Western Art Associates - Phoenix Art Museum

I recently returned from a trip to Phoenix where I was invited to be a panelist for a discussion with the Western Art Associates of the Phoenix Art Museum.  It was a discussion about "Western Art Publishing in the Digital Age."  First of all, I want to thank Christy Vezolles for organizing the event and inviting me to participate.  The Western Art Associates is a support group that benefits the Phoenix Art Museum and one of their major objectives is to contribute to the preservation and wider appreciation of art in their area.  All members of the group are also members of the Phoenix Art Museum.  Joining support groups like the Western Art Associates is a terrific way to get involved with your regional museums and to meet other people with a common passion for art.

Award-winning writer Pam Hait moderated the discussion.  Pam Hait has written for Forbes, LIFE, USA Today, Sunset, and Travel and Leisure.  Josh Rose, editor of multiple art magazines including Western Art Collector, American Art Collector and American Fine Art Magazine and Bob Boze Bell, editor of True West Magazine and noted artist and writer of the Old West were the other two panelists for the discussion.  The discussion was lively, and the questions from the audience were terrific.  Some of the topics we covered included:
  • Digital capabilities of the Cloud and how it can help or hurt artists
  • How artists can protect themselves from online piracy
  • Promotional opportunities of instant posting online and the advantages/disadvantages to immediate exposure of new works
  • Advantages and disadvantages to the use of social media and how it relates to artists and collectors.  i.e.-Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and blogs
  • The symbiotic relationship of Galleries and Artists
  • How do traditional print media and digital media coexist
  Here are a few of the take-aways I had from the evening:
  • The Phoenix Art Museum is fortunate to have a group of passionate patrons like the Western Art Associates.  The social camaraderie was evident, and they really love their art.
  • Social media is being used by ALL demographics, but the primary function of social media isn't necessarily to sell artwork.
  • It can be very anti-climactic when artists post their finished works online via social media before an opening of a show.  It minimizes the effect and initial "wow" factor their work may have on collectors when it's finally exhibited at show openings.
  • Digital publishing is not going to replace print publishing, but instead they are going to compliment each other in reaching different demographics.
  • If you love art, visit a museum, peruse a gallery, read an art magazine, and join a group like the Western Art Associates to meet great people and help your favorite museum.

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