“I have the best job in the world,” I told my sister on the phone just weeks after starting employment at dk Gallery. Sure, I work in a gorgeous space saturated with stunning artwork! Brilliant, masterful paintings cover the partially exposed brick walls, jaw-dropping sculpture and blown glass treasures are tucked in every corner, and charcoal drawings and mixed-media pieces can be uncovered in drawers and shelves everywhere you turn. Oh, and meeting genius yet approachable and humble artists almost every day I come to work? Yep, that is priceless. But the best part, what I love most about my job, is interacting with the people who come to visit the gallery! “They all share the most amazing traits,” I told my sister. You can’t help but be joyful and inspired and optimistic when the people who frequent your workspace are all energized, creative, enthusiastic, and engaging! You are at your best when surrounded by such individuals. Clearly, art enthusiasts are bright, curious, positive, and delighted with life!
Contemplating the title of my new business hiring guide, Now Hiring: Must Love Art, I congratulated myself on uncovering the answer to a burning recruitment question. Are you looking to catalyze the next great business idea, to find employees that can and will take your business to great heights? Identify and hire the Art Lovers!
While I do recall having this brilliant recruiting insight, I can also pinpoint the moment when the lightbulb finally came on for me. Mike, a man I have known for years, stopped in the gallery to say hello before his business lunch on the Marietta Square. He is known to be a serious man, a bit short-tempered, logic-driven, and, dare I say, he spells teamwork with an “i.” While I fully expected him to nod hello and head right back out the door, instead, he scanned the walls intently. His eyes eventually rested on an oil painting of a southern marsh landscape, a partially abstracted fly fisherman woven into the dreamlike scene. He paused. His face changed as he seemingly transported back to another place and time. As Mike softened and started to smile, I experienced I side of him I had never known. He asked me about the artist and took note of the detail, the technique, and the light and movement on the canvas. He was in the space, the zone. As I watched Mike transform into one of the usual exceptional gallery visitors, it finally occurred to me: the catalyst for the unique energy in my workspace was not the clientele, but the artwork itself. It is the power of the artwork that brings out the best in all of the people that I meet. Wow.
Never underestimate the power of original artwork to calm, to inspire, to de-stress, to connect us. Artwork can remove personal barriers to creating ideas, finding solutions to problems, and building connections for extraordinary teamwork. While this is not a new idea, there is nothing like working in an art gallery to witness the transformative magic for yourself. It happens almost every time a beautiful person with unlimited human potential walks in the door and drinks in visual art.