(Disclosure: Rose Law Group Founder and President Jordan Rose is a member of the Phoenix Art Museum Board of Trustees.)
By Madelaine Braggs, Rose Law Group Reporter
Phoenix Art Museum (PhxArt) has taken a bold step into the digital realm with the launch of its first-ever digital guide on Bloomberg Connects, an innovative arts and culture app powered by Bloomberg Philanthropies. This move propels PhxArt into a global network of over 250 cultural institutions that utilize the app, offering exclusive interpretive materials and audio/visual content in more than 100 languages.
Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum, expressed excitement about the partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, stating, “The Bloomberg Connects app empowers the Museum to provide a new, dynamic way to experience art in our collections and special exhibitions at a deeper level.”
Unveiling the Digital Guide:
The digital guide introduces a fresh perspective to experiencing art, whether from the comfort of one’s home or within the museum’s galleries. Enriching the visitor’s journey, the guide features exclusive content, including photos, audio narratives, and videos that highlight select exhibitions. Furthermore, it provides insights from community members, curators, and exclusive interviews with artists.
With regular updates, the guide promises to keep the content fresh, offering collection spotlights and previews of upcoming exhibitions. This initiative is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ commitment to digital innovation in the arts, providing a free platform for cultural organizations worldwide.
A Diverse Range of Voices:
The Phoenix Art Museum’s digital guide distinguishes itself by incorporating diverse perspectives. Charlotte Quinney, the Interpretation Manager at Phoenix Art Museum, sheds light on how the app enhances the museum lover’s experience:
“The Phoenix Art Museum digital guide on the Bloomberg Connects app provides museum lovers with the opportunity to explore artworks from new and novel perspectives, including those of artists; subject matter experts within and outside the field of art history—including a costume and textile conservator and a climatologist… These perspectives provide insight into artistic processes, artwork installation, and the individual and varied ways to connect with and make meaning from an artwork. We hope the content inspires visitors to apply their own knowledge and interests to their understanding of art.”
Visitors can explore artworks through the eyes of artists, subject matter experts, and even museum staff, including curators, frontline staff, and docents. The guide encapsulates personal stories, exclusive images, and specialist knowledge, offering a more profound connection to the museum’s extensive collection.
Exclusive Insights and Behind-the-Scenes Access:
A unique feature of the guide is the behind-the-scenes look into “Guarding the Art: A Frontline Perspective,” the museum’s first exhibition featuring works selected by guest curators from its frontline security, retail sales, and event rentals teams. This unconventional approach provides audiences with an insider’s view, deepening their connection to the curated artworks.
The guide extends its reach beyond the physical walls of the museum, allowing users to access content from anywhere in the world. It becomes a valuable tool for both preparation before a visit and a deeper exploration after experiencing the artworks in person.
Quinney says the guide was launched with content covering 30 collection spotlights, representing the museum’s various collecting areas. It will be regularly updated with exclusive audio and video content for upcoming exhibitions, ensuring a continuously fresh user experience.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ App and Phx Art’s Distinctiveness:
The partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, initiated by Phoenix Art Museum trustee Ellen Katz, aligns with Phx Art’s mission to expand accessibility to art. Quinney emphasizes that the Bloomberg Connects app offers a no-cost platform, enabling audiences to explore and learn about the museum’s collections in over 100 languages.
“Phoenix Art Museum stands out as the largest art museum in the southwestern United States, functioning as the only encyclopedia art museum in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area,” Quinney points out. With a strong connection to the local community and a commitment to inclusivity, the museum aims to provide more innovative art experiences. The Bloomberg Connects digital guide represents a significant step toward achieving this mission, offering a novel way to engage with art and gain a deeper understanding of the museum’s exhibitions and collections.
Phoenix Art Museum’s entry into the digital realm with the Bloomberg Connects app signifies a progressive move toward a more inclusive and engaging art experience. This innovative digital guide not only transforms the way visitors interact with artworks but also establishes PhxArt as a trailblazer in leveraging digital platforms for cultural enrichment. As the guide continues to evolve with fresh content and insights, it promises to redefine the landscape of art exploration for both local and global audiences.
Editor’s note: Madelaine is a member of Phoenix Art Museum’s Circles of Support Committee.