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.
- 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.
- Be sure the artist you’re interested in does commissioned work. Not all do.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
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 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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.