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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Introducing Artspotter: the App for Art Lovers

Arts enthusiast and entrepreneur Raphaëlle Heaf tells us about her new art lover's app, designed to connect people and venues all over the world.

Written by Amelia Gregory


Raphaëlle Heaf is the brains behind Artspotter, a brand new app designed to bring together art lovers and arts venues all over the world. Here she describes how the Artspotter works and why you should use it to start connecting with other art lovers today.

What is special about Artspotter?
We really see ourselves as an art startup. ArtSpotter is more than just an events listings map. I’ve worked in the art world for many years and felt there was something missing to help people discover what was going on in the art world, wherever you were. That’s where I felt that through a community it would bring about a way to map everything that was going on, so ArtSpotter really about democratising the art world and providing a platform through which everyone feels they can participate. A lot of art apps are trying to teach the audience about art in a very standard ‘Art history’ way but I believe the best way to learn is through experiences and then sharing those. For us it’s important to think of the technology not as a new way for art to be seen but as a mechanism to discover and augment these experiences.

What can users gain from downloading the app?
Firstly, we’re the largest arts venue database in the world with over 10,000 venues currently listed in 40 countries. And it’s continuously growing. We’ve got venues signing up daily so nearly wherever you are, I’m pretty sure we’ve got somewhere. Secondly, it’s about having a community that’s passionate about the art world and giving them a space to share that with the world. Twitter and Instagram have proved popular for sharing pictures of art discoveries but don’t really let you locate an exhibition near you if you want to go out and do something cultural. With ArtSpotter you can not only see what’s around you but also discover new things by following other users and what they are up to.

How do you ensure that all exhibitions are listed?
We do this in a few ways, either through the info we add ourselves, direct from the venues or we’ve also partnered with organisations to get some feeds. We’re working hard to ensure information is as up to date as possible, and again that’s where users come in. They can help by adding the exhibitions and venues for others to find as well as sharing what they’ve spotted.

What do you recommend from the art world this summer for: kids, families and for discerning art savvy adults?
This summer has been dominated by sports but actually it’s given the arts a great promotion also. I think everything that’s going on, not only has celebrated some of the excellent British artists we have but also the diversity of art that exists. Some of my favourites for kids (or the kid in us) include Jeremy Deller’s Sacriledge, a bouncy stonehenge that is touring around the UK throughout the London 2012 Festival and there are plenty of exciting events for the whole family as part of the Southbank’s Festival of the World including aMAZEme which is a continously growing maze made from books with hidden secrets left amongst piles. It’s not only fun to get lost in but has you intrigued for hours reading book spines.

For the discerning adult, I’d really recommend Tatton Park Biennial. Not only is the programme of work of an excellent quality but it’s such a fantastic setting to see contemporary art and well worth the trip.

Why the hot air balloon logo and what does it signify?
It’s funny that people are so intrigued by the balloon. In a way that’s why we have it. It’s a bit like a piece of art that gets you thinking and curious to discover more. It’s really up to the user to what it means to them. Of course it relates to travelling and maps but it does encompass a lot of the vision of ArtSpotter; new experiences, taking your time in a fast paced world, wandering through different cities, and enjoying seeing where you’ll be taken (by the crowd) and what you’ll discover. For me it’s also a reference to Le Ballon Rouge, a french story about a balloon that helps this young boy to be carefree and inquisitive as well as find new friends. That’s what ArtSpotter is to me.

Visit the Artspotter website and also explore the Artspotter blog to whet your appetite, before downloading the app on your phone.


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One Response to “Introducing Artspotter: the App for Art Lovers”

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