Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tonalist New England Landscape, Peace in the Valley, Jan Blencowe

copyright 2009, Jan Blencowe, Connecticut, USA
Peace in the Valley, 20x24, acrylic on linen
View this painting in a sample frame on my website
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Is Social Media Replacing Traditional Art Venues?

The more things change the more they stay the same. Artists will always create art and they will always need a way to get their art seen by those who buy art. What's changing is the tools and opportunities artists are using to get their work "out there".

Enter social media.

Sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, FriendFeed, Plaxo, along with blogs and websites give artists total control of which pieces they show, how often, and to whom. Social Media gives the artists the ability to share their work along with the opportunity to frame their work with words, anecdotes, stories, artist statements, and related sketches, photos, philosophies and a peek into their personal life. Couple that with the power to reach thousands on lists of "followers' or "friends" and it's easy to see that this is powerful stuff!

But Wait there's More!

There's strength in numbers and as you might expect artists and on-line venues have teamed up to create some cutting edge events.

Right now on Twitter Gary Brant, owner of Galerie St. George, and nearly 40 Twitter artists are gearing up for 140 Hours of Fame ..."the world's first online art auction using TWITTER to enable bidders to purchase original artworks from an international collection of fine artists, photographers, and sculptors. The auction begins on 5 November 2009 at 12:01 p.m. EST and is live for 140 hours, through 11 November 2009 at 8:01 p.m. EST"

Check out my painting in the auction Sky and Marsh and my bio page.

The participating artists have been tweeting about the auction for weeks creating quite a buzz on Twitter, hundreds have followed @140hours on Twitter automatically registering them to bid on artworks. In less than a month the website created especially for the 140 Hours auction has received nearly 18,000 page views. Wow, the power of social media in action.

Challenging One Another

Over at Facebook something else is brewing. Artists Sandy Askey-Adams , Nancy Medina, Jean Levert Hood have put together The First Annual Autumn Arts Painting Challenge and Competition on Facebook. The challenge is open to all artists on Facebook, but the works must be created during the month of October, maximum three entries. Askey-Adams has assembled a great team of creative professionals to judge each category and has collected a fabulous cache of prizes put forth by numerous art supply manufacturers and publications.

With almost 900 having joined the event and close to 500 entries, all of outstanding quality ,this is sure to be a success! My entries include today's painting, Peace in the Valley, along with October Light and Early October.

Along with publicising this event on Facebook, participants have cross posted news of the event on Twitter, generating even more interest and exposure.

Can Brick & Mortar Galleries Compete?

So when is the last time a gallery caught the interest of thousands? When is the last time your gallery brought you and their clients together so prospective collectors could get to know you personally over time and hear about your work, inspiration, techniques, philosophy from you first hand. Can you ever remember entering a gallery show and not having to pay a fee? Neither of these two social media art events imposed an entrance fee on the artists.

The times they are a-changin'

Social media with its ability to connect people on both a personal and professional level seems to be the new way to discover artists and buy art. My advice to both artists and collectors is, be an early adapter, and get involved now. Artists you have a unique chance to position yourself in the art market and collectors you have an unprecedented opportunity to discover and purchase new works of art in a thoroughly new and enjoyable way.

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