A few months ago I blogged about a competition to help online businesses, called Nuevos Talentos Andalucia, for which Andalucia.com's MD was one of the judges (and this website donated part of the prize too - a year's free advertising!).
The winner of the competition was Marta Tabernero, whose website Mecenas 2.0 promotes young and emerging artists through various projects (the word mecenas means sponsor or patron). She is currently running an innovative and fun competition in collaboration with the Museo Carmen Thyssen in Malaga.
In the competition, artists produce an A5 (postcard-size) work, around the theme of either the city of Malaga; the Carmen Thyssen Museum; or the interpretation of the works in the Carmen Thyssen Museum.
Back in September, a shortlist of 30 works was chosen, and 100 limited-edition prints of each were produced. Most of the artists are from Malaga, and nearly all are Spanish.
The next stage - currently underway - is to give away copies of the postcards in the shop, which have QR (quick response) codes. These are matrix bar codes which carry information - text, images, videos and web links - and can be scanned by a smartphone. Each time a postcard is chosen from the shop by a visitor (each person can only take one postcard), the artist of that work gets four points. Those who can't make it to the museum can vote online (see link below), which earns one point. You can vote until 31 December, when all the points will be added up and the winner announced shortly afterwards.
What an original and wonderfully interactive way of introducing new artists to the public, in an environment that is tougher for creatives than it has been for many, many years. And it's not about the winning - it's about bringing all these new artists to a wider audience, and especially to people who might never have come into contact with - or, indeed, had any interest in - contemporary art. Marta told me that the site is getting a good response - over 7000 votes a week, with a surprisingly large number of voters from abroad (those in Argentina top the ranking currently).
Marta's site also represents artists, who sell their work directly on the site, at very reasonable prices (from 20 euros). She is making art genuinely accessible to everyone - and with all the proceeds going to the artists themselves, since Marta doesn't take any commission. Mecenas 2.0 is also designed as a meeting point for artists, where patrons can find new talent to support, true to the website's name.
To cast your vote in the Mecenas Post cART competition, either go to the Carmen Thyssen Museum in person, or go to the Mecenas 2.0 website.