10 Social Media Sites Artists And Cultural Institutions Find Beneficial

Blues on the Mirror. Photo KAZAD/ARTCENTRON

Stained glass- Blues on the Mirror depicts how artists and art institutions are using social media like Google, Facebook, Tumblr , Pinterest and others to promote their work and activities. Photo KAZAD/ARTCENTRON

ART & SOCIAL MEDIA: Besides photographers and artists, many art institutions like museums and galleries are also using social media to communicate with friends and audience


BALTIMORE, MD — One of the issues many young artists and designers are confronted with is how to get their works in front of a larger audience.  Many of the social networking sites spread across the web are providing that opportunity. While a lot of these sites have their strong points, artists, designers and art institutions have their preference. Social media sites like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube, DeviantArt and LinkedIn, have become essential for many visual artists. These social networking websites are used by painters, sculptures, architects, fashion designers, graphic artists, webs designers and many others in the creative field to communicate with their friends and colleagues. Additionally, art institutions including museums, galleries and art auction houses are effectively using these social media websites to reach out to their audience. These social networking websites have become the place to discover new innovation and also have artistic experience. To make networking easier, all these social networking sites also have mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. Mobile apps for Android, iPhone, window phone and several other operating systems provide users with the ability to easily share content and connect with others.


For many artists and designers, Facebook is indispensable. Since it was started by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook has become one of the largest social media websites in the world, attracting over 1 billion users.  Facebook users have the opportunity to join networks, start groups, and send messages. Artists, museums, galleries and many art institutions are effectively taking advantage of the features on Facebook to promote their events and also reach a larger audience. Business minded creative people are also setting up their own business pages on Facebook, and have continued to use it in the promotion of their art business. Follow Artcentron on Facebook.


Launched in 2011,  Google plus has become a major center for everything art. Photographers, artists, painters, sculptors, ceramists, web designers and fashion designers have continued to use Google+ to showcase their works on this social media that was set up to compete with Facebook. A growing number of artists now use features like Google Circle, Google Hangout, and Profile, to share and connect with other artists and friends. But Google+ is not just a social media and networking site. It also has an authorship tool that helps associate web-content directly with their owners or author.  One of the major areas Google plus has excelled is photography. Almost 2 million photos are uploaded weekly from across the globe. To make uploading of photos easier, Google developed Google+ Creative Kit, an online photo editor integrated with Google+. Since it was included with Google plus, this tool has been very helpful to professional photographers and beginners in the presentation of their photos to a larger audience.

It is important to note that Google Art Project has further enhanced the art experience on google+.  Google Art Project is a large archive of works that can be found in major museums around the globe. Working with 151 major art institutions, Google has created a virtual museum with millions of artifacts that is beneficial to artists and art scholars.   Instead of going to these art institutions, artists and art scholars can now take a virtual tour of museums and galleries, viewing high-resolution images of artworks selected from museums and art institutions across the globe. Artists also have the opportunity to explore the physical and contextual information. In addition to the Google Art Project, there is Google “Art Talks”, a series of Hangout that brings together museum directors, curators, artists, art historians and educators from major museums and cultural institutions from across the globe to discuss art.  Since it started, Google ‘Art Talks” has featured Deborah Howes, Caroline Campbell, and Arnika Schmidt amongst several others. The focus of discussions has been art education, artists, curatorial practice and ideas behind works in the collection. Together, Google Art Project and Google “Art Talks” are effective tools for art education. The focus on art has made Google Plus an essential social media for art professionals.


Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone are well-known in the online business. When they started Twitter, the free social networking and microblogging service in 2006, it was clear that they had arrived at a great idea. On Twitter, users are allowed only 140-character called tweets to communicate their idea. Since it started, artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, celebrities, politicians and others in the creative field have been using it to communicate with friends and other creative people. Museums, galleries, and art institutions are also using this important social media site to inform followers about their programs.  Although some people are still transfixed on the140-characters, the opportunity to add links and images has made Twitter very valuable to artists and art institutions. Twitter has more than 500 million registered users and that continues to grow.


Many young musicians, including Justin Bieber, Arnel Pineda, Marié Digby, Esmée Denters, and Charice Pempengco were discovered on YouTube.  Founded in 2005, YouTube, a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips, allows artists sculptors, musicians and all those in the creative field to share videos of their work, promote their designs and anything that is of interest to them. YouTube slogan says it all: “Broadcast Yourself”. In 2006 Google bought YouTube and in 2011 redesigned it, introducing new features that have made it easier to use. The new YouTube design underscores “Channels”. Many museums, galleries, news media, non-profits, artists, politicians, celebrities, and designers now have their own Channels on YouTube. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art, Christie’s Auction House, Sotheby’s,  Gagosian Gallery, are just a few of the art institutions on YouTube. Since inception, YouTube has been the fertile ground for the discovery of new artists and musicians. Of course, there are lots of funny videos about grumpy cats and funny people.


Tumblr is one best places to see new art and photography.  A microblogging platform and social networking site, Tumblr allows for the posting and sharing of anything:  text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos.  Started by David Karp, Tumblr is a fun place to be as it provides more room to customize and present ideas the way users want to. Young artists, photographers, illustrators, and designers are the major users of Tumblr. They share photographs, illustrations and paintings, designs and other creative thoughts. Even as the young users are growing, older artists are also registering their presence on Tumblr. Additionally, museums, galleries, studios and other major art institutions are using Tumblr to connect and link with their audience.   Tumblr allows users to set up blogs which they can keep private or share with friends and followers. Presently, Tumblr which was bought by Yahoo! Inc. on June 20, 2013, hosts more than 152.2 million blogs.  You can follow Artcentron Tumblr.


