Call to Oregon & NW Artists

Popular color palette for artists in 2015
2015/16 color palette are the soft spring colors.

For Northwest Artists only.  We are curating new artworks for 2015/16 catalog.  Artworks selected will be licensed. Submit your artwork for consideration today.  Due Feb. 20, 2015

Continue reading “Call to Oregon & NW Artists”


5 Large-Scale Art in Architecture Installations and How They Were Created

Art in architecture is a growing trend in healthcare, hospitality and government buildings.  It is the custom integration of art into casework, ceilings, floors, walls, glass and more. Here are 5 easy installation ideas and how they were created.

Painting printed direct to glass and laminated.
Painting printed direct to glass and laminated by Studio Art Direct. Artwork by Marla Baggetta.

Art on Glass – direct to glass Artwork such as photography, paintings and digital arts can be reproduced on glass by printing with archival pigment inks with a high viscosity.  Printing direct to the surface shows brush strokes and is very luminous.  For this installation, a super high-resolution scan of an original acrylic painting I commissioned specifically for the project was done. This scan was expensive, but worth it as it is the single most important step in any large-scale installation because if an image is pixilated, it looks cheap and amateurish. This image was res’d up to 9’0″ high, printed direct to the seconds surface of glass. Another glass layer was then painted with a soft, translucent white and then both were laminated together so that the glass was tempered for safety.  The effect is that the image provides some privacy, and yet light floods through it from the inside.

Vinyl graphics on second surface of tempered glass by Studio Art Direct
Vinyl graphics on second surface of tempered glass by Studio Art Direct. Photography by Zeb Andrews, poetry by A. Moloktov (pictured).

Art on Glass – vinyl  Any high-resolution scan of artwork can be reproduced on vinyl using archival inks and then mounted to the second surface of glass.  However, photography and graphics are best suited for this type of installation because the nature of a print to vinyl is better suited for large swaths of rich color that are not meant to show the subtleties of brush strokes or depth.   When using photography, such as the image shown here, you need to start with a very high-resolution image preferably shot in large format so that when the image is enlarged (9’0″x9’0″ in this case) it holds the resolution (at least 150 dpi at full size) and is not pixilated.  Pixilation is a vexing problem when an image is meant to be seen up close.   In this installation, custom 2″ aluminum standoffs were fabricated to add an architectural element and to hold secure the three 3’0″x9’0″ glass panels.  The wall required 3/4″ backing to withstand the weight.

Digital art printed on laminate and installed as a vertical casework element by Studio Art Direct.
Digital art printed on laminate and installed as a vertical casework element by Studio Art Direct.  Artwork by Joe Futschik.

Art on Laminate Just like your mother’s counter tops, laminates are extremely durable.  But with today’s technology, it can be used on vertical surfaces such as walls, casework, cabinet fronts, doors and dividers. And any artwork can be made into laminate.  The advantage of a laminate is that the material is extraordinarily durable. It doesn’t scratch and is cleanable. This is of special concern for healthcare projects where gurneys can slam into them and solvents are used to clean bacteria off surfaces for infection control. Laminates are created by first creating super high-resolution scan of artwork. You need to know the fabrication process to understand what the best DPI output is at full-scale and the preferred color profile so work closely with the fabricator to prep the files correctly. The image is then printed on a heat sublimation paper, and this paper is heat infused unto the second surface of a clear laminate.  

A large-scale mural reproduced on vinyl and then protected with PVC by Studio Art Direct
A large-scale mural reproduced on vinyl and then protected with PVC by Studio Art Direct.  Photo by Lance Koudele.

Art on Vinyl + PVC protection One of the most cost-effective ways to create large and dramatic art in architecture installations is with wallpaper-like murals.  The best material for high traffic locations is vinyl (the same material used to put logos on vehicles and signage on windows.) Most sign companies can create this type of graphic.  But not all sign companies are sensitive to the color adjustments and subtleties of art that is required prior to printing.  So be careful who you choose. Ask to see samples of their work.  Be sure that the costs include running a swath of the image for your approval prior to final printing. In this image, huge 9’0″x14’0″ photographs of outdoor activities were installed in a stairwell to encourage people to use the stairs.  Stairwells, like many other large wall surfaces in buildings, require that the material be fire rated according to code requirements. Make sure that the specs for the vinyl meet code.  Also, the walls must be prepped to receive the vinyl.  In most cases, the wall should be smooth and painted with a semi gloss paint.  This ensures the best adhesion. In most applications of vinyl, where the image can be touched by the public, I recommend a PVC over laminate to protect it.  Regardless, if a vinyl installation is in a high traffic area, it will show wear and tear quickly. Expect to replace it every couple of years.

