Recently, I’ve been asking for Teen groups to share how social media fits into their program. If you would like to share your views, please let us know.
This is a response By Charlotte Bravin Lee, age 17 Director and Curator of Teen Art Gallery.
I don’t particularly embrace technology. Most of my friends are better with computers than I am. I have always preferred a pencil and pad or a paintbrush and canvas. I was the last to give up my flip phone in favor of a smart phone. But a year ago, when I became the director of Teen Art Gallery, I realized I wanted to increase awareness about our group. At the time we had about 350 “likers”. My goal was to double this number within a year – and we have succeeded. I found that the more posts we created with images attached really helped. We used pictures from our various openings. We posted young teen art work. Every time we share a post from another museum group, we earn new “fans” and increase our profile.
Sometimes I look at the statistics that facebook posts, but not that often. This year our submission process started out slowly. Then every night I would search through the different facebook museum and art school profiles and I would post our flyer suggesting that teens submit. The post would only appear as a tiny line in the recommendations box over to the right but it made a difference. Each morning someone new would have liked our page and often that same person would have submitted artwork.
Our Facebook page was set up before I became director but I eventually noticed that it was linked to our twitter account (@TeenArtGallery). Facebook posts were simultaneously twittered. This was a great thing because I didn’t have the time to twitter. I have to admit that I haven’t embraced that yet – and most of my friends aren’t that active with tweeting Some one in our group is planning to start a Teen Art Gallery Instagram page but our Tumblr account has gone by the wayside. Facebook, however, continues to remain strong for us. It is user friendly and kids from the age of twelve on up use it regularly. In many cases it has even surpassed email. We have a group page that allows us to have an active dialogue about our business. We don’t have to have meetings that often because communication via social media is so easy.
The greatest Facebook feature for us has been the photo album. When it is time for voting, I narrow down the many submissions we get to a private photo album that only the T.A.G team can see. We vote by liking the images. We often have a round two and a round three for selection.
Our website, however, is truly my favorite part of Teen Art Gallery. It was designed and is run by Matthew Pasquarelli who is also a junior in high school. It allows us to feature our artists, our team, our upcoming shows, as well as link viewers to the press we have gotten.
Ultimately, nothing beats seeing the art in the flesh – so we hope everyone will some see our upcoming shows this spring and summer.
Charlotte Bravin Lee is a junior at Fieldston high school in New York. She is currently the director and curator of Teen Art Gallery whose mission is to give teen artists the opportunity to exhibit in a gallery. She enjoys talking to artists across the country and receiving interesting submissions daily. Charlotte is both an artist and a writer and in 2012 completed summer programs at Iowa Young Writers Studio and The Kenyon Review’s Writer’s Workshop. In May she will attend the New England Young Writers Conference on the Breadloaf Campus of Middlebury. She has had her poetry and artwork published in Teen Ink’s print edition, won scholastic gold and silver keys for art, and silver keys for writing. She recently was selected as a placer in the 2013 Young Authors Contest at Columbia College in the playwriting category and her fiction will appear in the inaugural issue of The Postscript Journal. Charlotte is also contributor to Huff Post Teen.