Created in 2004 by Ludicorp, Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website.  Unlike its video hosting, Flickr is better known for its image hosting. It is one of the most popular sites for users to share personal and event photographs. Flickr is also a place to meet people with similar interest, engage in conversation and build a sense of community. More than 4 million new images are uploaded and shared every week on Flickr. There are many professional photographers who are effectively using Flickr to connect with their colleagues, share ideas and also educate their teeming fans. Some of the top photographers using Flickr include Annie Leibovitz, Strobist, Thomas Hawk, Scott Bourne, Nobuyoshi Araki, Gary Arndt, Michael Zelbel Mand many others.  Besides photographers, many art institutions like museums and galleries are also now using Flickr to share photos with their audience as well as photo management. Acquired in 2005 by Yahoo! Inc, Flickr is not just a photo sharing sites but also an online community that is used by teachers, educators, researchers, and bloggers. Flickr is an amazing treasure trove of visual resources necessary for any area of academic studies, including art and science. The site is vital to higher institutions of learning that use the images in the education of students.  With almost 90 million registered users, Flickr continues to grow.


DeviantArt is perhaps the best known social networking site specifically for artists and art enthusiasts.  It is one of the largest artist gatherings with over 9 million members who are referred to as “deviants”. On the DeviantArt platform, artists have the opportunity to exhibit and discuss their artworks with peers. They can also join discussion forums and also interact with other artists,  Started in 2000 by Scott Jarkoff, Matthew Stephens, Angelo Sotira and several others, DeviantArt has almost 30 million registered users, who upload more than  160,000 original artworks daily.  The works include photographs, videos, digital art, painting, sculpture, pixel art, skin art, poetry, anime, drawing, and many others. Members upload pictures or videos of their work to personal galleries that guests or other members can view and make comments. DeviantArt has a global reach.


Whenever LinkedIn is mentioned, many people do not think about visual art. The fact, however, is that many artists, writers, photographers, designers and others in the creative field, across the globe, are using Linkedin to promote their works, share ideas and connect with other professions. Founded in 2002, Linkedin is a professional social networking site where people can link with other professionals, colleagues and also search for jobs.  Linkedin also provides news, updates, and insight that can help art professionals enhance their creativity and also become better at doing what they do.  When it was launched in 2003, many professionals were happy as it brought to bear the seriousness that many other social networking sites do not have. Since it was launched, Linkedin has continued to grow. It has over 260 million users drawn from across the globe.  One great advantage of Linkedin is that it is available in 20 languages.


The basic concept of Pinterest is that whenever you find something on the web that you like, you can pin it on your pinboard. Founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp, this photo–sharing site allows users to create and manage pinboard on which they can pin photos of anything that is of interest to them. They can also re-pin photos and images found on other boards, or anywhere on the web on their own pinboard.

While many people continue to live up to the basic idea behind Pinterest, visual artists,  painters, photographers, sculptors, fashion designers, are using Pinterest to introduce their work to a larger audience.  Pinterest holds a great advantage for young artists, photographers, fashion designers and others in the creative field.   One great advantage is that their images can be continually shared on many pin-board, making more people aware of their creativity. Additionally, these young creative people can actually get their works in front of curators, galleries, and museums, something that might be difficult in the physical world. With more than 11 million daily visits, Pinterest continues to grow, making a great impact in the lives of many young photographers, artists, designers and those in the creative field.


StumbleUpon is not one of the websites that readily comes to mind when it comes to art.  However, this is a great website that is been used by many photographers, artists, sculptures, video game developers,  museums, galleries and other major art institutions.  It is a place to discover important contents on arts.  Since it began in 2001, the site has attracted more than 25 million users. Because of its reach, many artists, photographers, designers, architects other creative minds have been using it to great benefits. Besides reaching a large audience, there is also the opportunity to interact and share ideas with other creative minds.

Although StumbleUpon has been in fierce competition with other content discovery sites like Pinterest, it has been able to hold its own.  With the introduction of a new StumbleUpon app and a redesign of the website, it has become even easier for many in the arts using StumbleUpon to get their works in front of a larger audience, and also drive traffic to their websites. It is now a culture to have the StumbleUpon buttons on artists and art institution websites. Stumble upon is easy to navigate. Users have the opportunity to share their interest with friends and other users.  Artists also have the opportunity to share their pages on other social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This is very useful as artists and those in the creative fields have a greater opportunity to reach a larger audience beyond the StumbleUpon website. You can check follow  Artcentron on StumbleUpon.


These are just a few of the top social networking sites that artists, designers, and art institutions are using to effective link with their friends, audience and also promote their project.  If we have left anyone out, please let us know. With your contribution, you will not only be adding to the list, you are also providing valuable information.


Soon after this article was published, there was a clamoring to include Instagram on the list. After detailed research, we are compelled to add this great social media. When Instagram was established, the focus was on simplicity and encouraging people to tell visual stories about their lives.

Under the leadership of CEO and co- founder Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (CTO, co-founder), Instagram began generating great attention in the social media world soon after it was formed. It did not take long before its growing popularity came to Facebook’s attention.   In 2012, Facebook acquires Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock.   Since the acquisition, Instagram membership has grown exponentially to over 80 million users.

Today, Instagram is one of the most popular social media in the world. It is home to people willing to share images and tell their stories. For artists, photographers, designers, fashion designers, and art institutions, Instagram has become home. They share images and videos of events and activities.

For artists and art institutions,  there is so much to benefit from Instagram. In addition to promoting art exhibitions, it is also a place for artists, photographers, and designers to present new works to the public.