There is only so many times in life that you get to work with your favorite brand. And when those times come you have to really put it all on the line. That is a statement I thought about when I first read about the Google Art Project and the good stuff they were doing with the art through their Google Open Gallery platform. I didn’t really know what to expect when I got to the page. I mean, there were a few images in the press releases and articles I read, but I was still interested in testing for myself. I went through the process that I’m sure every Google Open Gallery user, will go or has gone through. Requesting an invite to a computer and then sitting back and daydreaming waiting for the magic to happen.
I waited. And waited. Then finally got an email from Jessica Nogalle, one of the cool members of the Curation Team for Google Open Gallery with some of the coolest words of the day. “Hi Badir, How are you doing? You should have finally received an invitation on this email address. You should now be able to create your beautiful site using this email address.” I was so excited I don’t even think I looked at all the steps she provided. (Laughs) I just started clicking! I mean, you don’t send a guy an email with blue links and expect him not to go crazy!
While I’m filling out my galleries information (Name, URL, Color, etc.) I couldn’t help but think of everything and I mean everything that I wanted to put on view. I think I may have gathered every piece of artwork I’ve ever photographed in preparation for creating the “greatest exhibit ever”. I was ready. I mean really ready. Now it was time to really get down and deep with it, and talk with Jessica further to understand the benefits and the features of Google Open Gallery.
It took a few days to schedule the first call because of the huge difference in Time Zones (Paris, France and San Diego, California) but once we finally did, the ideas started flowing! Jessica guided me through some of the amazing features that the platform had to offer and how I could spotlight key sections and pieces through different tools. This was one of the first features that blew my mind!
As I added more and more images and talked with Jessica, I started to really understand how this platform benefited us. We could display the street photography and journalism that we do through a highly sophisticated engine that the viewers wouldn’t just see, but feel. Using Google Open Gallery, I collaborated with a host of artists to create our first exhibits. The first “Stolen Dreams in the Promise Zone” details the amazing studio/museum of James Dupree, an artist in Philadelphia fighting Eminent Domain with the city’s politicians, Next it was “After The Rubbish: A look at the status quo” and this exhibit took a glance young contemporary artists and their paintings of meaning featuring some awesome upcoming artists. Finally we created “In Living Color” an exhibit featuring the colorful styles of two women whose work explodes with personality.
We eventually gained a spot on the homepage for Google Open Gallery which made for loads of excitement on our end.
“Your work will appear for a few seconds on the rotating background for TVs with a Chromecast device that has this new feature enabled, alongside a broad range of other artworks and images, thus giving you exposure on TV screens in 23 countries around the world.”
“Now you can have more artworks in your own living room, thanks to Google who just announced the launch of a new Chromecast feature that lets you customize your TV screen with some of our artworks, alongside works from other artists, museums and galleries worldwide! Find out more at http://chrome.blogspot.com/2014/10/turn-your-tv-screen-into-beautiful.html”
Badir McCleary Editor in Chief
Badir McCleary is an independent consultant. He holds a M.A. in Arts Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art (Los Angeles/London) where he focused on creating art markets and with an undergraduate degree in Internet Computing from Cabrini University focusing on e-commerce and digital trends. Badir enjoys working with artists and consider them crucial to informing his practice.
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