Original commissioned painting reproduced on plexiglass by Studio Art Direct.
Original commissioned painting reproduced on plexiglas by Studio Art Direct.  Artwork by Marla Baggetta.

Art on Plex

Plexiglas is a more affordable alternative to glass yet gives that translucent feel.  It comes in varying thicknesses so there are nice options depending on the application.  The downside is that it will scratch over time.  So this is an excellent application for areas that are somewhat protected. In the picture shown here, the wall is slightly curved so I used a thinner, more pliable plexiglas that had just enough bend to handle the curve.  The most crucial issue in this installation was collaborating early on with the interior designer and architect to design an installation system that worked seamlessly into the casework and was durable. Just like a frame can enhance a piece of art, the finish carpentry on an installation makes all the difference.  In this case, an aluminum U channel system was used as well as stand-offs.  To give it a three-dimensional look and hide the seams, 3-Form overlays float over the plex background. For the artwork, I commissioned an artist to paint an abstracted landscape incorporating the interior color palette.  The painting was done in pastels and acrylic on paper at less than quarter of the actual full size.  I then photographed the painting in quadrants and then stitched them together so that the final output had extremely high resolution at 300 dpi at the full size of 6’0″ x 36.0″.

Important Tips

1.  There must be collaboration in the early phases of design with the architect, interior designer, owner and contractor.  This is not a “plunk art” approach – you must design for it prior to completion of the building, preferably in the design development phase, because it may require structural, electrical, or unique fabrication and installation considerations that can be very costly or prohibitive if done too late.

2.  The design ideas above require digital use of original photography or paintings, so you must license the use of the image or pay a royalty to the artist.  This is typically negotiated based on size, placement and other factors.

3.  It is very important artwork is pre-pressed by a professional who understands your chosen fabrication process.  You need to know the preferred DPI (at full size), color profile, and file type that the fabricator needs for the best compatibility and results.  There is no room for error when creating large expensive installations – color, resolution and other concerns will be glaringly obvious upon completion.

4.  Whenever possible, put the fabrication of the art in architecture installations in the GC budget, not the art budget.  The artwork, scanning, pre press, and project management can go in the art budget, but the materials and installation can be easily integrated into the construction documents as they can be considered part of the building.

5.  Lighting is the icing on the cake for art in architecture installations.  Plan for it.

Studio Art Direct is featured in June issue of Oregon Business Magazine: The Art Whisperer


Janelle Baglien doesn’t simply let art hang on the wall and look pretty. She puts art to work. The founder and president of Studio Art Direct, a Portland-based corporate art firm, Baglien consults for developers and interior designers on incorporating works of art into new and remodeled projects. She is driven by the belief that art in the built environment should do more than beautify a space — it should serve the purpose of the business occupying that space.

You create a story, a theme, through art and you match that with the goals of a business,” says Baglien, 51. “If you’re a financial institution, you’ve got people that are going to be writing you checks. They want to know who you are and what you believe in, and I think art is one way to reflect that.”

Janelle Baglien in front of "The White Album" by William Park at Hotel Modera
Janelle Baglien in front of “The White Album” by William Park at Hotel Modera

The Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center, Baglien’s largest project to date, is a case in point. The 480,000-square-foot Hillsboro facility, slated to open in August, features more than 900 works of art, from a monumental glass-and-steel sculpture of a ginkgo plant in the entry rotunda to reproductions of paintings in the exam rooms. Every last piece, Baglien claims, will serve Kaiser’s purpose: healing. She points to research in a field called “evidence-based design” showing certain types of art have positive health impacts, such as lowering blood pressure.

Depictions of nature are good (almost all the artwork at the Kaiser facility portrays the natural world). Abstract art is bad. Red is a big no-no, Baglien cautions. “Freaks people out.”

A hobby artist and fourth-generation Oregonian, Baglien worked in environmental graphic design — the design of facility signage and wayfinding elements — and marketing for 25 years before launching Studio Art Direct in 2005. “People thought I was a little bit nuts,” she says. “But working in the built environment, you understand that as much square footage as there is being built, you have almost four times that of wall space.”

