Art Consultancy, Goal-setting and Victories: Q & A with Accent Art and Frame’s CEO, Paul Mergener

  1. What made you start up your company, Accent Art and Frame?

I was looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity and this business provide that opportunity while as the same allowing me to turn a hobby of framing into a business driven by a love of art, it was a natural fit.

  1. Why did you decided to focus more on art for hotels, offices, hospitals, government offices?

Commercial art provided a greater opportunity to focus my sales and marketing abilities to be proactive in finding, developing and closing business.

  1. In your own words, can you describe art consultancy?

Art consultancy is understanding and helping guide clients to find the right artwork for each location, even when they may not know what they really want. Searching options and leading them thru the options until the right solution is realized.

  1. What are your goals for this company, do you think you have already achieved them?

Become a top art consultant to the hospitality and health care industries by providing creative solutions and the finest quality art available. We are on the right path, but have still are striving to improve every day in an ever changing market.

  1. In your years in business, what have been the greatest challenges you have faced as a head of a company?

Finding and/or developing the right artistic talents to meet the ever changing art requirements of the design community.

  1. What are your greatest victories and success stories with Accent Art?

Meeting client needs with the right art that perfectly complements a design. Projects include Marmara Park Avenue – a 5 star NYC hotel which featured many different styles and mediums of art, The Inn at the Chesapeake Bay – a boutique hotel on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland that including fabulous frame art as well as custom country themed sculptures, antique clocks and mirrors. We have also done a lot work with Veteran Administration Medical Centers around the country which has been a great honor in helping to support our wonderful veterans.

  1. How can you see Accent Art and Frame in 10 years?

Accent Art & Frame in 10 will have significantly grown our artist offerings and will be a leader in new art styles and materials. Our offerings will continue to evolve with the industry adding new products like our recently launched line of backlit mirrors.

  1. How can you see the Art industry evolving in the coming years?

The art industry is ever evolving, experimenting with new materials and methods of productions. Styles and creativity are boundless; a key will be pushing the boundaries on the production side to utilize new technologies like large scale flatbed printing on a variety of substrates. The possibilities continue to grow and will create an exciting future for the art industry.

  1. Do you have any advice to aspiring art consultants, who get inspiration to your work?

Do not limit yourself, think outside the box and push the limits.

  1. If you could change one thing in the past about this company, what would it be and why?

Expanding our top notch group of collaborative artists much earlier. Through their creativity, they challenge us to push the limits and achieve great things

Art in Healthcare

The direct connection of Arts and the Healthcare industry has long been established and explored through studies and actual implementation of its findings.

Today, Arts in Healthcare is a diverse, multidisciplinary field dedicated to uplifting and taking the healthcare experience to the next level by connecting people through art and its benefits to patients, their families and the health workers all together.

This rapidly growing trend integrates the arts—be it visual design, multimedia and performance, into a wide variety of healthcare as a setting for therapy, education and expression.

Hospitals are no longer a workplace for clinicians, but also a playground for artists as the medical community recognize art as an important and integral component of healthcare and healing.

The Importance of Arts in the Health Sector

Art is beneficial to every person’s mental health, patient or not. Studies found a direct and strong showing link between the content of images that art offers and the brain’s reaction to pain, stress, and anxiety. Many researches have demonstrated the benefits of the arts in healthcare in hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, hospices, and other locations within the community.

Arts in healthcare programs and creative arts therapies have been applied to a vast array of health issues, including:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism and overall mental health
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
  • Neurological disorders and brain injuries
  • Premature infant births
  • Physical disabilities

Overall, art is beneficial to a person’s overall health condition, including medication outcomes, treatment compliance and quality of life.

Evidence-Based Design

In 1984, Dr. Roger Ulrich has published a paper exploring the idea of how art helps patients’ recovery. He established and coined the term Evidence-Based Design, which was supported by observations and data recorded. He closely studied the recovery of patients situated in rooms with a window, and why they needed and were required less pain medication and recovered faster than patients staying in a room without windows.

