The new Award Season kicks off today, and we have up to three $25,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prizes to be awarded for 2013! BakerArtistAwards.org has relaunched for it’s fifth consecutive year, and we’re looking forward to it being another exciting season!
Every year the Baker Artist Awards seems to get better and better. We’ve seen an increase in the number of nominations and artists uploading to the site, and we’ve seen the work of those who have participated year after year evolve and mature. The support from the community has been overwhelming, and it’s truly your involvement and participation that make all of it worthwhile. We also pay close attention to how we can improve the awards and support the diverse arts community in the most effective and efficient way possible.
As with every year, we’ve made some improvements to the website to help make things easier than ever to nominate yourself and be active on the site.
In 2013, we will be continuing the successful b Grant program. In addition to the three $25,000 awards, The Baker Artist Awards will be awarding $1,000 to individual artists throughout the course of the season’s nominations. THIS YEAR, WE WILL BE AWARDING A TOTAL OF 9 b GRANTS. And don’t worry- b Grant winners are still eligible to win one of the Mary Sawyers Baker Prize’s. We thought our users might find it useful to see who has won a b Grant, so nominations of previous winners have been earmarked (look for the little “b” in the top right corner of an artists nomination image). You can also browse b Grant winners as a category on the “Browse All Nominations” page, or browse past winners Winning Nominations on the “Past Winners” page.
The popularity of the and use of the Favorites feature has continued to grow. We love this curatorial component of the site and are eager to see how users, curators, and gallery owners take advantage of this feature. As with last year, users can drag and drop the Favorites in their collection, giving more versatility for curating and sequencing. Please note, in order to use the Favorites feature, you don’t need a nomination, but you do have to sign up! It’s easy and fast, so if you haven’t, click here to sign up now!
One of the reasons we feel the Baker Artist Awards continues to attract support and maintain its success over time is the site’s renewal every season. It seems to help attract new users, while the reactivation of prior nominations keeps users engaged. For this reason, we also find it helpful to refresh users Favorites. With the number of nominations growing every year, we felt it was a way to encourage browsing and give both new and previous nominations the opportunity to be discovered. Throughout the year, we will be highlighting exceptional Favorites collections on the site and continuing our “Curator Favorites” blog series.
One of the greatest advantages of the website platform is being able to engage and connect with the artists whose work is uploaded to the site. Finding new artists and making new connections is a valuable asset to the community, and we like to think of The Baker Artist Awards website as a valuable resource not only for artists, but curators, gallery owners, and collectors- both inside and outside of Baltimore. Being able to connect with artists on the site is an important tool, and one of the ways we encourage interaction is through the commenting feature. This year, we’ve incorporated a whole new commenting system that not only makes it easier to communicate through the site, but enables you to connect through your other social media outlets. So, don’t be shy- speak up, and connect with your Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account!
Behind the Scenes
We’ve always been proud of the simple interface that allows users to sign up and participate quickly and efficiently. Going into our fifth season, we’ve made some improvements “under the hood” to help make uploading your images, text, video’s, and other content easier and faster than ever. We understand that sometimes technology can have its issues, so if you experience any difficulty, please be sure to check out the Help section on the blog. And of course, if you can’t find what you’re looking for or need further assistance, let us know!
The Baker Artist Awards is more than a grant application process. As involvement grows, we are becoming more and more of a resource for interest and enthusiasm in the Baltimore arts scene. We’re looking forward to another exciting year as we continue to encourage, support, inspire, and connect the artists who enrich our creative community.