Janesville32.7°

Evansville firm helping pick what art goes up in new Dean Clinic

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GINA R. HEINE
June 18, 2011
— More than 500 pieces of artwork will decorate the walls of the new Dean Clinic when it opens in Janesville next year.

The story of how each piece makes it onto the walls will start in a storefront on West Main Street in Evansville.


From the outside, Integrated Art Group looks like a small art gallery. Inside, owner Margaret LeMay and other art consultants choose art collections for health care facilities and businesses from coast to coast.


“(It’s) really about working with the client to get the best collection possible for the budget that they have in mind and then being able to display it in the most striking fashion,” art consultant Liese Pfeifer said.


They help clients get commissioned or site-specific pieces as well as gather works from local artists. Once artwork is chosen, the firm takes care of framing and installation.


“We like to align with architects and designers to get involved early on in the project,” LeMay said.


Most of their clients are seeking art for new construction, though some clients are remodeling, she said. Clients buy the artwork, but some rental artwork is available for people who want to have art on a rotating basis, she said.


The art consulting firm primarily works with health care facilities and other professional office settings.


Art installation at the Dean Clinic under construction on Janesville’s east side is scheduled for October.


“We like to provide a diverse collection because people from all walks of life are coming to use the facility—not just sick patients, but families, nursing staff, doctors—so (we like) to have a wide range of artwork with everything from realistic images to landscape to completely nonobjective abstracts and everything in between,” LeMay said.


People have said only nature photographs are appropriate in a health care setting, she said.


“I disagree with that, and I think that’s what makes us unique as well,” she said.


Once they get a direction for the fine art for the public areas, they work with department heads.


“We’re very cognizant of if it’s a pediatrics area, it’s not just for 5-year-old girls,” she said. “We have to understand that it’s birth to 18, so you put in the type of artwork that an infant might respond to as well as a 16-year-old boy.”


The firm puts out a call for artists on its website with criteria for art it’s looking for, and artists can submit directly to the site, she said.


Dean Clinic, for example, requested a couple site-specific pieces including one for the pediatric waiting area, she said.


A database stores the information local artists submit. A private online gallery with several hundred pieces is available for the client to review, rate and comment about.


“From that, we glean which will work best and in which locations,” LeMay said. “Size and scale are very important. Oftentimes you see things way too small in big public waiting areas.”


On larger projects, fine art or original pieces often fill public areas, while poster artwork is used elsewhere to ensure art is placed in all areas but on a manageable budget, she said.


The firm recently helped provide artwork for a new Data Dimensions corporate office in Janesville and has worked with Union Bank and Trust in Evansville.


LeMay opened the business in downtown Evansville in May 2008 after doing similar work as a program director at an architectural firm for 13 years.


Why Evansville?


Her kids grew up here, and she’s lived in town for 19 years. She said her business can be located anywhere because they travel to clients and have an interactive website.


She looked at sites in Madison but found the open space she wanted in Evansville. She and her staff often work from home or on the road.


“This is just kind of a base for us to come together once or twice a week,” she said.



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