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Museum of Art press release   Date: 7/18/11 Bookmark and Share

Museum of Art Web Site Wins Award

Northampton Mass.—The Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) and Slate Roof Studio (SRS) are pleased to announce joint receipt of the 2011 Judges Choice Award for Best Web site Redesign (For institutional budgets of $500,000+) in the New England Museum Association (NEMA)’s annual competition.

Interior Series: Lizard Cup, by American artist Ken Price (1935-), on view on the Museum of Art new Web site.

NEMA is the leading organization for museums of all sizes in New England and has more than 1,300 members.

In the award announcement, Dan Yaeger, Executive Director of NEMA stated: “Your [Web site] design puts you in very good company at the top ranks of our region’s institutions. This year, we received a tremendously competitive number of applicants: 206 [entries] from 64 museums entered in 16 different categories. The judges were extremely impressed with the high quality of all the entries, and expressed pride to come from a region that produces such high caliber work.”

The Museum’s marketing team (Margi Caplan, membership and marketing director, and Martha Ebner, marketing and web coordinator) oversaw this project and continue to manage SCMA’s Web site. Under the direction of the Museum’s marketing office, the entire Museum staff was involved in all aspects of the project, from conception to writing and design.

SCMA launched the first phase of its redesigned web site in December 2010, following 15 months of development work with SRS. The new site represents a complete reconsideration of how the Museum communicates with its many audiences. The overarching goal is to reveal and convey the Museum’s mission, holdings, exhibitions, programs, and activities in a consistent voice, dynamic style, and accessible format that is relevant and useful to all.

The new site’s visual and verbal content expanded more than 40 percent as a result of the complete redesign—all made more accessible with a new graphic design and reorganized structure.

SCMA also won Second Place in the category of Invitations-Exhibition design for a print publication on “Susan Hiller: What Every Gardener Knows” (spring 2010). Carolyn Eckert served as the freelance designer and Margi Caplan oversaw the project for the Museum.

Considered one of the finest college art museums in the country, SCMA is known for its distinguished collection of more than 20,000 objects from all periods and cultures. The permanent collection includes Modern painting and sculpture, works on paper, Western European masterworks, antiquities, decorative arts, and emerging collections of African, Asian, and Islamic art. Ever-changing exhibitions reflect the growing diversity of the collection. In addition, SCMA hosts free public programs for all ages, including monthly Second Fridays and Family Days. Popular amenities include award-winning artist-designed rest rooms, a series of 11 unique, handcrafted gallery benches, the Museum Shop, and Riff’s Café.

Based in Florence, Mass., Slate Roof Studio (www.slateroofstudio.com) produces interactive multimedia communications for educational institutions and fine arts museums across the country. Their projects include work on behalf of the Art Institute of Chicago (which garnered a 2010 MUSE award from the American Association of Museums), Addison Gallery of American Art, Albany Institute of History and Art, and Middlebury College Museum of Art.

The Slate Roof team on the SCMA project includes Slate Roof co-founders Cheri Cross and Tim Toffoli, and ContentHere owner and principal Seth Gottlieb.

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