You might run across an art exhibition while having a cup of coffee or getting your hair styled. The work intrigues you. You snap a couple of photos and jot down the artist's name. Sure, you're going to plug the information into a search engine. Hopefully, you'll find the artist's web page, Facebook page and maybe even their Instagram. That's a good start but it's not enough. Has the artist's work been reviewed? Has the artist been interviewed? Where can you find that information? In this series we highlight one of the resources found on RocheserArtColletors.org RESOURCES page.
Wouldn't it be great if a local TV station conducted in-depth interviews of local artists and then posted all of the episodes online so you could easily search by tags and keywords? What? That's crazy talk! Why not ask for the moon? Okay, how about if there was an interactive map that pinpointed where each episode was recorded? You're killing me! What are the chances of that ever happening? Well, such a program exists. It's called Arts InFocus. WXXI produces it and you can use their searchable archive and interactive map right now.
Arts InFocus is one of a handful of instantly accessible online archives for collectors to research local artists and better understand their work. You'll get a feel for an artist's background, hear a description of the artist's work given by the artist, and very often see a glimpse of where and how the work is made. All this can be done at your convenience online.
WXXI's Arts InFocus looks at all manner of emerging and established artists as well as arts organizations across our region. The half-hour weekly program, produced by Tom Dooley and hosted by Teej Jenkins, airs on WXXI-TV every Friday night starting at 8:30pm.
WXXI has produced this unique series since 2015. So far there are nearly 100 segments available to stream online. You can search using database tags including words like abstract, ceramics, glass, mural, painting, photography, sculpture, woodworking and many more. The segment archive preserves interviews with more than sixty visual artists and dozens more performing artists and organizations. Every week more are added.
WXXI's Arts InFocus interactive map:
Each pin on this truly remarkable map locates a subject interviewed for the WXXI Arts InFocus program. Click on a pin to see information about one of the subjects and either a link to their Arts InFocus interview segment or their website. In the upper left hand corner on the menu bar there's a white box. Click on the box to see the complete listing of subjects.
Even it you've already heard something about Arts InFocus you may not know the show is a collaboration with more than 30 PBS stations across the country. They share content with each other to spotlight the amazing arts and cultural activities in their communities. One "master" version of the show is produced from the content provided by the participating stations for distribution to all the members. However, each station can edit their version so local content is highlighted.
There are a number of MAJOR markets participating in the consortium including Boston and New York City along with numerous markets across New York State. In effect, artists highlighted in this show are often launched onto a statewide, regional or even national platform under the auspices of participating stations..Talk about great exposure!!
Some updates to the local show are currently being discussed. In the future you may see the show's opening and closing taped on location rather than in a studio. By doing so the producer hopes to be able to tell more great local stories in the same amount of time.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ARTS INFOCUS ARCHIVE OF EPISODES
Header image © Roy Sowers 1999
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