Kim Pigeon-Metzner wants her business to start a conversation. The Green Bay SCORE client and owner of KPM Arts Consulting in Green Bay says art accomplishes that goal.
“I believe that art plays a significant role in expression whether it’s your sense of style, beliefs, culture or values,” Pigeon-Metzner said. “If you go into a company and all they have in their lobby is their name on the wall and then go into another company that has artwork, it says they are an innovative company and open to discussion.”
Her business (www.kpmarts.com) accomplishes the objective of bringing art into the community. As an art consultant, she helps corporate and residential clients make a statement with art. When she is contacted by a potential client, the process includes a review of the space and discussions about the image to be presented.
“I will talk to the client about what their needs are and then go back and research through all of my notes which artists might fit those needs best and then work with the artist," Pigeon-Metzner said. If the client is asking for a custom work, I will go to the artist and say, ‘My client needs such and such. Can you do it for me?’”
Having worked at the Art Garage as manager for 10 years, she has developed relationships with dozens of artists and has a feel for which will provide the right type of art. These contacts, and all of her years of experience, led her to where she is now.
When she moved to Green Bay in 2005, she had spent a decade in design. She fell in love with 3-D art while a student at UW-Green Bay, graduating with a degree in communications and the arts. During college, she and her sister revamped old furniture, and it inspired a passion for creating new pieces.
“That just sparked something in me,” Pigeon-Metzner said. “I thought about getting into design as a career and contacted a company in Milwaukee and asked for an internship. They gave me a few projects, and it blossomed from there.”
After college, she moved to Milwaukee and created custom 3-D exhibits for museums and the trade show industry. As she listened to clients to achieve the best design for their business or organization, the idea of someday starting a business began to take root.
Additional experience continued to prepare her. When she and her husband returned to Green Bay, she found that there was a grassroots movement to bring art to the area. The newly formed Art Garage hired her as manager.
“At the Art Garage, it was a constant learning experience,” she said.
She learned how to run a business, work with artists to get their artwork into public and private spaces, obtain volunteers, develop programs and budget. In May, she decided it was time to take the leap to business ownership. SCORE mentors helped her put together a list of things she needed to do.
“I hadn’t thought about areas like liability insurance, and there were a number of things I needed to do to get myself organized. They were extremely helpful,” she said.
With most of those areas taken care of, Pigeon-Metzner is now focusing on marketing and pinpointing target customers. She has completed a number of projects and is seeing the impact that art can make. At the Aurora Hospital Cancer Wing, there is a garden where she has installed a sculpture that patients and family say create a sense of peace.
As the business grows, her first goal is to build a reputation for quality and reliability before expanding her market area and potentially opening a small gallery. She is excited to see Green Bay embrace art and loves to help artists get their work into the community.
“Art tells people who come into your building that you care about your community and makes a statement about what kind of company you are. It is a win-win for the artists and the business,” Pigeon-Metzner said.
Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt is co-owner of DB Commercial Real Estate in Green Bay and past district director for SCORE, Wisconsin.