( Column 6 / 2002)

"The Lost Valleys"...by...Ron Gladkowski

          "A commentary about creative people living in the small communities scattered through the hills and valleys of Central New York"
          Published in The County Review

          "Art on the Web"

          To an artist, exposure is essential.....The more people that know you exist, the better the chance of success. The creation of the Internet has changed the world and how we see it, offering a great opportunity to present our work to more viewers than had ever been thought possible. Many of us in the creative community have embraced the technology to better reach out and get that exposure.
          Artist web pages vary widely. There are web sites that are simple home made pages with a few pictures, and a way to e-mail the creator, while others are professionally designed, and offer a complete portfolio of work with a biography, a show schedule, and facilities to safely place an order using a credit card. Many others fall somewhere in between, yet each one reflects the personality of the creative person it represents.
          Some reflect an ego that needs to say: Here I am...Here's My work...Aren't I Great?...Pay Attention to Me.
          Others SHOUT at you: Product! Product! Product! They seek only to sell as much as they can as fast as they can.
          Then there are those who want to share with you the work they love, as well as the reason they create. They invite you in to understand their world, and are glad to share their knowledge.
          Obviously each of these elements is present, to varying degrees, in almost all web pages. How they are assembled, and where the emphasis is, will determine how successful they are. Showing a certain amount of pride in their abilities, presenting the products they make, and explaining how and why they create gives the viewer a complete and interesting picture of the artist.
          Web pages can serve different purposes. One person might use it as a portfolio to demonstrate the breadth of their art work, seeking to encourage commissions, while another creates a catalog for their prospective customers to shop from. Though some galleries actually sell work from their web pages, others use it to introduce themselves to viewers and encourage personal visits. Art promoters and organizations don't usually have anything for sale, but use the internet to attract participants or members, and announce up-coming events.
          www.lostvalleys.com seeks to promote the work of artists from Central New York. The hope is to inform the community about, and give more exposure to the many artists and fine craftworkers that are our neighbors. At the web site, you will find links to artist's web sites, their personal profiles, and art related exhibits and events in this area.
          All issues of this column are archived there, and if you have any comments or suggestions for future columns, please e-mail me.

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