Monday, June 28, 2010

Art Group Website: the Boulder Potters Guild

The challenge for art groups is to develop a website that represents the group to the general public, and also provides services to members.

The Boulder Potters' Guild is a good example of striking that balance with their website,

This attractive website provides information about the Guild, its facilities, upcoming events, sales, workshops and and classes. (There's a What's New link right on the home page.)

It also provides gallery pages where member artists can post short bios and photos of their work, and a separate member login area where members can get additional information not available to the general public.

A well-designed and useful art group website such as this is within the resources and abilities of many art groups.  It's a major benefit of membership in the group!

For another good example of an art group website, visit the Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild at  (Disclosure:  I am a member of this group.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Large and Sophisticated Site -

Like the site we discussed last week, A.D. Cook's website,, features a clean design that allows his striking artwork to stand out.  The sophisticated menus and image galleries show a high level of technical expertise, but just like GayLynn Ribeira's site, the main focus is on the artist and his work.

The Home page shows strong samples of Cook's work, and tells us a bit about the artist.  The top navigation menu, which is consistently placed on all pages of the site, lets us easily find more images, information about the artist, upcoming and previous events, and contact information.  Additional navigational links below the gallery thumbnails lead to more gallery pages, organized by category.

There are also links to Cook's Twitter, FaceBook, and MySpace pages, and an e-mail list signup - increasingly common features for artists showcasing their work online.

Congratulation to Mr. Cook on an excellent site.

In the coming weeks, we'll look beyond basic artist "showcase" sites to discuss art group websites and various forms of experimental sites... as well as other options for building websites.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Clean, Simple and Effective -

I had considered featuring "the ultimate artist website" for my first Art Site of the Week.

But aside from the difficulty of finding a really great site, I also felt that it would be better to start out with a site that could be created by any artist, with some planning and work.  Rather than talking about big sites with lots of fancy technology and features, I wanted to talk about what makes a good website.

And I found a near-perfect example in  GayLynn Ribeira's site,!

The first thing that impressed me was the home page.  It's attractive, and features strong examples of the artist's work, as well as telling visitors what the artist does:  portraits and figurative art.

The design is simple and showcases the art, rather than competing with it.

Going deeper into the site, I found even more things that impressed me: 
  • Site navigation (the menu of links for moving from page to page) is consistent on every page of the site. 
  • The Portraits, Drawings and Landscapes pages each display an attractive "album."  
  • Clicking on the individual thumbnails brings up a "gallery" page where you can see still more paintings.  
  • The gallery pages feature small thumbnail images, as well as Next and Previous links.  Each piece is shown large enough to see the detail, but small enough to load quickly, and the title and medium are shown below the large image.
  • The site also includes information about the artist, and pricing and procedures for commissioning portraits.
GayLynn's site showcases her work, and doesn't get in the way of the user.  It uses some pretty basic web technology, but has the advantage of displaying correctly in all the browsers I tested.

It's a great example of what an artist's website can and should be!