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demystifying commissioned art

 

Commissioning a piece of art for your home may sound out of reach.  Perhaps even intimidating.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Over the past few years we’ve had the distinct pleasure of introducing artists to clients and helping to finish homes with a commissioned work of art.

The commissioning process nearly always results in a deep, meaningful relationship between artist and patron – supportive and gratifying for everyone involved. It’s a byproduct of the project that no one quite expects at the beginning, but one we know is highly likely when the artist/client match is right, and a bit of nurturing has been provided (sometimes by us, sometimes by a talented gallerist like our friend Candita Clayton).

Intrigued by the idea?  Here’s how to start thinking about commissioning an artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece for you.

  1. Identify artists whose work speaks to you.  You may even own a small piece of his/her work you love, and would like to add to your collection with a larger piece.
  2. Be sure the artist you’re interested in does commissioned work.  Not all do.
  3. Visit and talk with the artist to understand the work he/she is currently pursuing.  What’s on their mind?  What ideas are they working through in their art?  It may be the work you prefer is something done earlier in their career and they’ve moved on to a new style or subject matter.
  4. It’s common (and ok) to ask an artist for sketches that illustrate their direction for a commissioned piece.  Be ready to provide feedback on preliminary sketches and balance your comments with a level of freedom to let the artist’s work evolve.  This isn’t the time to micromanage.
  5. Then, step back and provide ‘artistic license’.  Be patient and allow the artist to do the commission at their pace.  And, be supportive and open to the artist’s evolution of ideas while working on the piece.

Read on to learn about some of our favorite commission projects the past few years.  And, reach out when you’re ready to develop a relationship with an artist, and their work, you’ll treasure for years to come.

Only the best,

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P.S.  Be sure to scroll down to learn about this summer’s Linger & Learn events at taste. Three evenings provide a unique opportunity to meet artists and learn about how easy + enjoyable commissioned art can be.

 

Evelyn Rhodes

Evelyn created this sea and landscape for longstanding taste clients as we finished the redesign of their Living Room.  Perfectly sized and framed, Evelyn’s work proudly sits over the fireplace in the now highly used room by the whole family.

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Jessica Pisano

Friend and artist Jessica Pisano has created commissioned pieces for our clients the past ten years.  Our most recent project is from her ‘Bird Series’ and graces our clients’ Dining Room.  (I love to capture the moment an artist delivers a commissioned piece and Jess’s pride the day she shared this piece with me was evident in her confident smile.)

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Sue Freda

Artist Sue Freda recently created this tapestry on a custom branch hanger for clients in Charlestown, Rhode Island.  I love the way it shimmers with glass elements reminiscent of the sea as it casts interesting shadows on the wall.  It finishes the custom bed we designed for our clients perfectly.  (As new friends, Sue and I were delighted to hang it together just a few weeks ago.)

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Clancy Designs

We’re so fortunate to have glass artists Jennifer and David Clancy in our Jamestown community.  Of the projects we’ve done together, our most recent installation of their glass hummingbirds is my favorite.  In our client’s newly renovated home we imagined a swarm of birds in the transom window enroute to the top of the stairs.  Our client already imagines adding more birds to grow her Clancy flock.

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David and Jennifer also created this stunning chandelier for clients in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  Glass spheres are clustered around a form that suspends above their dining table, providing a soft glow and special atmosphere – day and night.

 

 

Christian Potter Drury

In that same client home that the Clancy’s birds fly, Christian Potter Drury created a custom barn door in our client’s master bedroom.  Christian’s 7′ x 4′ multimedia piece includes a representation of our client’s children and even her beloved dogs, for a thoughtful inclusion of the people and canines most important to her.

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Christian’s work also completes the interior design of the salon and cabins aboard a yacht we completed last year for clients we adore.  Their interactions with Christian and appreciation of her spirited style of painting makes her work aboard their floating getaway that much more special.

 

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Vanessa Piche

In addition to creating custom pieces of art for several of our clients during the holiday season, our dear friend Vanessa Piche’s work finishes the home of several taste clients.  Her warmth and joy for the New England’s coastline comes through in every piece she creates.

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This Summer: Three Opportunities to Meet Artists @ taste

As always, summer brings opportunities to meet artists at taste as we open our doors during three Linger & Learn events.  Join us, Kelly Milukas, Jeff Soderbergh, Lisa Barsumian and Christian Potter Drury during rare and intimate artist talks at taste.  Mark your calendars and join us!  We love to match artists with clients for relationships that celebrate creativity and bring art to the lives and homes in which we work.

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before & after: honest + artful bungalow

 

 

 

 

The design assignment to renovate a bungalow and retains its inherent character sounds straightforward and appealing.  The scale is comfortable, architectural details are honest and an open floor plan creates a pleasing flow from room-to-room and from inside-to-out.

Built in 1900, this Jamestown charmer had the potential to promise this simplified lifestyle.  Thankfully, our client could see beyond the years of reincarnations and unfortunate remodels and recognize the opportunity to create a place of rest and respite for her upcoming sabbatical from the academic world.

That opportunity came with abundant challenges for our client and the design/build team, however.

While a few original details remained, time had taken its toll on the bungalow’s bones.  Layers of linoleum and sheetrock revealed notched floor joists, balloon framing and out-of-square walls.

What started as an assignment to rejuvenate a classic house for modern life became a duty to resuscitate the structural integrity and craftsmanship associated with a bungalow.  All while imbuing it with art and elements of modernity for our brilliant client eager to come home to rest and recharge.

Photography for taste: Robyn Ivy

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Dining Room: Before & After

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2nd Floor Hall: Before & After

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Master Bath: Before & After

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Only the best,

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P.S. Special thanks to Rhode Island Monthly magazine for featuring this project in their May Issue, available now! Pick up your copy today.  RI Monthly photos by Elaine Frederick Photography.

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big impact, small budget…

 

Happy Spring everyone!  If you’re like us and are embarking on a few spring projects at home to freshen up your inside spaces, you’ll find this article from The New York Times “Making a Big Impact on a Small Budget” helpful.

We did, and found it inspired us to share a few of our favorite ‘cheap and cheerful’ design tricks.  Be sure to read the article and scroll below for a tip from each of your favorite team taste designers.

 

Only the best,

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Megan Landis | Project Manager & Interior Designer

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Julia Reinalda | Project Manager & Interior Designer

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Wendi Dicely-Scalora | Senior Designer & Project Manager

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Patti Watson |  Principal 

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