Company Overview: Nixon Art Associates

by Claire Lynch

Emily Nixon, CEO of Nixon Art Associates, Inc., feels that purpose of a corporate art collections is to compliment a corporation’s ideals through the art hung in its offices. For Chicago, Nixon pioneered this branch of art business two decades ago. Learning the ropes as a curator for Continental Bank Collection for seven years, Nixon then ventured on her own. Impressively, her first client was Arthur Anderson.

In a world where art consultants come in hoards, Nixon believes the reason she has one of the largest client bases and is behind some of the most respected corporate collections for one reason: point of view.

Nixon Art  believes a corporation’s values should be reflected by the art it displays. Emily Nixon gives an explanation of her practice: “You find the best quality art that you can afford… something that means something to the culture [of the company], something that has a point of view”. While corporate art collections aren’t the most accessible, viewing projects completed by Nixon mirrors a museum experience. The firm’s collaboration with The Boeing Corporation provides an interesting example – the collection includes black and white photographs  of movie stars coming out of airplanes, along with prints and paintings of space shuttles, even the archived doors of Apollo 1.

Nixon speaks  fondly of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois project, which required artwork that reflected positive images of the health care industry. Nixon Art Associates  installed works that centered around the theme of  ‘the touch of the hand’; hand-crafted images that  reflect the human experience. It was also demonstrative of the Chairman and his wife’s passion for Folk Art. As an homage to Chicago, Blue Cross’ collection also features several works by the artists of Gallery 37.

Chicago Art Collector visited with Jennifer Johnson of US Equities Realty, another loyal follower of the Nixon vision. The art chosen for this space was fought for tooth-and-nail among US Equities’ employees. Johnson recalls the most coveted pieces in the collection are so popular they are typically rotated throughout the office space and shared by the employees. No wonder. Nixon smartly infused a property management firm’s corporate headquarters with art that muses interiors of iconic structures, like Cloud Gate, Irving Penn photographs and remnants of the rookery also grace US Equities office.

For these and a host of other important and art-conscious Chicago companies, Emily Nixon has been a  the great a visual art storyteller for two decades. Although many of Nixon’s exhibitions are not on view to the general public, a stellar example of her practice is currently exhibited in the lobby of Willis Tower:  sculpture by famed Chicago artist Richard Hunt, on view though May 7th.

Please visit http://www.nixonart.com for further information.