Maker Seven Transforms Artspan Site into Portal for San Francisco Visual Arts

Marker Seven, an award-winning boutique interactive agency, today announced its role in transforming the Website for ArtSpan, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that builds community around San Francisco visual arts. The new site builds a stronger connection between local artists with the public.

ArtSpan unveiled its new site in October to coincide with the kickoff off its 2009 San Francisco Open Studios, the largest program in the country where local emerging and established artists open their studio doors to the public. Open Studios runs each weekend throughout October in San Francisco each year.

 “The new site launches ArtSpan's vision for a web presence that allows artists to communicate, collaborate and create a more vibrant and cohesive community," said Vicki Shipkowitz, ArtSpan Board member and Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee. "It also connects the public to artists in new ways, inspiring a greater knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts in San Francisco."

Connecting the Public to San Francisco Visual Artists

"Working with Marker Seven as a partner delivered the new ArtSpan site on Open Source Drupal and Solr technology," said Neal Strickberger, ArtSpan Board member. "This architecture provides a platform for ArtSpan evolving needs, allowing the organization to implement new content and features quickly and efficiently."

Drupal, an Open Source Content Management System (CMS) and technology framework, allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a Website. In addition, the site leverages Solr search, an enterprise-ready search server that supports faceted search – search enabling the use of multiple criteria.

Through Marker Seven’s use of Drupal and Solr the public now can easily search the ArtSpan site for artists by type of art or the artist’s name. Each artist has a separate profile page where visitors can view a sample of the artist’s work with information about the art medium. Links take visitors directly to the artist’s own Website and make it possible to connect via email. In support of OpenStudios, the artist's page included information on when to visit the artist’s studio with an address and a link to Google maps.

Artists and the public also can sign up for membership online. The site also features an events calendar and information about ArtSpan’s other programs including its Art for City Youths in which the organization delivers art education to classrooms at two San Francisco Elementary Schools.

“Working with ArtSpan provided us with another opportunity to once again show our support for cultural, philanthropic and other not-for-profit organizations – some with a local focus and others that operate globally,” said John Clauss, Marker Seven President. “We are very proud or our work with organizations like The Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), Bpeace and many others to help them convey their story and engage with their publics online. We consider work with such organizations – some of which we were able to offer on a pro bono basis – as our contribution to the community regardless where that community resides.”

About ArtSpan

ArtSpan, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, builds a community by connecting the public to visual arts in San Francisco. Through SF Open Studios, youth and adult education, and art-centric events, ArtSpan creates a platform for artists to thrive, fostering a Bay Area community that values the arts. For more information visit

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