Sep 11, 2017

This Arts Council-funded grant supports a website rebuild and redesign for the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection proposed by Margo Smith, Director of the Kluge-Ruhe Collection

This project involves rebuilding and redesigning the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection website to highlight its collection, unique programming and student research. Because the museum is located off-Grounds, UVA students use the website as their first “visit” to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection.

This project came about as a result of collaborating with Professor George Sampson’s Art Administration students on a marketing plan for the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. The students’ response to the Kluge-Ruhe website was that it lacked visual  engagement and therefore missed an important opportunity to highlight the excellent collections held by Kluge-Ruhe. Furthermore, they noticed that it did not feature information by and specifically for UVA students. As a result, the Kluge-Ruhe staff has surveyed many museum websites and has developed new content for the proposed website in consultation with students. While the museum is in the process of re-designing its website, it also plans to re-brand the Kluge-Ruhe Collection and to develop a new logo.

The new website will provide easy access to all the Kluge-Ruhe has to offer, including a searchable collections database and information about classes and programs. Students who study Aboriginal art in their classes will be able to search the collection online in preparation for a visit to Kluge-Ruhe. During the process of website redesign, the Klug-Ruhe will consult with the Fralin Museum regarding their collections search module. Now that both museums are using the same collections database, both will have an opportunity to design similar search functions. It will greatly benefit students and faculty to find consistent search functions at both museums.

Finally, the new website will enable the Museum to publish student research. The work that students are doing as part of Curatorial Lab @ UVA and with artists-in-residence will be highlighted and archived. Student use of the new website will be tracked on Google analytics in order for the museum be more responsive to student needs and interests.

The new website is the museum’s first point of contact with the local community and visitors to the region. It will highlight exhibitions and programs in a highly accessible way to encourage museum visitation.  Website visitors will easily navigate to pages where they can sign up for the Kluge-Ruhe newsletter, volunteer, or donate to the collection. Links to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will be fully integrated into the website in order to reach a broader audience.

Through a dynamic and easily navigated website, we will share UVA’s most significant global art asset with the world and showcase ongoing projects such as the Mellon Indigenous Arts initiatives, Australia Council artist residencies, and touring exhibitions. And because the updated website can be accessed anywhere, including remote regions of Australia, the collection and its programming will be shared with Aboriginal people who have the greatest interest and stake in this art form.

Check back for more information on this Arts Council-funded project’s unfolding timeline.

The Arts Council provides advocacy, advice, and support in the Arts at the University of Virginia. It strives to develop and strengthen the bonds of interest and participation among the Arts Departments, their associated programs,  and their alumni and friends; to advocate on their behalf; to advise and assist with communications; and to help raise funds in support of academic programs, facilities, and special events. Among its multitude of arts advocacy efforts, the Council awards annual Arts Council Grants. These grants have, and continue to play an instrumental role in a number of  residencies, workshops, project and research-based endeavors proposed across Arts Grounds annually. This series of articles will highlight each funded project and serve to inform the UVA community of their unique timelines, progress and outcome reports.

See all 2017-2018 Arts Council Grants Awarded Arts Council Logo