Web design: AMP [Art Micro Patronage]

We don’t quite know how intelligent this is, but it certainly is novel and for now, interesting.

Art Micro-Patronage is an experimental online exhibition space featuring monthly curated shows of digital, new media, and intermedia work. As visitors navigate through the exhibitions, they are encouraged to become micro-patrons of the arts, associating their appreciation of the works with small monetary values. Patrons receive a link and image as recognition for their generosity and can easily keep track of works they’ve donated to via the AMP platform.

While the idea looks and feels philanthropic, one can’t help but wonder … really? The site rationalizes donations by stating, “Art Micro Patronage, as a platform, is part of an ongoing conversation about workable ways to present online artwork and support its makers. As an increasing number of artists choose to work with media that exists almost exclusively online, it’s important that we experiment just as voraciously to create systems to showcase as well as nurture their work. Your contributions allow us to continue innovating in the way we experience artwork.”

“While artists and makers are gaining ever more opportunities for exposure, the opportunities to get paid for their work are dwindling. As online appreciators, we are encouraged to show our thanks by sharing or reposting, with the promise that notoriety brings financial security. We’re not fully convinced of this logic.”

“There needs to be a light at the end of this tunnel, because being “liked” doesn’t yet pay the bills. That is why we built an alternate way to show appreciation, a way that enables creators to continue making wonderful things. With AMP, we want to make it as easy as possible to support great work.”

We agree and understand the frustrations of artist that support AMP’s premise. But as will all things, great art isn’t democratic, and, like the best cream, needs to rise to the top. While it is true that opportunities for artists seem to be dwindling, one has to think this is only a result of a larger pool of art to make intelligent choices from. As a result, that quality which distinguishes one artist from another (by virtue of making, context or other elements that define great art), will inevitably provide the rich opportunity each artist desires.

We love the concept of philanthropy, especially for the soul-nourishment that art provides, and hope, that like all the best museums, this beautifully designed website provides a tool for outreach and support so vitally necessary for the patronage of the arts.


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