1. Why social media is an artist’s best friend… How to market your portfolio online (and kick ass while doing it)!

    Now, more than ever, it’s up to independent artists to learn how to market themselves through the wonderful world of the interwebs. Whether you’re a journalist, a painter, a sculptor, a musician, or any other creative professional, it’s up to you to get your name out there and to get your work seen/heard by the masses!

    How are you going to do that? Through utilizing these essential online resources.

    Your website

    Your website is going to be your most powerful tool. All of your work needs to be linked back to the website you create – aka to the brand you work so hard to build online! This is your online home where people will find your social media sites, samples of your work, your contact information, and a little bit of personal info about you!

    It’s super important to have your own domain name for your website, too. A customized domain name like www.AwesomeAtArt.com is 10x better than a non-customized domain name such as www.AwesomeAtArt.Tumblr.com. Keep that in mind when starting up your online portfolio… it’s definitely worth the investment.

    I use BlueHost to host my website…(they also have an awesome affiliate program if you’re interested in monetizing your new site)! Think about purchasing your own domain name, and then do a simple Wordpress install to get your portfolio rockin’ online! I make it super easy for you to get started in this step-by-step guide to creating your own website.

    Niche platforms:

    While the big guys such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are certainly going to be a huge help to you, which I’ll cover in a minute, don’t overlook the importance of joining in with your niche networks – platforms that cater specifically to artists such as yourself! ArtSlant and deviantART are some of the big players in the social art market, and of course, ArtSee

    ArtSee is going to be HUGELY beneficial for the local aspect to your online marketing. This community of artists is intended to help you discover, exchange, and promote art in your local city, and you’ll encounter new faces and new friends in your particular art scene through local events and venues. They offer an array of promo services to and often feature artists, so it’s worth looking into to help get your name out there! It’s also fun (and helpful) to build a network  like this – you never know what can happen, who you’ll meet, where you’ll find inspiration, and what opportunities will come your way.

    “Traditional” Social media

    Once you’ve got your website set up, you’ve joined the ArtSee community, and your portfolio is ready to share with the world, we gotta help people find you online! This is going to happen in a number of ways:

    1.     By continuously creating great content – photos, videos, links, blogs

    2.     By connecting with fans on social sites – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube… pick your poison. The only thing worse than being on TOO many social sites is being on none at all. The big social media platforms are all free – so use them to your advantage!

    Some marketers suggest sticking to no more than 5 social platforms, or else it becomes impossible to manage and can actually be counterproductive. I think that’s a good rule of thumb! However, you may find that you only want to use 3 or 4. Find where your audience is hanging out, and stick to those core sites. And if you can’t… Let ArtSee help you!

    A note about Facebook: While promoting your work on your personal Facebook page is important, it’s going to help you a TON if you also create a brand page for your work. Your personal page is only going to be found by friends and family, a brand page can be found by perfect strangers just waaaittting to be inspired by your art! Create a brand page, update it regularly, and connect with your fans!

    Don’t forget to join the ArtSee community on Facebook! If you have any social media marketing questions along the way to stardom, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email at any time or contact ArtSee about their services.

    As Jeff Goins says, “being an artist means to be generous.” So be generous, and help the non-artistically talented folks (like myself), find your work online! We’d love to see it, and we’d love to share it.

    -Jessie Spielvogel, Split Aces Media

    Photo Credit: Jessie Spielvogel and LVK Photography

  2. Small Works Make a Big Impression at Hemphill

    Hemphill Fine Arts

    Current Exhibit: "Keeping It Alive" by William Willis and "Works on Paper" by Steven Cushner are showing June 8 to July 28, 2012 at Hemphill.

    William Willis, Spiral, 2011-2012, 12” X 16”. Courtesy of Hemphill.

    Highlights From the Show:  We were very drawn to Willis’ “Spiral” (pictured above) for it’s dynamic geometric construction. The piece sells for $5,500.  We also loved the delicate symmetry of Cushner’s “Untitled” (pictured below). We are thrilled for the artist and the gallery for the piece has sold!

    Steven Cushner, “Untitled,” 2012, 21” X 17 3/4”. Courtesy of Hemphill, now sold.

    A Little About the Artists:  William Willis’ work is driven by experiences both individual and universal across cultures. His use of graphic geometry stems from his personal reverence for the primitive, the ritualistic, and the repetitive in forms and shapes. Willis is well-represented in public and private collections throughout the country, including locally at The Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection.

    Steven Cushner’s works on paper are a visual testament of the possibilities of painting and process. His works transcend the paper medium as complete and meaningful works of art. Cushner is also well-represented in public and private collections throughout the country, including locally at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and The Corcoran Gallery of Art.

    For more information on the exhibit and the artists, please visit Hemphill.

