Entries include audio, enhanced (with still images), and video podcasts. The podcasts create links between on-line and on-site activities which use the format to augment and extend programs, exhibits, and lectures to a global audience.
Jury Chair: Jeff Williford, Director of Marketing
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina
GOLD: General Collection Podcasts for George Eastman House
George Eastman House
The Judges said: Each podcast episode is of consistently high quality, and each is designed as a podcast. The topics vary and judges liked some episodes more than others—but mainly because of personal interest. The “on the road” episodes featuring traveling exhibits are especially rich visually, despite being viewed in iTunes. The attention to podcast length, typography, appealing video and audio help each episode to stand well on its own, as a self-contained story relating to the George Eastman House and its artists.
Producers said: Pimzlo Media is producing an ongoing campaign of general interest Media files/Podcasts to highlight the various collections at George Eastman House. The directive from the Director and the Director of Communications is to “Take the message of George Eastman House beyond the gates at 900 East Avenue.”
SILVER: National Gallery of Art Video Podcasts
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Judges said: Well done. The podcasts are accessible, rich in content, and they look and sound surprisingly terrific in iTunes. Longer topics are broken up into shorter podcast chapters. This could be a challenge, but the authors were consistently able to create shorter segments that can stand well on their own.
Producers said: The National Gallery of Art is dedicated to fostering an understanding of art. We recognize that not only the dissemination of information but the enhancement of the aesthetic experience are essential to fostering the understanding of works of art. Programs such as Artist’s talks and curatorial tours have been a part of the Gallery’s mission since it’s inception. This series of video podcasts enables us to scale up this initiative and share it with a worldwide audience.
The project brought together departments throughout the museum. Joseph Krakora from External Affairs Department, Caroll Moore from our Department of Exhibition Programs; Arthur Wheelock, Harry Cooper, and Molly Donovan from our Curatorial Department; Faya Causey and Allison Peil from our Education Department: and Suzanne Sarraf and John Gordy from our Web Department all worked in collaboration to make this video series possible.
BRONZE: Whitney Focus Video Series
Whitney Museum of American Art and Code and Theory
Judges said: Each episode features an interview with an artist, and the podcasts feel as if one is visiting an exhibition, rather than seeing a presentation of an artist’s work on a screen. The podcasts are widely varied in subject matter, but all are accessible and interesting. The Whitney staff have developed an effective means of documenting their many exhibitions and sharing these exhibitions with a much larger audience.
Producers said: Featuring an artist or a curator discussing a work or an exhibition on view, the Whitney Focus series expands the reach of the Museum’s programming far beyond its walls. A particular strength of the program is the artist interview. For visitors, the opportunity to hear directly from an artist makes even challenging and unfamiliar art works come alive and speak in immediate ways. Furthermore, the video format can recreate the experience of being in front of the work and has proven to be an especially effective means of documenting time-based, ephemeral and moving works of art.
Whitney Focus was initially launched in conjunction with the 2008 Whitney Biennial, the Museum’s signature contemporary art survey. This exhibition always generates a lot of interest and the Museum was eager to tap into our technologically savvy audience’s passion for accessing and sharing video content on whitney.org, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, and other online sites.
Since launching in April 2008, the thirteen Whitney Focus videos have been viewed over 200,000 times.
The program was produced by the Whitney Museum and Code and Theory. The production team included Kathryn Potts, Alexandra Nemerov, and Jeffrey Levine from the Whitney Museum and Gary Gardner and Chris Sullivan from Code and Theory. Whitney Focus videos for the 2008 Biennial were funded by Joseph Varet.
HONORABLE MENTION: Larry Poons and the Colorfield Artists
American Federation of Arts and Media Combo
Judges said: This artist interview is exceptionally enjoyable to watch. Larry Poons is a captivating speaker and storyteller. The humor, the visuals, the unobtrusive interview style, and the excellent lighting and sound make each segment enjoyable to watch. Each segment of the interview stands well on its own as a podcast.
Producers said: Painter Larry Poons sat for a rare interview with Karen Wilkin, Guest Curator of the American Federation of Arts exhibition Color as Field: American Painting, 1950–1975, expressly for these podcasts. Poons, as an up-and-coming painter in the 1960s, often showed his famous “lozenge” paintings alongside Color Field painters, but he never considered himself part of that group. His candid reflections contain lively accounts of his contemporaries and eloquent meditations on the inspiration that Rembrandt and Mondrian offer to all painters.
MediaCombo shot the one-hour interview with two cameras and edited it into an eight-part podcast series for the AFA website. The filming successfully conveys the power of a twelve-foot painting on a 640-pixel screen with pans, scans, and close-ups. The audience for the podcasts encompasses exhibition-goers, educators, art historians, students, and the art-interested public.
Color as Field opened at the Denver Art Museum and traveled to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The exhibition was organized by the American Federation of Arts and was made possible, in part, by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius.
Skip Elsheimer, A/V producer and designer, Creator of A/V Geeks and avgeeks.com
Katey Ahmann, Museum public programmer, educator, Chair of Science Cafe, NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Steve Popson, Chair of Science Cafe, Museum Marketer, Public Programmer, NC Museum of Natural Sciences