Since then, the field of Evidence-Based Design had wider horizons and has inspired more studies to further strengthen Dr. Ulrich’s hypothesis. Later on, studies focused on how art in hospital rooms and corridors promoted faster healing, which relieved patients’ stress and pain.

The concept of using the arts in healing has gained more attention and more articles and reviews about the trend were published in journals and academic periodicals. Many of which explored the effects of arts when patients and their families, as well as health workers were exposed to different art media.

How Art Helps Patients:

The primary beneficiaries of Art in Healthcare are the patients themselves. Arts benefit them by aiding in their physical, mental, and emotional recovery, as well as relieving their anxiety and decreasing their perception of pain.

In a mostly intimidating and cold atmosphere and environment, arts can serve as a therapeutic and healing tool, reducing the loneliness and providing opportunities for self-expression.

How Art Helps their Families and the Health Workers:

Caregivers—both professionals and not (family and friends) are experiencing stress and anxiety in hospitals and other health facilities too. Everyday health workers face realities of human suffering, illnesses, and death. Arts allow them to have a sanctuary of calmness and relief, as well as a platform for them to release their emotions and stress.

At the same time, arts can act as a new opportunity for medical professionals to improve diagnostic and communication skills, which can be helpful in communicating health and recovery information.

How Art Improves the Hospital Setting:

Hospitals are often seen and portrayed as a cold place where science dominates. Arts create a safer, more supportive and home-y ambiance to these healthcare facilities that can affect the general setting for patients and workers, the same.

From the mere architectural design to art hung on the walls, from windows to landscaping and healing gardens, the physical environment was proven to have a significant impact on reducing patient and caregiver stress, improving health outcomes, enhancing patient safety and overall quality of care, and reducing costs. At the same time, it boosts the productivity of healthcare providers, increasing effectiveness and reducing errors.

Forms of Arts in Healthcare

Site-Specific Art

One of the first collaboration of art and healing was in the form of visual medium, through site-specific art.

The positive effect that bringing the visual arts into a healthcare environment had on patients’ health and wellbeing. This is popular today more than ever, as more and more hospitals allocate more budget and pay more attention on their hospitals interior, layout, design and art collection.

Permanent art displays are now a trend in hospitals around the globe. More and more philanthropists are also providing enough budget to support the growing art industry in the healthcare sector.

Art consultants are also commissioned to help in choosing the right and apt art works for the hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Art Therapy Sessions

Performing Arts has also penetrated the industry of healthcare. Many hospitals today have incorporated art programs as part of the patients’ therapy sessions. Hospitals are now also venues for dance, music, literature and other kinds of performances.

As a field of study, Art Therapy originated in the late nineteenth century as psychologists explored the connection between arts and a person’s mental and emotional health. In the 1930s, Art has been used in “milieu therapy”, which encouraged patients to enjoy and create art as a part of healthy self-expression. More recently, the practice expanded from mental health to physical health.

Today, a report Society for Arts in Healthcare says that close to half of hospitals have arts programs, which include art therapy classes and musical performances in 2009.

Art Classes and Sessions

Healthcare facilities are now becoming spaces for patients to create art themselves. Patients are encouraged to engage in painting, drawing, photography and pottery sessions among other forms of art.

Researchers have noted that their respondents expressed a positive attitude and view regarding art. They said that the activity ‘filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness’. Medical results also show that patients who are actively participating in art activities have reductions in stress and anxiety, distress and negative emotions. On the other hand, it noted to have increases in positive emotions and improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks.

Hospitals with Great Art Collections (Infographic)

Science have proven that art can help the betterment and recovery of people with sickness and diseases. Numerous studies have found that there is healing through art, that our brains react positively when we are surrounded by art, especially in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. These researches have shown a direct link between the content of images and the brain’s reaction to pain, stress, and anxiety.

At the same time, these art pieces in hospitals also help the families and relatives of the patients to get relaxed and relieve anxiety while worrying for the condition of their loved ones.

Because of this, more and more hospitals are considering and choosing artworks based on the evidence and giving it a higher priority than merely decoration for sterile rooms and corridors.

hospitals-with-great-art-collections