    Bringing the Art in DC to you,


  3. 'Call + Response' Challenges Artistic Norms

    Recently opened at the Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street was the third annual “Call + Response.” Writers and visual artists are paired together for a unique experience: the writer creates a work - the “call”, and the artist creates a work in return - the “response.”

    This year for the first time ever the writers were invited to see the artists’ responses and then create a final re-response to complete the exchange. At the gallery opening the audience was encouraged to continue the exchange by using pieces of paper to create a “call” in response to the exhibit, for which their neighbor would return a “response.” All of these paper exchanges are now tacked onto the gallery walls.

    Artist exchange permeates the entire exhibit. During a vivid opening panel discussion the writers and artists were surprisingly forthcoming about the collaborative experience.

    Though it is obvious that the artist pairings were not randomly selected, most of the pairings admitted that the project was a significant departure from their normal creative processes — some even claiming that the whole experience changed the way they think about their art-making.

    In spite of the fact that “Call + Response” is only open for 2 weeks, it is not a mere blip on the D.C. art scene. The artists’ lack of simply creating direct illustrations to accompany the authors’ writing reveals a surprising aesthetic moving away from visual narrative.

    Each pairings’ work is somehow a distinct, yet related, entity. The masterful collaborations of “Call + Response” not only encourage artists involvement - but also invent new modes for artistic demonstration.

    The artists included in the project are: Michael Kimball (writer) and Trever Young (artist), Reb Livingston (writer) and Matthen Mann (artist), Danielle Evans (writer) and Lisa Marie Thalhammer (artist), Amber Sparks (writer) and Yay Team! (artists), Kyle Dargan (writer) and Mia Feuer (artist). “Call + Response” was open at the Hamiltonian Gallery from June 2 - June 16, 2012. The Hamiltonian Gallery is located at 1353 U St. N.W. Washington, D.C.

    Bringing the Art in DC to You



    Looking for great local, affordable and generally awesome photography? Look no further…

    Last Wednesday night, DCist launched their 6th annual photography show Exposed at Longview Gallery.  I snuck in a little late but just in time to enjoy the awesome photography that was selected this year by local, emerging photographers.  The music and flowing beverages helped too!

    This year there were some stellar standouts in the crowd; among them were Ryan Maxwell, Markus Krisetya, Henry Throop and Ivan Sciupac.  Each of these pieces really stood out to me for several reasons, their color, content and angle of each image really stuck.  Ryan Maxwell’s Prepare for Liftoff is not immediately recognizable by any means and really takes you a minute to figure out what he is depicted where as Henry Throop’s Weathering the Storm is just simply beautiful and slightly ironic considering the lack of snow this year in our fair city.  Also, chosen as the cover image for this year’s guide to Exposed, Ivan Sciupac’s Stairway to Lincoln just grabs you from the minute you see it with a blue sky so beautiful that you wish you had been outside with him the day it was taken (or could at least bottle the color for a rainy day).  My personal favorite however? Drum roll please… Markus Krisetya’s Untitled of our infamous President Lincoln bobble head, known best for beating Teddy Roosevelt at every home Nationals game, descending the lengthy escalator of one of our metro stations – wonderful image!

    Although I selected all of the cliché DC pieces here there were so many that really stood out! I suggest stopping by Longview any time before April 1 when Exposed closes to take a peak and every piece is reasonably priced around $175 so definitely bring your wallets!

    Bringing the Art in DC to You,


    PS – Tonight at Longview join them for a panel discussion sponsored by Pink Line Project with distinguished DC artists and patrons to learn about collecting photography. 

    PPS – this year’s program is available in addition to the 5-year anniversary additionfrom last year – together just $30! 

  5. dcdocent:

    30 Americans at the Corcoran is a beautiful, emotional, overwhelming and highly satisfying exhibit. Last night’s opening was also one of the best I’ve ever been to at the Corcoran. The crowd was also more ethnically and racially diverse than I’ve ever seen at a Corcoran party. Coincidence?

    I think that the positive energy that the Rubells emit is part of it, but it’s also the artists’ work and the story it tells about America and who we are today. The demographic changes of the last decades and those yet to come, don’t always square with what we see reflected in the traditional/institutional art world be it artists, gallery and museum professionals, art historians and critics, collectors and others.

    To see 60-plus works from 31 African-American artists that span several generations drives home the sense that we need more shows like 30 Americans and we need to support ways for paths to those possibilities to be created, navigated and supported for all artists who don’t have access to them because of race, ethnicity, class, or economic status.

    30 Americans at the Corcoran Gallery of Art opens to the public on October 1st and runs through February 2012.

About me

"Bringing the Art in DC to You." Art lovers dedicated to giving you the who, what, where and when in your local arts scene.