Other corporate art firms offered artwork off the rack, Baglien says. She saw a market niche for an art consultant that would get involved in the construction process early to help developers integrate art into projects in a more intentional way, thus avoiding what she calls “plunk” art. “Buildings would get all done and people would go, ‘Oh, we gotta plunk something up there.’”

Eight years later, Studio Art Direct is still relatively small, with only one employee besides Baglien and a modest $711,000 in gross sales for 2012. But since 2009, even as the recession has leveled the building trades, the firm’s receipts have climbed a staggering 460%. Baglien attributes her business’s unseasonable success to getting out in front of construction trends.

Before the recession, hospitality projects such as Portland’s Hotel Modera were her bread and butter; these days, health care projects like Kaiser Westside are the economic drivers. “You talk to any architect or interior designer, that’s where the bulk of the business is right now in the built environment,” Baglien says, naming government and multifamily as other promising sectors.

What’s good for Baglien can only be good for Northwest artists. She buys or commissions all her artwork regionally from such area artists as outdoor-sports photographer Lance Koudele, landscape painter Marla Baggetta and sculptor Rip Caswell. “I’m extraordinarily passionate about that,” she says. “You wouldn’t believe the artists that are here in Portland.”

Baglien sees Studio Art Direct as a “bridge between the business community and regional arts,” connecting artists with a lucrative market of developers and designers. “Probably nobody [locally has] sold as much art as we have during this recession,” she says. “I think when you make art really accessible to the business community, they’re more than willing to support it.”

Studio Art Direct shares recent photos of completed projects.

By the end of 2012, Studio Art Direct increased business by 500%. Take a look at a sampling of the the 2000 works of art we have commissioned, selected and installed for government, corporate, hospitality and healthcare projects in the last couple of years.   Back to Studio Art Direct website 


By the end of 2012, Studio Art Direct had increased business by over 500% in just the past two years.  Healthcare and government projects have been the main focus.  These market segments seem to be where most growth has occurred since the economic downtown, so it is natural that we would be providing fine art for these types of projects.  We and the artists we work with are certainly grateful for these large projects as it kept us all very busy in some tough years.

As far as the outlook goes, Janelle Baglien, President of Studio Art Direct is seeing a lot more movement in hotel and apartment construction.  So we expect to be working on some new and perhaps “out of the box” projects soon.

Studio Art Direct completes 6 new works for Hotel Modera suites

Hotel Modera  is an urban-chic-meets-Northwest-cool boutique hotel in dowtowm Portland, Oregon.  From the modern lobby to the perfectly outfitted master suites that cater to the business traveler, Modera brims with art created by Portland area artists. 
Portland artist Michael Hensley was commissioned by Studio Art Direct to create and abstract painting that burst with all things Portland. From volcanoes and loggers to bikes and beer, this painting has it all.

Studio Art Direct commissioned another 6 works of art for the Hotel Modera suites.  The hotel’s permanent art collection now totals 506 works created specifically for the hotel by Studio Art.

President, Janelle Baglien, the art designer and broker for the hotel, worked with local artist Michael Hensley to dream up this abstract painting that bursts with all things Portland.  “This painting is street meets art with a graffiti style.  You can stare at it for hours and still not find all the hidden Portland messages and insider nods to pdx culture,” says Baglien.   The original painting (shown here) was then scanned at super high resolution and made into archival reproductions using pigment inks on canvas 30×60. 

Giclee reprodutions of this painting are available to the public at 20% off the listed price.  Just give us a call at 503 230 9390.   Visit to learn more.

Art and Framing Forecast 2010: Studio Art Direct shares insight.


When selecting art, an emotional connection must be made between the art and the customer. For seniors in residential care facilities, local landscapes evoke memories and a deep connection that is healing and uplifting.

In 2009 Americans invested over $42 billion decorating their walls. However, how they choose to spend their dollars on art is changing.  Studio Art Direct studies the Unity Marketing 2010 art and framing forecast and provides insight to artists on how to benefit from the trends.  

“Americans are paying more attention to decorating their walls, but traditional art reproductions, for example, are being purchased less frequently today than they were in previous years,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and lead researcher for the new study.  Consumers are investing more in original art because it has become more widely available through online galleries like and as working artists become market focused.  If you are an artist who still thinks the holy grail is to get into a brick and mortar gallery, we encourage you to think more broadly and consider regional art websites as well as your own online marketing.

