.
While I admire your thinking, I think it's pertinent to point out that there is a reason why no sculptors are marketing their work to real estate developers. That reason is simply that developers don't buy artwork for their developments. If any artworks are to be commissioned for real estate developments at all, they are usually commissioned either by the architect (assuming there is any. Developers of housing don't usually use an architect, as (1) architects long ago abdicated that market to builders and developers and (2) most developers design their own houses, they buy designs from home plans catalogs, or they hire a draftsman for peanuts to draw them) or by an interior designer (again, if there is one involved in the project at all). It is usually only on large commercial projects, such as schools, universities, office buildings, shopping malls, airports, etc. and especially public buildings that any kind of artwork is ever commissioned and these opportunities are few and far between. Public buildings are usually developed by the government entity that puts out a call for bids from architects and contractors. Real estate developers ordinarily are involved in commercial or large scale residential projects, where there is a possibility of controlling the entire project and, of course, making a substantial profit from it. Artwork is, as one might expect, usually an afterthought and one of the last things to be budgeted for in any commercial project. In public buildings, on the other hand, there is usually a percentage of the construction budget that is mandated to be set aside for artworks, though this varies from one level of government to another and from one jurisdictional area to another. Obviously, federal projects have more funding for public sculpture than do projects for state and municipal buildings.
10-03-2005, 03:54 PM
It's really good money, if you manage to pull through, but in a nutshell, it's a pain in the ass. Sometimes you can bring up marquette after marquette, sketches after sketches and when you finally look like you are going to get your work fabricated, that's a change in management and you have to start all over again. -.-
Plus, you have to cover most of the costs untill they actually pay you.
10-04-2005, 08:25 AM
Its worth a try. I'll let you know the results. Interior designers or landscape architects may be a way in/out depending on your perspective. I'm not keen on public art, I'd rather try and sell my vision. Call me stubborn!
10-04-2005, 12:06 PM
Just a little twist on the subject. Somehow I have been a little lucky in the direction that you are trying to persude. What I have found is look for local construction companies doing a remodel or renovation for a current business, etc. You get a hold of them (construction company) and find out who has the contract for the designing of the interior or exterior rework. The designer can tell you then who makes the decisions for the design work and if there are going to be any art items for the project. It may be the president of the company or somebody who has some pull. That person is most likely not aware of every little detail, but suggesting to them (phone call, personal visit) that a nice piece of sculpture would be great for the project. Their interest can change and let you get a commission.
I am still in the process of one type of deal, which is a major remodel of a golf course club house. All sorts of doors out there to open just have to find the right door.
10-04-2005, 03:24 PM
Golf courses are especially good, if you can do figurative "golf" sculpture. Another possibility is a development in which there is going to be three dimensional sign and/or gate, if you can talk the person who makes the decision into including a sculpture.
Blue, you do know you get paid for public sculpture, right? It's not a donation.
10-05-2005, 10:24 AM
AH the Gov'ment LOL There is another interesting area for sculptures that was mentioned. New development signs. Sign makers are being challenged to make them more and more sophisticated. Unique lettering bronze surfaces etc. This is up my alley and one to consider.
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