Courthouse Gallery Fine Art has announced the launch of a YouTube channel, an online video platform that will increase exposure of their artists.
“We’ve never seen any other gallery do this,” said gallery manager Jeffery Dreher, who is in charge of the YouTube project. “As far as I know, we are the first one in the area.”
The channel now includes talks by a dozen artists who exhibited at the gallery over the summer: Harold Garde, Vivian Beer, Mark Kindschi, Jesse Salisbury, Kazumi Hoshino, Mark Bell, Tom Curry, Ed Nadeau, Clin Page, Judy Belasco, Philip Frey and David Graeme.
Dreher and Courthouse Gallery co-owner Karin Wilkes envisioned a video database at the beginning of the summer, and Dreher started taping Wednesday Night Artist Talks. He began by posting the videos on their website, www.courthousegallery.com.
“A lot of people are interested in artists, but can’t make it to the artist talks, where they can actually hear about the artists’ process and inspiration,” he said.
Dreher graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in new media and has been working at the gallery for the past five years. He starts each of the videos with a slide show of artwork from the exhibit and then launches right into the artist talk. Standing to the side with his HD Cannon video camera, he captures the artist’s speech and the question-and-answer session of the talk.
Though the gallery has hosted art talks for years, this summer was its first time hosting regular Wednesday Night Art Talks, many of which were exhibit openings, too. The typical turnout was about 15 people, but for Maine painters Philip Frey and Tom Curry art talks, the gallery didn’t have enough seating for the 30-40 people who attended.
It takes Dreher about three days to edit the videos with Final Cut on his Mac. Since he wants viewers to have an authentic experience of the talk, he doesn’t cut much out. Some of the videos are nearly an hour long.
The gallery rotates exhibits every three or four weeks. Next year, Dreher hopes to post the videos before the end of each exhibit to inspire people to visit the gallery before the work is taken down. He also hopes to acquire a microphone to improve the videos’ sound quality.
“We hope that this is going to really take off,” he said.
As is common for Maine galleries, Courthouse will be closed from Christmas to late April. But you can still call or email gallery owners Karin and Michael Wilkes for an appointment to view or purchase artwork during the winter. And learn about a dozen of their artists at www.youtube.com/user/courthousegallery.