To better display their array of original, reproduction, and self-made items, consumers also have a wide range of framing options from which to select, including a growing selection of ready-made frames and custom framing.  However, many American’s feel that custom framing is too expensive and look to the growing market of ready-made frames. As this market grows, there are more options in style and sizes. For the savy artist, creating work that fits standard ready-made frames might lead to more sales.

Americans Want to See Their Own Lives on Their Walls

As the American consumer demands increased participation in other areas of her life, it is only natural that she wants to be an active participant in her art.  “While it is true that most consumers view pictures on the wall as an important part of decorating their home, they express a more personal and emotional relationship to those treasured items they hang on their walls.”  Over 70 percent of the consumers surveyed agreed with the statement, ‘When choosing art for my home, the way the piece makes me feel is most important.’ 

At Studio Art Direct, we take great care in listening to and understanding each client’s personal form of expression and make an effort to connect with them emotionally.  Even for large projects like a hotel or senior care facility, the emotional needs of the client as well as the end user are extremely important to understand when selecting art. 

If you are an artist, you need to understand the emotional make up of your buyer. What are their characteristics? How can you touch them emotionally?  If you don’t know, ask people who have bought or expressed interest in your work.  What moved them? Why did they buy it?  You will begin to understand the expressive nature of your customer.  Take this information and think about it as you work – expand upon it and continue to reach further into the emotions of your future art buyer.

 Janelle Baglien, President, Studio Art Direct, Inc.

7 New Art Trends by Studio Art Direct

Based on requests from clients and insider news from this year’s ArtExpo in New York, Studio Art Direct makes a call on art trends now and in the future.  Here are the highlights:

Street style artists, Chris Haberman was recently hired by Studio Art Direct to paint a "Portland-esque" graffiti style abstract for 6 suites at the Hotel Modera in downtown Portland.

URBAN-INSPIRED Now more than ever, the lines between streets and studios blur – as artists take art to the streets, and street scenes to the canvas. Artful cityscapes, graffiti-inspired abstracts and everyday urban scenes photographed and painted are giving our cities a visual story for our times.

GRAFFITI A mash-up of words, numbers and comic style figurative coalesce in infinitely mesmerizing works. Inspired by the streets, graffiti style abstracts tell stories left to interpretation. 

NARRATIVE ART Every work of art tells a story, but some paintings seem to hold a more predominant narrative element than others. This year’s Artexpo offers a wide array of intriguing, innovative works that raise questions – and invite interpretation.

This nude by Bill Park (Portland artist) is selling well at Studio Art Direct's online art gallery.

FIGURATIVE The buzz we are hearing is the human form is back. Publishers, decor markets, and clients are ready to showcase the nude – but beware, art that camouflages the face, does not show too much T&A and incorporates color trends are what these buyers are looking for. Studio Art Direct placed 175 nudes in the Hotel Modera in Portland and it has been very well received by customers.  However, a very few were offended (we don’t know why).  Perhaps they’ll choose the Heathman on their next visit to Portland.

PHOTOGRAPHY ART ABSTRACTS Photographers become more creative as they push the limits of photoshop and other design programs to create works of art on paper, canvas, plex and aluminum.

ALTERNATIVE SUBSTRATES Plexiglas, metals, bamboo, FSC certified maple, kirei board, glass, gold or bronze metallics, and paper made of elephant poop (yep, that’s right) – printing art and photography with archival pigment inks on these surfaces adds an entirely new dimension to art reproduction and installation.

At Red160 Apartments in Redmond, WA, Studio Art Direct is reproducing a series of photos on frosted plex. The artwork is lit from the sides and the work floats in the inset of the wall which is painted bright yellow.

ART IN ARCHITECTURE  Interior designers and architects are

A typical way to hang artwork reproduced on plexi-glass is with beautiful aluminum stand-offs. The art floats off the wall. This photo shows art printed on both the plex and and a panel behind it for a 3-D effect.

 working to plan for art in the early stages of design so that works are not an after-thought but rather designed into the architecture.

As modern technologies such as reproductions on exciting surfaces and manipulating hand-crafted art in programs like photoshop expand the limits of what artists can achieve, Studio Art Direct continues to provide opportunities for artists to stretch their creative muscle in unique projects throughout the Northwest. 
About Studio Art Direct
The firm provides art created by Oregon & Washington aritsts to healthcare, institutional, multi-family, hospitality, and corporate clients. Visit for more information.