Art in Available Spaces Guide

Information for Property Owners and Artists

Installing art in available storefront spaces is an excellent way to draw attention to and develop interest in an available retail space, while also allowing a working artist to exhibit their artwork. These partnerships help a property owner to reinvigorate a space and spark interest in how a space may be used, and artists and arts organizations have the opportunity to showcase artwork in a unique environment that enriches a community by increasing the opportunities to experience art in unexpected ways.

Benefits

  • Provides an exciting new way to market vacant properties to potential tenants;

  • Increases pedestrian traffic to surrounding businesses;

  • Showcases vacant retail spaces in new ways, inspiring new uses;

  • Allows artists to showcase their work in unique environments; 

  • Offers emerging artists the opportunity to exhibit their work;

  • Increases the presence of art in the community.

The Arts Council for Long Beach has created this guide for property owners and artists to learn about the necessary steps to implement a successful Art in Available Spaces project.

Information for Property Owners

How do I find an artist?

The Arts Council for Long Beach has an online Artist Registry.

Who selects the art?

Many artists will want to install work they have already completed, but a property owner may discuss with an artist the type of art that will be placed in the property.

What is the minimum the property owner should provide?

The property owner can negotiate with the artist or arts organization what each party will provide. Examples of the types of things property owners should discuss with an artist include:

Payment Structure
Generally, these programs are meant to be a collaborative effort, and in many instances use of the property is donated by the property owner while the artist donates his/her time toward the creation and installation of the artwork.

Duration of the Installation
This is negotiable and can be set for any amount of time both the property owner and the artist feel is appropriate. Things to consider include:

  • What if the property is leased and I need the space cleared for a new tenant?
  • How long will it take for the artist to remove the artwork?
  • What if the artist sells the art that is installed or needs to remove it for another purpose? Will they replace it with something new?

Access to the Space
The property owner/manager will likely want to have access to show the space should they receive any inquiries while the art is present. The artist may want to host a reception or simply have access to the space.

Clean Space
The artist should return the property back to the condition in which it was delivered.

Utilities and Storage
Use of utilities such as electricity, heating or air-conditioning. Storage while artists set up and take down installation.

Information for Artists

How do I find a property owner to work with?

Walk around the neighborhood and find the retail spaces that provide contact information for leasing or renting. In some cases it may be a property management company. Be sure you have the exact address. You should not assume these properties have an interest in temporary art spaces. Please inquire directly with each property.

What are the expectations of property owners?

Generally, these programs are meant to be a collaborative effort, and in many instances use of the property is donated by the property owner and the artist donates his/her time toward the creation and installation of the artwork. It is important that an artist understand what the property owner is comfortable providing as part of this collaborative effort. This will vary with each individual property. In some cases, the property owner will want to have an assurance that the property will not be damaged and will be returned to the state in which it was delivered, and will want to have flexibility in having the artwork removed early, should the property owner/manager find a new tenant. Property owners may also want to have a role in selecting the art that is displayed to ensure they are comfortable with the content and the brand image they are trying to portray for the property.

How do you establish the value of artwork for insurance purposes?

The best way to establish a set value for your artwork is to list all of your materials and hours of labor. Be sure to take photos of the work for your record.