Artspan Announces Winners in First Artist Website Design Contest

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Artspan's first-ever design contest honors and showcases those artists who make maximum use of Artspan’s unique set of easy-to-use design tools to create exceptional websites.

Artspan
The most impressive sites creatively channeled personal aesthetics while allowing the most important element -- the artwork itself -- to take center stage.

Artspan (http://www.artspan.com), the leading provider of template-based websites for artists and artisans, is delighted to announce the winners of its first ever Website Design Contest.

Since 1999, Artspan has empowered visual artists and craftspeople to easily create and manage their own unique, full-featured websites with no need for technical background or programming skills. Over the years Artspan has added even more flexibility to its website templates, and in 2011 made the biggest step yet with new templates that offer virtually limitless creative options.

The Design Contest, announced in October and open to both new and existing Artspan members, was launched to showcase these possibilities and to honor artists who have made the most of the new website design tools.    

In considering the winners – one First Prize, one Second Prize, and three Third Prize -- judges took into account the following criteria: 1) excellence of design, 2) originality, 3) how the design complements the artist’s work, and 4) how the design maximizes the capabilities of the new tools.    

"The winning sites show a wide array of approaches, each reflecting, in its own way, the individual artist's unique style," says Artspan Founder and Managing Director Eric Sparre. "The most impressive sites creatively channeled personal aesthetics while allowing the most important element -- the artwork itself -- to take center stage."

First Prize (six months free membership and $150 cash prize) goes to Pamela Hadley of Washington, DC, http://www.http://pamelahadley.artspan.com. Second Prize (three months free membership and $100 cash prize) goes to Nancy Bossert of Easton, PA, http://www.nancybossert.artspan.com. The three Third Prize winners (each receiving one month free membership and a $50 cash prize) are Erik Alos of Los Angeles, CA, http://www.erikalos.com; Wendy Gill of Colorado, http://www.wendygillart.com; and Aixa Oliveras of San Juan, Puerto Rico, http://aixaoliveras.artspan.com.

About the winning sites:

First Prize winner Pamela Hadley’s artist statement -- short, sweet, and to the point – is a perfect analogy for the rest of her site. With its minimalist approach, each gallery page acts as a virtual frame, mounting individual pieces firmly to the page. Artspan judges were impressed by her clean and sophisticated approach, which doesn’t overwhelm the subtle details of her highly nuanced work in print, photo construction, and projections.

Second Prize winner Nancy Bossert’s website gallery, wrapped in warm tones that complement the palette of her art, acts as a stepping stone, sending the casual browser on an evolutionary exploration of every work, each of which is accompanied by an intriguing personal story. The clever lead draws readers irresistibly on to the print options below, delicately reminding them that these stories-made-flesh are available for purchase. The fact than Nancy makes full use of Artspan’s ecommerce tools, such as Prints on Demand, played a significant part in her selection for this prize.

At the website of Third Prize winner Erik Alos, splashes of paint interact with the foreground in surprising ways, popping just as vibrantly as his pop-culture inspired art. New visitors to the home page will be inevitably drawn to search further, owing to the obvious effort Alos has placed in constructing a carefully thought-out showcase for his work. His use of a custom name header that blends seamlessly into the white page background adds to the overall professionalism of the site.

Third Prize winner Wendy Gill’s website background drapes her pieces in rich sapphire, enhancing the dramatic quality of her collages. Together with her cleverly contrived links page, Gill’s site demonstrates comfort with displaying her work in an online context, thereby promoting a welcoming experience for the visitor.

Visiting the website of Third Prize winner Aixa Oliveras is like diving into a pile of crisp, golden leaves in autumn. The warm tones, subtle text , and sensitive color schemes ensure that the visitor’s eye remains focused on the primary destination of every Artspan site – the artwork. Judges were impressed by the creative use of custom background and transparency features as well as the clean, considered font choices and header placement.

The Website Design Contest, to be presented annually in the late fall, is the first of several new initiatives being rolled out by Artspan to recognize the most stunning and original efforts of its exceptional artist members.

ABOUT ARTSPAN
Founded in 1999 by painter and entrepreneur Eric Sparre, Artspan.com is a major contemporary art destination connecting producers and consumers of contemporary art , featuring close to 4,000 artist and artisan websites in many different categories, including painting, photography, jewelry, and sculpture. Artspan members include artists from around the country and the world. Artspan.com is consistently top-ranked for the term Contemporary Art by Google and Yahoo. Artspan member websites can be managed by anyone – no technical background needed -- and have a variety of features, all at a very competitive price.

Artspan is exceptional among online artist communities and providers of template artist websites, in offering artists the best of both worlds: Member artists benefit from being part of a searchable, high-traffic community while maintaining the autonomy of their own URL. Members can also access a wealth of marketing information and, in an age of limited or non-existent customer service, the Artspan Help Desk can be reached by phone or email.

"Throughout history, artists have been dependent on dealers and galleries; now they can do their own marketing. It’s a very empowering thing, and it levels the playing field." - Eric Sparre, Managing Director of Artspan, The Wall Street Journal, 6/16/08.

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Joan Smith
Artspan
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