Recently, I came across two collaborative websites for artists - The Arts Map, and My Art Tutor - that enhance the way we interact with each other. Plus, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is offering new online courses for the Fall 2011 season.
The Arts Map was created by collage artist Robin Colodzin, and painter and collage artist Jonathan Talbot. The Arts Map connects people within the arts community through free listings that appear on the map like push pins. Click on the push pins in your area and you can see details, such as artist or gallery name, the location, services offered, and upcoming events. I particularly like the opt-in feature for potential clients to get on the lister's mailing list and I see The Arts Map as a growing collaborative tool for making important connections. The creators - both highly respected artists - have this to say about The Arts Map:
When we first created The Arts Map, our primary intention was to enable new connections between artists, arts organizations, galleries, museums, art schools, art materials suppliers, and the general public...The Arts Map is like a baby learning to walk. It needs help until it can stand on its own. Please tell your friends and colleagues about The Arts Map. Be sure to tell them that listings on http://TheArtsMap.com/ are FREE and will remain free forever.
Robin Colodzin & Jonathan Talbot
My listing on The Arts Map was easy to create. It features an artwork image, contact information, the type of artwork, and studio hours, workshops and lessons. It is easy to edit, so there's no excuse not to keep your listings and events current. This collaborative tool is one of the best I've come across for connecting people within the Fine Arts Community.
My Art Tutor introduces a unique collaborative twist to the digital workshop experience. Created by Chief Muse, Vicki Ross, My Art Tutor currently offers on-line workshops with 6 different tutors, in a variety of genres and mediums. Using Voice Thread technology, founders Vicki and Randy Ross have recreated the actual workshop experience with a level of interactivity and support not found in static workshop delivery systems, such as DVD's or digital lessons.
The key benefit is that students can ask questions, either by pausing the lesson and typing the question, or posting one using a video cam. Because the workshops are stored "in the cloud," the content is constantly refreshed: tutors sign in weekly to answer questions, and the interaction is added to the workshop content. This was part of the design concept behind the workshop interactivity, as the founders believe much of the learning comes from the social interaction.
The other interesting feature is the development of a Facebook page, where students and tutors, as well as others, can ask questions, get answers, and support one another in their efforts to improve their artistic skills. Facebook is a wonderful platform for providing immediate feedback - although it is not specific to the workshop topics, but art questions in general, as well as tips and technique.
"Our plan going forward is to add more classes and tutors...watercolor, acrylic, drawing, charcoal. We have a non-profit grant company actively pursuing educational grant monies for us to get our program in schools, especially under served populations, and we have several art educators on board as advisers."
If you would like to learn from the workshop experience, this is an innovative resource to investigate. There are two free videos - an introduction to the concept, and a free "Sepia" portrait workshop by Leslie B. Demille - on the My Art Tutor site. All you will need is a good internet connection, and some free time to discover what this site has to offer.
And although some of you may already be aware of MoMA's online courses, I wanted to include them in this post. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has always been at the forefront of innovation and education, and their new online course offering is an opportunity for people around the world to gain access to this resource and learn from the curators and educators. Registration for the Fall 2010 classes is currently ongoing, although only the self-directed classes have available space. The next round of classes are scheduled for the Winter/Spring 2012 session. This is definitely a site you want to bookmark if you are interested in modern art history and the practices and techniques used by artists whose work is exhibited in the museum.