For many artists, it is a lack of exposure rather than a lack of talent that keeps the public from seeing their work.

To rectify the situation, MOV!, an organization dedicated to promoting art, is using Facebook to try and get some aspiring artists the exposure that could make their career.

Getting more eyes on art

They're calling it the Art Walk America Contest. Art walks are events in which a number of a community's art galleries or artists' studios open their doors for visitors to drop by and see the art. The idea is that galleries will attract people to the downtown and enrich the art community by pooling their openings together into a regular weekly or monthly evening. Art walks also help local artists gain exposure and allow the public to appreciate their creativity.

Here's how the on-line competition works: for the next few weeks, the Art Walk America contest will accept submission of artworks through its Facebook page, ArtsWalkAmerica. The works will be displayed on the Faceboook page, a live voting will take place, and the most popular piece will be announced on July 4.

The creative director of Art Walk America, Gloria Fredericks, says “thousands of excellent artists show their work in art walks nearly every weekend, but they don’t reach a national audience.”

A Facebook image of the Art Walk America Contest,
A Facebook image of the Art Walk America Contest, June 18, 2016.

A huge online gallery

Not everyone visits an art gallery every day, but, she says, “users use Facebook 30 minutes a day," so this seems like a good way to get art to the people. “Our goal with the 2016 Art Walk America Contest is to cast a spotlight on the thousands of artists whose work deserves to be shared with a much broader public than it is today."

Artists must be over the age of 13 to submit their work in any of the eight categories: mixed media, sculpture, watercolor painting, acrylic, photography, fashion design and graphic design. They may submit more than one entry.

Apart from announcing the winner on July 4, the organization will seize the opportunity to launch the Art Walk America (AWA) app, which will help artists and art lovers alike to find art-related events in their communities.

“There are 25 million people who go to art events.  We want to connect those people more closely to the events and artists.  So, there is a huge appetite, but very little good information for people about the art walks.  We want to remedy that,” Fredericks said, adding, “The app will allow people to engage in places where they might not have anticipated.”