Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pittsburgh art and it's artists. Spreading the word.

Pittsburgh art and it's artists.

For a half of a day I helped a friend sort out his laptop which had been cluttered with various software and malware and during the process I showed him some artists online I admire, one of whom is Andy Kehoe. I had a feeling my friend would take to his work as well as the work of Kathleen Lolley, formerly of Pittsburgh, PA. I also showed him some digitally manipulated work I did on my website, including the Wrinkled Finkel series, as well as a hodgpodge of digital art. It was good because I hadn't seen some of those images for a while and received some good feedback, while also noting images I need to remove for not being too stellar! Such as it is when you're learning what works and what it takes to get more exposure. Anyways my friend ended up buying a print from Andy Kehoe and has plans to purchase one of mine so all in all a good outcome.

It brings me back to a project still in it's brainstorming stages which needs sufficient feeedback. Actually two separate projects. The first one being very simple and that's providing a free web page for Pittsburgh area artists like this one. The artist would choose the images and the text they want on the page and I would take care of the rest if they didn't want to use eg Frontpage to design their own. They would get a personal url eg www.pghgalleries.com/RickByerly.htm and could be used as a supplement to their own website which I could either design and/or host for a great deal (Hosting at $5 a month if the domain is temporarily transferred to me because that's how I'm able to get a great deal, Website design for $100 and up). The free artist page concept would not compete nor be the same as GPAC's Pittsburgh Artist Registry , which I encourage every "serious" artist to visit and register for, the free web pages I would offer allow more flexibility and offer the option of selling the work online and is not a directory of all artists from the area. The free artist web pages would also play into another project I'm considering doing which involves offering artwork for sale online by Pittsburh area artists.

The domain BuyPittsburghArt.com which is still a shell at this point is something I would like to turn into an online option for Pittsburgh area artists to offer their work of all types of medium for sale where I would handle the transactions and take a reasonable % to cover the effort, say 30%. The artist would just have to send images and descriptions of work for sale and I would handle the rest. While I know an effort like this was tried in the past I see the strategy as very different here. With the Pittsburgh Galleries blog and other online efforts I get a lot of search engine traffic and having enough artists involved who will help create a buzz might produce a different outcome. Also having reasonably priced work will provide a larger audience the ability to afford the work. There is also the Art-iculate effort which I believe is much different in that it tends to be about more expensive work for sale which is great I just think that this project would be more accessible to those who can't fork out big money for art.

Where the two projects come together is that the optional free web page for the artist could have the same work for sale (paypal and credit card enabled) as the BuyPittsburghArt.com. If an artist isn't interested in having their work sold online then they could just opt for the free web page. All the projects would work together as far as exposure and this blog would be a part of it as well.

The key to both efforts involve getting enough feedback and interest from artists otherwise I don't want to invest the time when there may not be enough support to sustain the efforts.

Why shouldn’t artists just use a myspace or similar page they can reference instead of a PghGalleries artist page?

They could but it doesn’t look professional and myspace and other sites are riddled with spam of all kinds. Those sites are designed for a personal nature and it’s layout reflects that. PghGalleries is the perfect place for the artist pages given the number of galleries already visiting the site regularly to check their info and to submit current art events for the blog. The pages will look professional and the images will be edited for optimal viewing to keep the loading time limited as well as edited for exposure and contrast which is necessary when displaying smaller images on the web.

Can anyone say they’re an artist and get a page?
Only artists who submit images where the quality of work can be determined and when relevant what their pricing info is and if they’ve had past exhibits. Past exhibits are definitely not a general prerequisite.

So if you're reading this please send a link of this blog to your artist friends and have them email rick(at)uniquetake.com with feedback. Please also note to add my email address to your safe senders list as my email likes to be blocked by spam traps. Feedback from anyone about anything this blog covers is welcome and encouraged.

Also this is a bit of a rough draft for these ideas so keep that in mind, thanks!

Rick Byerly
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Like what's posted on this blog and the website http://www.pghgalleries.com/ ? This is a volunteer effort so donations of any size are welcome which can be made via paypal here . Also at that link anyone interested in purchasing banner space, which includes placement on this blog and websites, can sign up there. Banner design included. Thanks! Rick Byerly
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Pittsburgh art events: http://www.pittsburghgalleries.blogspot.com/
Pittsburgh art gallery directory: http://www.pghgalleries.com/
Photography from rick byerly: http://www.uniquetake.com/ and http://www.rickbyerly.com/


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