Art21 Unveils a New Digital Home at Art21.org
March 9, 2017—New York, NY—Art21 announced today the launch of the non-profit organization’s newly expanded digital home at Art21.org. The project was designed and developed by the Brooklyn-based design studio CHIPS, working in tandem with Art21’s digital team led by Jonathan Munar, Art21’s Director of Digital Media and Strategy.
Long established as a premiere destination for learning about contemporary art and artists, Art21.org serves as the non-profit organization’s home base, through which millions of individuals each year access award-winning films, a rich library of visual materials, and insightful writings and interviews with artists. The website also serves as a leading resource for educators by providing guides to facilitate inquiry-based teaching practices, founded on the ideas of contemporary artists. The new Art21.org will expand Art21’s capacity to achieve its mission worldwide. The project also introduces a refresh of the organization’s visual identity.
The redesigned Art21.org is a response to changes in today’s cultural and digital landscape, as more and more active viewers engage with Art21 through online platforms. “The new Art21.org aims to make Art21 resources more accessible to visitors, delivering more opportunities to engage with our original digital content and achieve deeper learning experiences,” says Art21 Executive Director Tina Kukielski. “Art21 has a distinguished globally-connected social media community with followers from around the world. Enhanced streaming capacity and a mobile-friendly experience services this expanding global audience. ”
Highlights of the redesigned Art21.org include: a re-imagined video discovery and viewing experience, introducing multiple entry points into over 50 hours of video content from the Art21 catalog; a responsive design that translates across multiple devices and screen types, providing an optimized browsing experience for both mobile and desktop viewers; and streamlined methods for searching and exploring Art21’s rich content library.
The enhanced video experience is supported by two features: Watchlists and Playlists. Watchlists enable visitors to queue and collect videos while navigating, to be watched at leisure later. Playlists introduce curated content from Art21’s video library, providing thematic groupings of video created by staff, educators, and guest contributors. The first of these guest contributors is artist Arlene Shechet, whose Playlist entitled “Working with Ugly” presents a selection of seven films in which artists overcome aesthetic challenges. “Our audiences have been curating Art21 videos for some time using their own means, so it was natural to prioritize Watchlists and Playlists as essential additions,” says Munar. “These features demonstrate that there is a multitude of narratives and through lines to be found across all of Art21’s content.”
In response to the organization’s global social media community, Art21 continues to develop digital and outreach strategies such as #MyArtMyCity, a social media campaign which ran during Season 8 of the Art in the Twenty First Century television series, encouraging participation across 7 cities: Mexico City, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Manila. To complement this growth, Art21 will continue to connect to diverse communities through the increased accessibility of subtitled films. Already, through the Art21 Translation Project, over 1,400 online volunteers have contributed over 900 subtitles for Art21 films—covering over 60 languages—making the voices of contemporary artists more accessible than ever to global audiences. The new Art21.org more fully integrates these volunteer-contributed translations into the video viewing experience.
The library of resources on the new Art21.org includes: profiles of over 150 artists; 50+ hours of video content across 600+ videos from all of Art21’s television and digital series; 3,000+ images of artwork and production stills; and a wide variety of educator materials designed for classroom use.
CHIPS is a studio for design and development in Brooklyn, NY working in all areas of print, motion, and interactive design. The studio was founded in 2009 by partners Teddy Blanks, Dan Shields, and Adam Squires.
Recent projects include design and development for the Donald Judd Foundation (upcoming), MoMA’s Year in Review for 2016, the Wild for Life campaign for the United Nations Environmental Programme, and a new identity for the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards. Their interactive work has won AAM and Muse Awards and has been recognized by The Webbys, the AIGA, Awwwards, Hover States, and the FWA.
Art21 is a global leader in presenting thought-provoking and sophisticated content about contemporary art, and the go-to place to learn first hand from the artists of our time. Founded in 1997 on the belief that artists are role models for creative and critical thinking, Art21’s mission is to inspire a more creative and tolerant world through the works and words of contemporary artists. Art21 accomplishes this by providing unparalleled access to the artist’s voice to diverse audiences around the world, using the power of digital media to introduce millions of people to contemporary art and artists.
In addition to its Peabody Award-winning PBS television series Art in the Twenty-First Century, Art21 produces the online film series New York Close Up and Exclusive; special artist projects including the Peabody Award-winning feature William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible; educational resources and professional development; an online publication featuring guest contributors; and a comprehensive website at Art21.org. Art21 also produces a number of public programs annually that connect audiences to artists and the artistic process.
This project was made possible with support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Gilchrist Foundation.