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Supporting teams and talents through art in workspaces

Hub Locations

Hub Australia

20th February 2024

8 min. read

Our walls at Hub Local – Box Hill are adorned with stunning artworks by local artists – thanks to our experience partner, ColourSpace. 

Not only does these artworks brighten up our space and enhance the experience for our members, but by partnering with ColourSpace, we get to be a part of their mission to support local emerging artists too. 

In this article, ColourSpace founder and director, Scott Ko, and curator, Meghan Oare, tell us all about the what and the why of the business.

Bringing the gallery into workspaces 

Unlike a traditional art gallery or art leasing business, ColourSpace provides art as a service based on a subscription model. They curate and deliver art to offices every three months, to help businesses create workplaces that are fresh and dynamic at all times. And all their artworks are sourced from local emerging artists. 

So what sparked the idea for this business? 

“I’m not an artist,” Scott Ko begins, “but I used to be in an organisation that branded itself as cutting edge, creative, innovative. And yet, the artwork in that space was dusty, unappealing, generic. So I experienced this real dichotomy of, on one hand, we’re being told to be creative, yet on the other hand, our environment was just so unappealing to be in.

“We all spend a lot of time in our workplace,” he continues. “It’s where we’re expected to be at our top productivity, but the space never really changes. Yet, as humans, when we want to be inspired, we tend to travel, or surround ourselves with new things, or explore different environments.”

During this time, Scott was also in contact with artists who had unused artworks sitting in their studios. That sparked a connection, and made him wonder: what if he could bridge the two? What if he could bring the gallery into the workspace? 

What if he could bring something that – while it isn’t a productivity thing per se – could humanise the workplace and provide new opportunities for creativity and engagement?

Why art in workspaces matters

Workplaces can often feel cold and sterile, and having art in the workplace is a quick, easy, and effective way to boost employee wellbeing and productivity. 

This is backed by research, including a 2019 World Health Organisation report that demonstrated the positive impact of the arts on health, which includes physical, mental and social wellbeing. 

The International Association for Professional Art Advisors and the Business Committee for the Arts also ran a survey across over 800 employees in 32 organisations. 

The results? An overwhelming majority of the respondents agreed that art in the workplace helps to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Increase productivity and creativity
  • Enhance morale and the work environment
  • Encourage appreciation of diversity and expression of opinions
  • Show that the company cares about improving quality of life – both at work and beyond

There are also an abundant number of studies that show the importance of a workplace environment and how that can impact employees. Which is why Scott tells us that the space is a big focus for them when working with any client. 

“Whilst we’re an art business, ultimately what we’re really about is the environment,” he says. “So the first question that we have when we work with our clients is, what type of a space do you want to create? And how do you want the people to feel in the space?”

Celebrating community through art

It was clear that ColourSpace shared our ethos of providing the best workspace environment and experience to help people love where they work. Which made partnering with them a seamless process since day one. 

At Hub Local – Box Hill, community is a big part of the space’s identity. So it was important that we use the artworks in the space to celebrate the local community and showcase their work.

And ColourSpace was quick to get on board with the idea.

Meghan, who helped us with curating the artworks, says, “We have over 2,000 pieces of artwork in our database for clients to choose from. But when Hub gave us the parameters to find artists within the Whitehorse area, that gave us the opportunity to make a call-out to our artist community to see if anyone would be interested in showing their work at Hub Local – Box Hill. And the response was amazing.”

From there, ColourSpace worked closely with our team to select the right artworks for the space. And once we were happy with the selection, they organised everything to get the art up and hanging. 

The first artworks to grace our walls were by Peta Tranquille and Kathy Best. To launch the installation, Peta was at Hub Local – Box Hill to do a painting demonstration and share her passion for art with our members.

We’re beyond thrilled with the stunning masterpieces on our walls. And every twelve months, ColourSpace will come in to replace the installations with new art from local artists to keep our workspace fresh, vibrant and engaging. 

Making art inclusive and accessible

So, why art as a subscription service? According to Scott and Meghan, there are a few reasons. For one, it takes away the pressure to select just ‘that one perfect’ artwork and then having to stick with it for decades. Secondly, it allows companies to ‘refurbish’ their office space regularly without costly renovations.

And on top of that, it’s an ideal solution for a subjective matter. 

Meghan explains: “There’s a variety of artwork and a variety of personalities out there. By bringing in the artwork and changing them every few months, we ensure that the art would suit many different people, rather than only catering to one audience all the time.”

In other words, ColourSpace creates a safe environment for people to experiment with the different types of art and discover what they might like. Because even if some people didn’t like the artwork in this rotation, there’s a chance they might like the new artwork that comes in the next round. 

In fact, the art rotation has become quite a big thing in some companies, even contributing to their team culture. As Meghan puts it, some of their clients are using the art rotations as team building and communications opportunities. 

“Once we give them the art options, they then get their employees to vote for their favourites,” she says. “This allows them to see what their team likes or dislikes, encourages engagement, and creates an inclusive space for everyone.” 

By rotating the artwork, it also allows ColourSpace to achieve its goal of bringing the gallery to the workplace. Because, rather than having to go to an actual art gallery – which Scott mentions can be daunting to some people – they’re bringing the artwork to the office, so everyone can view and enjoy it.

Scott elaborates, “This removes some of the barriers that hinder people from appreciating art, making art more accessible to everyone. It also shows people in a workplace that they don’t have to like everything – and that’s fine. It’s part of the experience; in fact, this is what diversity is about!” 

“And in doing what we do, we get to support the artists as well.”

The impact on local artists

At the heart of ColourSpace is the mission to contribute to a thriving community of local artists. That’s why they source all their artworks from local emerging artists, and for each piece of artwork displayed, 25% is paid to the artist. 

To date, ColourSpace has over 400 artists in their network, with more than $150,000  directed to local artist communities in sales and royalties. 

“One of the things that our subscription service allows us to do is that we get to pay artists to exhibit their works,” Scott says. “We get to pay artists to get their works in front of new audiences and for sale.”

He adds that because the community of artists is so diverse, it can be difficult for some of them to share their work and find their audiences – especially artists whose work might be a little different from the usual. 

Meghan agrees, pointing out that some of their artists are also very shy and introverted and may not feel confident enough to approach a client. “We’ve helped some of our artists build up their confidence. And we’re flexible when working with them, because we want them to know that we’re here for them.”

And they’re doing a great job so far, as proven by their own ColourSpace survey: More than 80% of their artists felt validated and motivated to continue to create art, while almost half of the artists who exhibited with ColourSpace were exposed to more opportunities – both commercial and artistic.

ColourSpace takes its role of supporting local emerging artists and helping them kick start their career seriously, celebrating their artists’ success as if it’s their own. 

Scott and Meghan share the story of one of their artists. 

“This artist started painting as a form of therapy while she was recovering from cancer,” Scott says. “When she found us, we started representing some of her works. And her artwork ended up being installed on the walls of the office of the Governor-Solicitor. She couldn’t believe it!” 

Meghan chips in, “She felt so inspired by that, and so excited, that she kept creating and kept painting. And now, she’s selling artwork, doing more submissions to different art shows, and even winning awards. It’s really increased her confidence.”


Visit ColourSpace’s website to learn more about how they rejuvenate office walls and support the art community. 

Experience Hub Local – Box Hill and see how our space can elevate your work experience. Book a tour today.

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