DOTHAN, Alabama – January 29, 2020 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it has launched the WMA App for Apple and Android mobile devices. WMA worked with PushCrankPress (PCP), a Dothan-based design agency, to develop the app to deliver additional content about exhibitions, artists, and programming to both museum guests and offsite users. The free app will allow visitors to access information about the artists, audio tours of exhibitions, and special in-gallery-only content delivered through the use of beacon technology.
“Through conversations with our board, staff, and visitors, it became apparent that incorporating technology into our practice was the next step towards increasing access to the museum and to the arts. It’s unusual for a museum of our size to have an app available to the public, and we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop something unique and innovative for our visitors,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, WMA’s executive director.
Dave Brown, a partner at PCP, was the lead app developer. He will continue to work closely with museum staff and artists as new content for the app is created.
“As someone that has a background in both art and technology, I have a close personal connection to WMA’s mission and vision for the future. Being able to bring my personal interests and capabilities together for projects like this mobile app are both personally and professionally fulfilling,” said Brown.
Jenny Fine’s immersive installation “Synchronized Swimmers” and Beverly West Leach’s “Telling on Myself,” featuring found-object assemblage works by the artist, are the first two exhibitions to have content featured on the app. By using the app and turning on Bluetooth to receive transmissions from small beacons placed near the art, people can learn more about Fine and Leach by seeing photos and video, or hearing audio, of sources from which both artists drew inspiration, including movies like “Alice in Wonderland” and songs like Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Autumn to May.”
“No matter your location, the WMA App delivers a trove of information about the museum, current exhibitions and upcoming events. That, in itself, is important and valuable, but the benefits reach another level once you step into the galleries. Using beacon technology, users receive helpful notifications within the app to guide them directly to information about the exhibition they are experiencing,” said Brown.
Museum-goers got a first look at the app and its capabilities during WMA’s Art After Hours event on January 16, which celebrated the opening of the two exhibitions.
“We hope that by providing additional content we will be able to extend the visitor stay, providing a one-of-a-kind experience, and making the museum-going experience more accessible to new and existing audiences. We’re already working with artists who will exhibit through 2021 who are excited to connect with our community on new levels through technology,” said Lemmer.
As exhibitions open each quarter and as museum programming changes, the app will be updated to provide access to the new content. WMA and PCP have plans to develop app capabilities that go beyond regular in-gallery and home use.
“With the infrastructure that’s now in place, the potential for additional content, heightened interactivity, and more engaging in-gallery experiences is virtually boundless. Our vision for the future includes things like an archive of exhibitions with artist interviews and resources, shared group experiences during on-site events, and even working directly with exhibiting artists to make the app available as an additional medium to extend their work,” said Brown.
The development of WMA’s app would not have been possible without the support of the Wiregrass Foundation and the generous partnership of Push.Crank.Press, whose staff are committed to building systems that meet the needs of their clients.
About the Wiregrass Museum of Art
The Wiregrass Museum of Art inspires a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts by providing innovative educational programs that engage diverse audiences through the collection and exhibition of quality works. Since its founding in 1988, WMA has offered educational programs, nationally acclaimed art exhibitions and community events throughout the year. Its Board of Trustees guides the long-term vision and strategic goals, while its membership, City and County support, and grant funding provide the resources needed to fulfill its mission.
WMA’s galleries are open to the public every Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. General admission is always free. Private tours with guided art activities in the studio can be arranged by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays. For tour information, visit wiregrassmuseum.org/museum-tours.
Communications Manager, WMA
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