Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art Society Blogs #1 - Why blog?

This is the first in a SERIES of posts about art blogs for Art Societies and Art Groups.  It considers:

  • why an art blog can be useful to members of an art society - and the society
  • the suitability of art blogs for art groups and art societies
  • how to set up an art blog
  • how to set up a Group Blogs for an art society

Plus at the end it announces a new website which provides a directory for the art blogs of art societies.

The images come from the art blogs for art societies which I've found on the Internet.
This is the blog of The Wellington Art Society - an organization for artists and art lovers
in the western communities of Palm Beach County, Florida.
What do we need to do to set up an art blog for an art society?

It all started with a query via email
Hi Katherine
Knowing you to be an expert on blogs I wondered if I could ask a few questions. I am a member of a new art club and they are wanting a team blog where everyone can comment. I was planning to use google blogger as I'm familiar with it but just realised that I would probably need to create a new google account as in the future I will pass it on to someone else to administer. However I don't really want to keep signing in out of google do you know if there is a way to combine the accounts? Or perhaps you can suggest an alternative. I don't need anything fancy as long as I can set up pages for a gallery and have a calendar for events. There would be 3 administrators, members only to post and comment but visible to the world.
I has halfway through writing the response when I realised it would probably make rather a good blog post.  So I sent the response off - and this is the follow-up!

My response will be in three parts
  • Part 1 - Why it's a good idea for an art society to have a blog
  • Part 2 - What you need to do to set up an art blog for an art society
  • Part 3 - What you need to do to set up a Group Art Blog for an art society (ie where members can post content and upload their own images)
In addition I'm creating a directory of art blogs by art societies - and if your art society has an art blog I'd love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment and/or send me its URL.

I'll be using examples from different art society blogs to Illustrate what is possible

This is the blog of the Lincolnshire Artists. It's an example of an art society
which is using blogging software to provide both a website and a news site
and makes great use of the Pages function to provide access to its archives and business
Why it's a good idea for an art society to have a blog
A blog for an art society is a good thing - period.

Why so?  Here's why.

Blogs are dynamic not static

  • Art blogs keep people visiting - regular posts mean that the site keeps being updated and that means Google will like it much better than e.g. a website which is often very static
  • Regular posts about the society and its members delivers a much better profile for artists and their artwork in an internet age than a website.  It also provides a basis for communicating with the rest of a group's relevant natural communities - in terms of location or interest.  Blogging can be very popular in some rural areas where people can be quite spread out.
The blog of York Art Society - announcing (on 10 February 2013)
its upcoming exhibition in March at the Guildhall in York

Marketing art and artists
  • Announce exhibitions - in advance, just before the Private View, after the Private View. halfway through and as a reminder that the exhibition closes soon!  In other words keep it in front of people and encourage people to visit - and buy art!  People really like pictures in their email and each post can exhibit different artists' paintings
  • Highlight artist members and others who have won awards.  I'm always amazed that art societies get sponsorship for and spend money on prizes and then do very little with this information for the benefit of the artists, sponsors and the society.  A blog offers the opportunity to feature each and every prizewinner in an individual post - with their prizewinning painting.  To encourage the others....... ;)
  • Use posts to feature the artwork of individual members.  There should never be any scratching of heads as to what to include in your blog if you say to your members that each of them can have a guaranteed feature at least once a year in which they can show their images and talk about their art!  I'll talk about how in posts #2 and #3
Supporting artists
  • Announce a member's exhibitions in other places Even if an exhibition is nothing specifically to do with the art society, highlighting a member artists's artwork in another exhibition helps their prospects and adds to the credibility of the art society - ie these artists don't just show in the annual exhibition!
  • A blog post can provide a way of having a retrospective tribute to members who have passed on or who are leaving the community
Highlight public events
  • You can use posts for all the outward facing aspects of the society.  In other words if you're doing it in public then you should be able to talk about it in public
  • A blog can be used to announce art society events of every sort which can and should include members of the public eg exhibitions, workshops, visits etc
Highlight society events
  • A society may wish to give its blog a strong lean towards its public face rather than acting as an internal noticeboard.  However, that said, it's also useful to have another way of reminding members about the normal business of a society which is not completely "secret" e.g. AGMs, election of officers etc
A new website : A Directory of Art Society Blogs

A Directory of Art Society Blogs
My new "Resources for Artists' website
As always when I do these sort of posts I always want to create a resource which shows people how others do it.

And so I give you...... A Directory of Art Society Blogs which is less than a day old and very rough and ready at present - but has already gone international!  It will be developing over time and particularly in the near future!

(It's a companion for my existing website Art Societies in the UK - Resources for Artists)

What I want YOU to do NOW is tell me about all the art societies which you know have blogs - and you can tell me any time.  Like after you read this article and decide it's about time your art society had a blog.......

However you might just want to wait until after you've read the next two posts in this series! :)

Links to previous Making A Mark posts

Art Societies in the UK - Resources for Artists is a resource for people who want to know more about
  • the national art societies in the UK
  • media oriented art societies in the UK
  • genre oriented art societies in the UK
  • art clubs and art societies operating at a more local level in the UK
These are the headings for all the different art societies
Art Society Exhibitions (UK) - Resources for Artists Find out about the Annual Open Exhibitions of National Art Societies and other prominent art societies based in the UK.

Please note subscriptions only become live after you have verified the link in the email you will receive


  1. Wow! This is just what I have been looking for. The Gallery I belong to has no website or blog, which I have always thought to be a bit behind the times. As I'm familiar with blogging I had wondered if it would be worth setting one up for them...having read this post I see it would be very beneficial. I'll tell the Committee about this idea and hopefully take it from there. Many thanks.

  2. As you indicate, a blog is as relevant to an art gallery as it is to an art society.

  3. We are in the process of setting one up for the Irish Society of Botanical Artists at the moment! Your mind-reading skills are uncanny!!


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