Social enterprise tackles workplace wellbeing while funding Australian artists
- Written by Shout PR
Award-winning social enterprise, ColourSpace, is bringing art-as-a-service to Sydney, on a mission to turn cities into galleries supporting local artists.
As Australia’s first art social enterprise, ColourSpace transforms staid environments into dynamic, carefully curated galleries – displaying and regularly changing art.
Similar to fresh flower delivery services that brighten offices, ColourSpace curates a selection of fresh artworks - delivering, installing and changing them every three months - with art sourced from local emerging artists, who share in the revenue.
Since launching in 2016, ColourSpace has contributed over $45,000 in revenue to artists through royalties and sales, with a further 10% of revenue supporting art programs for local, disadvantaged communities.
“We’ve displayed over 500 individual pieces of artwork to date and have helped artists sell more than 10% of them,” shares founder Scott Ko. "In essence, we're able to pay artists to get their works out on display and for sale."
With obvious benefits to artists, whose unsold works often sit in studios or storage when not on display in expensive gallery spaces, it was the benefit to workplaces that originally sparked the idea for ColourSpace.
Founder and CEO Scott Ko formed the idea while sitting in a stale office environment where the same picture had hung above his desk for years.
“When I asked if it was possible to change the artwork that had been on the walls for almost a decade I was met with a chorus of “too expensive, too hard, we don’t know how,” he shares.
So Ko took it upon himself to launch a certified social enterprise breathing new life into spaces.
“Regularly changing office art gives employees something new and inspiring to engage with. Workplaces benefit from improved staff wellbeing, increased productivity and reduced stress, all while creating economic opportunities for local Australian artists.”
For businesses competing to attract and retain talent, ColourSpace helps create inspiring, stimulating environments without requiring the deep-pockets and perks of Google-esque startups. Prices start from just $50 per piece, per month.
ColourSpace has reinvigorated walls of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Victorian Governor Solicitor’s Office, University of Melbourne and Property Exchange Australia.
After being accepted into and graduating from QUT’s Collider Accelerator, ColourSpace has tripled its revenue and is looking to Sydney as the focus for expansion. The funded social enterprise is also planning a capital raise later in the year to support growth Australia-wide.
ColourSpace is Australia’s first art social enterprise changing the way businesses engage with art by providing art ‘as a service’ for workplaces. ColourSpace helps attract and engage your clients and employees whilst collectively creating economic opportunities for local Australian artists. ColourSpace is also proudly part of the Aboriginal Arts Association of Australia.
SCOTT KO FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR – COLOURSPACE GALLERY
Entrepreneur Scott Ko, 36, is the founder and CEO of ColourSpace, an arts social enterprise that helps organisations refresh their work and communal spaces by providing art as a service.
ColourSpace transforms staid environments into dynamic galleries by displaying and changing art on a regular basis. All art is sourced directly from local emerging artists, who share in the revenue.
Scott was struck by how little engagement there was with art in many corporate environments - for many, art simply merged into the background.
"I came up with the idea of ColourSpace while sitting in the office space at my previous job. The office had someone come through regularly to change the fake flowers near reception, however, when I asked if it was possible to change the artwork that had been on the walls for almost a decade I was met with a chorus of: “Too expensive, too hard, we don’t know how. And so I thought - “What if I created a service that changed the art instead?”
“Regularly changing office art gives employees something new and inspiring to engage with. It can spark discussions, inspire and foster creativity and has been proven to positively impact mental health.”
Since launching in 2016, ColourSpace has contributed over $45,000 in revenue to artists through royalties and sales and 10% of their revenue goes towards supporting art programs for local, disadvantaged communities.
Prior to launching ColourSpace Scott worked as a management consultant and innovation leader for firms like Accenture. He was involved in setting up and project managing the NDIS rollout in Victoria; launched major technology projects for major Australian businesses; consulted on major reform projects in Victoria; facilitated mergers of Government departments; pioneered tools and methodologies that changed how businesses work; launched apps; patented technologies and launched a meal planning startup called MealDish.
Always pushing his comfort zones, he even featured in a Bollywood dance troupe for the Good Friday Appeal on channel 7! As a ring-in, he had to teach himself how to do a Bollywood dance in just 72 hours.