There has been some controversy in your workplace lately over the appropriateness of certain employee displays. You work in a large agency, so disagreements were bound to come up due to the diversity of ideas and approaches among your colleagues. To help ease the recent tension, your boss has directed you to create workplace art guidelines for the office as a whole. As a team leader in the Creative Department, you are a qualified and obvious choice for the task. The guidelines are intended to help your co-workers better understand what art is and what it is not.
Your boss has given you authority to use your discretion in generating the guidelines, provided you accomplish a few basic things. To begin, you are to include a very brief overview of art and its role in the world and workplace. Your boss calls this the preamble. Next, you are to address the core question of how to evaluate art. Your boss phrases the question this way: What instructions can you provide to help your co-workers ascertain whether their chosen exhibitions will be welcome in the office?
After your boss ends the meeting, you reflect on the tricky question your boss has posed. The one thing you’re certain of is that settling on a good answer will not be easy. Still, you agree with the idea of the project: there need to be rules in effect to minimize conflict. As your brow furrows in concentration, you begin to write down a few questions that you think are essential to answer as part of your process:
- How should the distinction between high art and low art be explained to non-experts?
- How does context, such as different employee roles or different times of year, affect the analysis?
- Which displays should be unequivocally permitted/not permitted in the office?
- What specific qualities should your co-workers look for in the “art” they want to display?
As you finish jotting down your thoughts, your boss pops back in with a final directive: “Keep in mind that what position you take in regards to various art forms is much less important than the production of concrete guidelines steeped in reasoned explanation.”