LAL called it the Artist Archive, and that’s exactly what it is–a virtual directory of artists who work in all mediums. The LAL staff took hundreds of photos of artists and their work, recorded and videoed interviews with them, and wrote stories about the artists and their work.
It is a big, big job–more than 200 artists already packed into the archive and even more out there to talk to.
But the archive, like many great ideas, got a little unwieldy as it got larger. On the technical side, it needed some tweaks to work better. There was too much information and data for the platform that LAL had used to create it.
That’s where Intersect came in. We love art, artists and especially an idea like this one, which promotes artists and their work. We met with Stephanie Harris, LAL’s executive director, and her staff to talk about where the Artist Archive needed to go and how we could help it get there.
“We sat down with Aaron and his team and talked about functionality in an open and creative way,” Harris says. “They took that information and brought back a product that was exactly what we were looking for.”
Here are the few things we did.
One challenge with the Artist Archive was that many, many people work on it. So we came up with a platform that does two things: it is easy to use and requires little training and will handle the large amount of volume of information–photos, audio, stories–now and as more artists are added.
Likewise, the platform and design had to work for the audience. On the backend, we made sure that photos, stories and recordings load quickly and are easy to access. On the site’s home page, a search function allows for searches by artist name, but there is also a slide show that represents different kinds of art — drawing, sculpture, interpretive art, collage, digital art, fiber, ceramics. When you click on those photos, you are zipped away to a directory of all area artists who work in that specialty.
Our design makes good use of the photos of artists and their art, but it also echoes the look of LAL’s website. Keeping that consistent look and feel preserves LAL’s brand.
Here’s what Harris says that she and her team like about the end result:
“I like the fact that after you are in the archive, you see the artwork and self-select based on what you like. And, the site is really easy to use. There’s not a lot of room for people to get lost. It is a fluid application and the user friendliness is exceptional.
“I also really like the visual aspects. Intersect integrated our branding so the Artist Archive looks like something that belongs to us. It has the same visual signature. What Aaron and Intersect have done is help us better serve our constituent–the artists in the Archive. This gives them a larger audience for their work.”
Want to be part of that audience? Visit artistarchive.org and see how Intersect and LAL worked together to create a great website for exploring local art.
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