Six Reasons to Consider Hiring an Art Consultant

Those of us who work in the art industry have the good fortune to meet many different people in the course of our jobs. Whether it is a client looking to purchase art or the artists themselves, getting to know people with shared interests and a passion for art is one of the best things about the job. Sometimes we work with professionals that live in the universe between the customer and the artist, commonly referred to as art consultants or art advisors.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of hiring an art consultant, it’s really rather simple. According to, the role of an art consultant is loosely defined as follows:

An art consultant acts as the connection between an artist or artwork and a buyer. As an art consultant, you can combine art and business to advise clients on various types of art and how they could fit into their collections. You can work for a wide variety of clients, from hotels and hospitals to museums or private collectors.

Some use the terms “art consultant” and “art advisor” interchangeably, and for the industry purists, we recognize there are some nuances and differences between the roles. But generally speaking, art advisors and consultants are hired by individuals, collectors, corporations, and just about anyone who wants the curation services of an individual with art expertise and a sophisticated eye. Their services are typically fee-based though some may receive compensation as a percentage of the sale price of the artwork.


When Should You Hire a Consultant? Six Reasons We Believe an Art Consultant Adds Value

Art may seem to some as intuitive and on many levels, it can be. There are also circumstances for which a well-executed design and decor framework is best accomplished by trained art professionals with deep knowledge of the industry. We’re sharing a list of reasons for which hiring an art consultant might be worth considering.


1. An Art Consultant Has Unique and Invaluable Credentials and Expertise

A good art consultant will have a combination of education and experience that marries the various elements of business acumen, art knowledge, and logistics to seamlessly deliver a multifaceted art project.

When hiring an art consultant, look for someone who has an arts degree which may include an emphasis in fine art, curatorial studies, art history, or business management. Additionally, most consultants have built their knowledge and earned credibility as a result of their experience in the gallery and museum environment. In doing so they have learned the ins and outs of art sales and the mechanics of packaging and transporting art, and in some cases, the preservation and restoration of art.

This specialized knowledge and experience give a seasoned art consultant the tools and connections necessary to source the best artworks on your behalf. Art is a subjective business, and these credentials also mean your consultant has an eye for quality.

2. An Art Consultant Can Help You Identify and Refine Your Vision for a Project“Bay Cliffs” by Vahe Yeremyan

One of the biggest challenges associated with do-it-yourself art selection is the ability to go beyond simple ideas to a clearly defined vision for a project. An art consultant will work with you to identify your art preferences, even when you yourself may be uncertain.

According to Samantha Greene, UGallery’s art advisor, it is always useful for a client to have some initial ideas to start the conversation. “Perhaps it would be good for them to have examples of artworks they like to give a jumping-off point to the consultant as well -- that way if the terminology the client is using about the type of art they like doesn't totally align with what they are showing, the consultant can guide them more in the right direction for their search.”


With these initial conversations underway, an art consultant will introduce you to many different styles of artworks to refine your creative goals for a space or site, which may include excursions to art galleries, art fairs, and museums. As a result of this process for refining your likes and dislikes, the consultant will formulate a cohesive design plan, and ensure it meets your specifications.

3. An Art Consultant Can Help You Source Art Within Your Budget

You don’t have to have a celebrity’s annual income to hire an art consultant. One of the biggest benefits of working with a consultant is they know the lay of the land and how to find the right piece or pieces within a client’s budget. Consultants typically have close relationships with art dealers, galleries, and designers, which gives them an upper hand in knowing where to find the right pieces and may sometimes mean they can negotiate a better deal.

Many times these relationships can add value in the form of trade agreements that offer valuable benefits to an art consultant which may be passed along to customers. UGallery, for example, provides a 20% discount to art consultants and representatives of certain industries that tend to buy art frequently or in multiple quantities.

4. An Art Consultant Can Create a Cohesive Concept for Larger Projects

In terms of creating an overall concept, thoughtful planning is invaluable to create a design that is unified rather than piecemeal. This includes a sophisticated understanding as to how art pieces and placement collectively fit within a design scheme, which an art consultant offers.

Art consultant Debbi Schonberger-Pierce works frequently with hospitals and corporations on large-scale projects. Debbi is the owner of Art Solutions in New York, a full-service art consulting firm, and explains that hiring a consultant for a bigger undertaking such as a major renovation or expansion can be tremendously useful to bring all the parts and pieces together. According to Debbi:

“It could be overwhelming doing it yourself. Most companies want to have a cohesive design that fits the culture of the company and the overall design of the space. An art consultant helps facilitate this.”

5. An Art Consultant May Serve as a One-Stop-Shop, Including Installation“Gingko Leaves Against the Sky” by Hellenne Vermillion (hanging on wall) ; “Almost” by Tomo Mori (hanging against window)

A qualified art consultant has a long list of art industry resources and contacts on speed dial including market experts, art dealers, advisors, framers, and installers. There are myriad details to be considered that art consultants will often make arrangements for, including framing, secure delivery and proper installation, and art insurance, just to name a few. Working with an art consultant should give you the benefit and reassurance that all aspects of your project are being handled with care and save you the time involved in the process.

6. Art Consultants Find Solutions for Design and Space Challenges

Most art consultants are adept at meeting the unique needs of their clients which often includes facilitating a solution for a specific design challenge for which off-the-shelf art doesn’t fit. A good consultant prides themselves on identifying bespoke solutions. For example, a client may require space-specific murals, or have a particular idea in mind for a sculpture. Additionally, many corporations seek out a design that includes their own branding. Utilizing the network and tools that they have at their disposal, art consultants can deliver an art solution to meet all of these custom requirements.

We hope this information has provided useful insight into just a handful of the reasons hiring an art consultant can be a smart investment. If you prefer to shop art on your own, you can check out new art weekly on our website.