It’s no secret that art inspires, relaxes, motivates and even increases the productivity of employees, which is why so many companies line their hallways with framed pieces of art, typically of the generic, corporate artwork variety. While some are higher quality than others, the prints, photos or paintings are typically an afterthought (or may have been given no thought at all, just for decoration).
At Weinstein Spira, we take art seriously and have invested a lot of time and money to adorn our workplace with treasured, original pieces of art—from the main lobby to hallways to individual offices—making a statement that “art matters” in our everyday experience.
This patronage of the arts dates back to the 1970s, when our founding partners, Joel Spira and Stanley Weinstein, began collecting art for display in their (then-small) Houston accounting firm. It was an interest they had in common, so as the practice grew and space expanded, they naturally wanted to fill the blank walls with more artwork.
The business art collection is now brimming with famed local artists’ images and sculptures for all to enjoy, including employees, clients and anyone else who visits our physical location for interviews, meetings or events.
Additionally, many staff members have become art enthusiasts in their own right, hanging pictures specifically chosen to reflect a personal style and create a unique vibe in each office. To foster this self-expression, employees are encouraged to enhance their desktops and office walls with art objects that speak to them. For example, I purchased a painting of koi fish swimming in a swirling fashion that definitely contributes to my relaxation throughout the workday and hopefully does the same for those who enter or walk by my office. Some employees have even created their own pieces of art, like original paintings or collages depicting their goals, families, hobbies, etc.
One of our senior managers, Andrew Moore, has done just that, contributing his originally produced art for display in several areas throughout Weinstein Spira.
uch artistic expressions can also be whimsical and symbolic of our profession, exemplified by one of our retired shareholder’s very ornate, antique cash register that still stands atop a tall chest, along with a copy of the Journal of Accountancy magazine issue that featured it on their front cover.
The Weinstein Spira Collection
It would take more than a short blog post to capture the stories behind all of Weinstein Spira’s art accumulated over the years. Nothing is hidden away in a storage room; rather, it is all on public display, as fine art is meant to be. While you really have to see everything first hand for a full appreciation of the visual appeal, here is a glimpse at our precious collection:
- Several pieces of original artwork, supporting two main artists: the well-known David Adickes (of Texas) and internationally acclaimed Lamar Briggs (of Louisiana). Note: You may have seen Adickes’ statue of Sam Houston positioned along Highway I-45 when driving towards Huntsville or his sculptures of U.S. presidents standing proudly in downtown Houston.
- One original painting (of a yellow building) and a few posters by the famous Austrian-born, New Zealand artist Hundertwasser, whose art spreads a message for living life in harmony with nature and the individual’s creativity.
- Large photographic blow-ups (collection of 8): originated from a previous Weinstein Spira controller, whose dentist excelled in the hobby of photography; includes familiar images of the University of Houston, a historic downtown Houston bar, etc.
- A few free-standing sculptures in our lobby, as well as some interesting metal wall art pieces.
Connecting with Clients
The presence of office artwork not only improves the employee experience, but it also has a positive impact on clients. One person visiting our firm recently commented, “It’s amazing! I’ve never seen an office with so much original art.” The “Wow” factor of such office esthetics serves to promote Weinstein Spira’s unique brand of engagement and non-traditional approach, which is echoed on our website and across all marketing materials (redesigned a few years ago to align with the “cool” office atmosphere). The net effect of embracing what we like to call “classic modernism” throughout all aspects of the business, both onsite and online, is that existing clients are comfortable working with us and potential clients find it easy to learn about our services.
Office artwork does not have to be sterile or generic. Since we spend so much time at the office, it’s nice to work in such a special environment, where we can bring our “A” game, surrounded by meaningful, inspirational images and artifacts.