Screenshot courtesy of Arts Council for Long Beach.
The Arts Council for Long Beach has launched a long-awaited, much-needed, brand spankin’ new website, the design of which actually does justice to the myriad Long Beach-based artists who have chosen to display their work and profiles within the platform’s Artist Registry.
It feels a little something like relief to know that a tasteful and comprehensive format has finally been built for the sake of showing off the city’s local artistic talent.
The new site, located at the same web address as the former (artslb.org), seeks to serve as a resource for both the public and artists.
Designed by Long Beach’s own award-winning design and interactive agency, Visualade, the site is fully responsive and can be used on a desktop, notebook, tablet and mobile device of any type.
According to Victoria Bryan, executive director of the arts council, during strategic planning in Fall 2014, the nonprofit selected three local design companies to present proposals for the project last November.
The arts council recognized the need to update their site to better respond to the primary need of artists and arts organizations, marketing especially.
“Visualade was the company who best understood our need for excellent design with equal emphasis on ease of use and providing the best user experience,” Bryan said.
“One key reason why Visualade understands the needs of the Long Beach arts community is because they are part of it – they are artists and arts ambassadors," said arts council Marketing Director April Economides. "In addition to being a web designer, Visualade Owner Jesse Dean is a furniture designer and the person behind the 1330 Gladys artist co-op.”
Dean told the Post, "Larger, more dramatic photographs were used throughout the design. Updated fonts and color schemes were brought in to modernize the redesign while cohesively syncing up the Arts Council’s branding efforts." Dean said the site more easily allows non-artists to "engage with the arts community or individual artists in a more intuitive manner."
The public can use the site to find and hire a local artist through the registry and to discover work to display in the home, office or business. Anyone can find a fun, arts-related event by checking out the Calendar or locate an arts-related venue, sortable by genre, by exploring the Arts Map.
“The website helps connect artists–and by artists I mean visual artists, musicians, dancers, designers, you name it–with art buyers, property owners and managers who want to buy or place art, and the general public who wants to know what events are happening and where our arts venues are located,” Economides said. “It’s a handy resource for people who live here, work here, or visit.”
Artists can best utilize the site by creating a free profile through the Artist Registry. Several artists use the platform as their main website or simply use it as a way to direct attention to their already-existing professional websites and social media. Creatives can learn about and apply for the council’s annual and monthly microgrants and learn about upcoming local, regional and national calls for artists.
Currently, the arts council is continuing their effort to crowdfund via their Indiegogo campaign to raise funds that go directly to the artists, one of the more popular microgrants artists can apply for on the new site.
"It functions as a continuation of efforts that the Arts Council has made in serving the community and providing a centralized collection of relevant resources," said Dean. "In the case of the website, it functions as a well-organized library, putting the right information into the hands of individuals that might otherwise not know where to turn."
Economides said the biggest challenge was also a "great one to have;" that Long Beach is growing so quickly and thriving so intensely that it is difficult to keep up with the growing venue, event and artist community around town.
"So I encourage folks to email us if you notice anything missing on there!” she said.