Case Study: Visual Arts Gallery Cybersociety Patrick Keegan
Introduction to Gallery• The JAM ART FACTORY gallery• New gallery, Dublin City, opened May 2011• Commercial gallery, many art disciplines exhibited and sold, including crafts and design items (such as jewelry).• Nominated for the Dublin Living Awards in Best Gallery Award category.• Free acoustic music session third Saturday of each month. Different, current.
Study Aim & Approach• To investigate the role of ICT alongside the gallery, it’s uses and impact.• Interviewing of gallery administrator• Gallery visitor questionnaire: creating an outline of visitor/fan experience of the gallery’s website and social network (SN) pages.• Observance of gallery SN pages.
ICT features and the gallery• Primary feature is the gallery website with online image gallery/archive.• Standard features: Email account, (e)mailing list/subscriber list.• Gallery Facebook (600 fans) and Twitter (146) pages.• All of the above enable gallery-consumer communication or advertising in some way.
Gallery administrator on website• “The website is there to give a people a general feel of our gallery. It shows them the upcoming events, it’s a platform for artists to show their work to a global audience, and we also sell our artists work on it. Its a great marketing tool.”• Website is the “face” of the gallery, is an online image archive, broadcasts gallery news/events and is second to being in the gallery.
Mailing List• “It’s to keep people up to date with our latest events, new artists and news. It keeps us in the subscribers minds and lets them know we’re still here and open for business.” - Gallery Administrator
Facebook & Twitter Pages• “These two are very important to our business as they are our main online advertisement tools.”• “It’s great as it is free and it passes our business on through word of mouth, and with each ‘like’ on Facebook our online visibility grows.”• Brand building and advertising.• Also about consumer communication and at times, feedback.• “It helps for the fan to interact with the gallery and its staff, which in turn helps for the fan to know a bit more about the gallery as not just a building with art in it but a gallery with a personality and a different feel.”
Gallery on Facebook with works of art under ‘photos.’
Fan comments on a work of art and galleryresponds. ‘Bi-directional communication.’
“We’ve had people coming in through our advertising onfacebook and twitter and they’ve bought specific pieces that they have seen on our site, so yes.” - Gallery Administrator on
Some patron/fan thoughts• I attended a gallery event, talked to some visitors and also distributed questionnaires.• General consensus: FB & Twitter a way to keep updated about the gallery, new artworks etc.• Most used/interacted with both website & SN pages, a few ignored the website and focused on FB only.• Facebook more popular than Twitter (regards gallery). FB more interactive…• Some visited the FB page but were not signed up as fans.
Summary• Initially I believed the gallery SN pages would be mainly used as marketing or branding tools but……..in addition to this they are used as two way gallery-consumer communication tools.• ICT: “It’s essential for us. We do all our work through the internet- marketing and communicating with customers and artists etc... “• Operating without?: “No, it just wouldn’t work.”• Gallery owners admit to being dependent on SN’s.
• “I think that ICT is an essential part of the business world today and businesses not using these tools to advertise and communicating with customers/fans will be left behind by their market as there is so many people on the internet all the time and it brings your business to these people who you otherwise might miss.” – Gallery Administrator