Past Commentaries

August Issue 1999
by Tom Starland

A New Web Site

Well, we finally did it - we have switched over to a larger web site! It should have happen six months ago, but some things just take time to pull off. And, although we have a bigger site, which can handle many more color photos, more text, more graphics, more, perhaps - maps, art portfolios, special features, and even videos - it will take us a while to make that all happen. But, for now, you will find everything we have been doing and a bit more at the new site.

We can now be found on the big wide world web at: ( Yes, we finally got our own domain name which matches the name of the paper so it can be easier to remember - that is if you don't bookmark our site on your browser. Check it out and see which number you were when you first saw it. A number counter is now keeping track of visitors to the site - just add one to the number you see.

Now, I hate to give my Internet speech again, but you will hear this over and over again - you need to get connected to the Internet one way or another. You're missing out on another world.

For some of you that means getting a computer. There couldn't be a better time to get one as the prices are cheaper than ever, and for more computer than the rest of us have. Right now, I'm still working on an old 25Mhz computer. When those of you who know computers stop laughing you can explain to those who don't know how slow that is compared to current computers. When this issue is over I'll be switching over to a slightly newer 100Mhz computer, which is still a dinosaur compared to today's standards, but a giant leap for mankind - for me. We do our web site on a new iMac computer that operates at 333Mhz, which was pretty fast for a couple of weeks until newer computers surpassed it. Yes, we use Macintosh computers, as do 90 percent of the other people in publishing and graphic design. We've been using Macintosh since the Apple IIe - way back in 1983.

I'm no graphic designer and surely no computer whiz, but if it wasn't for Apple we would have never made it to publishing this paper. I wouldn't know how to flush a toilet on an IBM type computer, and as far as Microsoft goes - I've been using windows (invented by Apple) since 1986.

Frankly, it doesn't really matter which computer you use as long as you get one and then hook it up to the Internet and start communicating with the world. That means those of you who have computers need to buy a new one or get a modem and get hooked up.

The article we had last month about the small Charleston, SC, gallery, Blink!, which created themselves a big space on the Internet, was an excellent example of what is out there to be had and how much it cost - in time and money. They have spent the time and money, now they will reap the rewards. Check them out at: (

It's All About Access & Information

The main reason to get connected on the Internet if you're an artist, art gallery, or just someone interested in the arts is the added access you will have to the greater art community - right from your own home, apartment or public library. Information is a powerful commodity. Being informed makes you a smarter person and one ready to react to today's changing world.

For me, one of the most intelligent things I could do was go to a public library. It's still my favorite pastime, but today through the Internet, I can go to my public library while I'm still sitting at home and to almost every library in the world.

As an artist, access to the Internet can take you to thousands of art galleries and art museums. You can view collections of art from all over the world. You can send your art all over the world and to all those galleries and art museums, not to mention people interested in buying your art. Sending photos of artwork by e-mail is a common practice on the Internet today. With the use of digital cameras that means no more waiting for film to be processed, no more trips to the post office to stand in line to mail those photos. And, you can send the same electronic photo to hundreds and thousands of buyers.

With the Internet, you will be able to exchange photos of artwork with your art school roommate showing them that you at least are still producing art.

As an art gallery, access is also a key factor in gaining more visitors to your gallery and making sales to people who don't come to your gallery. I'm not going to tell you that every gallery that is on the Internet is selling artwork. It's not that easy. If it was, I'd have a site on the Internet selling art. But, some people are making lots of extra sales because of their site on the Internet with a lot less cost than building galleries around the country.

Galleries connected to the Internet also get contacted by more artists from around the country - even artists who end up being major sellers in the gallery.

Internet savvy travelers also check out cities and available art spaces before they visit them to see where they would like to go instead of wasting time doing it after they arrive at a location.

As someone who is just interested in the arts - there are all these sites by artists, galleries, art museums, universities & colleges, libraries and art newspapers located in places you will never travel to, but are just a click away on your computer.

Now, as much as I like the Internet and support your use of it, I don't want you to stop going to galleries and seeing art - nothing replaces seeing art close up. But in the meantime, we're at: (

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