Friday, March 16, 2012

Public Art Archive and WESTAF

I've recently been in contact with a Visual Resources Association colleague who works for the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), a regional non-profit arts service organization "dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts." This conversation reminded me about the Public Art Archive, an interesting WESTAF project that is still in beta. Selected pilot organizations have begun importing their collections into the archive; these include the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Oregon Arts Commission, the City of New Haven, and the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission.

You can do a keyword search for public artworks by artists, places, materials, etc., then refine your search by artist name, date, artwork type, material, etc. Each work's entry page includes authoritative and detailed description information; a selection of thumbnails; a Google map;  a link to the artist's Web site; and video and audio files when available.

The archives About page describes ways that the Public Art Archive will become increasingly useful to artists and artist agencies, the general public, and researchers, and  public art administrators. I look forward to seeing how this resource develops.

WESTAF's other activities are also of interest to those who produce, study, and manage visual culture. These include:
  • GO:GrantsOnline™,  fully customizable, robust, and flexible online grants management system
  •™ (CaFÉ™), an online application and adjudication management system used by public art programs, galleries, museums, and educational institutions to manage public art commissions, exhibitions, fellowships, and visual art competitions
  •, an online arts job bank that lists national opportunities for arts administrators and others as well as internships, grants, public art projects, and residencies
  •, an online gallery that allows visual artists to showcase their work and connect with private collectors, gallery owners, interior designers, corporate art buyers, public art administrators, and general art enthusiasts
  •®, an online application and adjudication management system used by more than 400 art fairs, festivals, and shows
  • CreativeSpaceAgent™, an online system that matches artists, musicians, and other creative people seeking studio, rehearsal, or performance space with those offering spaces for lease or purchase (currently deployed in the Denver metro area)
  • Creative Vitality™ Index (CVI™), a sophisticated creative economy report that measures and provides highly reliable and comparable data about the health and vitality of an area's creative sector, including for-profit and non-profit endeavors, businesses, and organizations. 

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