a meeting of students in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio Arts
program last September, one topic of discussion was how to best make
sure everyone knew about all the cool things that were happening, both
on-campus and off.
As things were, students felt overwhelmed by
email notices, it wasn't possible to share images on the mailing list
server and they had to proactively check each of the many channels that
already disseminated such information.
They thought the best
solution would be a single place into and from which all information,
including images, could be streamlined. The blog could also link to, and
be linked from, other websites. Jenna Meyers, a graduate student in the
Painting and Drawing concentration, suggested a blog was the perfect
"We wanted a space that accumulated
information in a way that was both visual and text-based," says Meyers,
who was already maintaining a couple of similar blogs.
was onboard, so Meyers designed and built a sophisticated blog on Tumblr
that enables contributors to submit their own notices, reviews and
requests - just like an old-fashioned, paper bulletin board. It also
brings together people from different Studio Arts concentrations and
serves to connect with alumni.
Meyers and fellow MFA students
David Butler (Sculpture) and Geneviève Moisan (Fibres) keep the blog
rolling smoothly, but it's designed so that users can easily upload
their own text, photos, videos or links.
"It's an informal,
public way of sharing information. I like the 'open-sourceness' of it,"
says Beth Frey, one of the students who contributes. "Jenna and the
others working on it have also been quite successful in getting it to
the outside community."
Meyers, who posted the first item in
December 2011, says that the majority of the current postings are to
promote upcoming shows, but hopes contributors will post more items
covering a broad variety of bases, such as reviews, news and opinions as
well, and that they use the chat board to exchange thoughts and ideas.
blog gets about 5,000 hits a week from all over the world and now
counts about 1,400 Tumblr followers, Meyers says. "Generally, I'm really
happy with it."