Columbus, OH—January 3, 2014—As it readies for the culmination of Via Brasil, a multiyear initiative exploring the art and culture of Brazil, the Wexner Center has launched a new companion website, wexarts.org/viabrasil. This dynamic and complex site serves as a resource regarding the center’s formal in-depth inquiry into contemporary art in Brazil and provides context for the rise of the country’s vibrant visual arts culture.
Conceived of and designed in-house, this new website, which complements the center’s main website, wexarts.org, enables visitors to explore all things Via Brasil, from artist interviews and curator travelogues to recipes and vocabulary lessons. This digital space introduces and tells the story of the initiative, engages users with activities and events, and serves as an archive of the cumulative effort around Via Brasil. The site’s responsive design provides compatibility across all devices and platforms (such as tablets, smartphones, and computers with a variety of browsers). Visual cues such as color and symbols provide intuitive guidance for users exploring the site and allow them to easily access varied experiences and information.
While the majority of the site is in English, Portuguese-language elements include a description of the initiative, as well as overviews of the exhibition and events associated with it.
Notes Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin, “Representing four years of research by Wex curators, the Via Brasil initiative has revealed far more than any single exhibition, film series, or publication could possibly capture. To provide a richer, more robust context for our audiences, we created a Web presence for Via Brasil that allows for both a quick skim and a deeper dive into the various components of the project. At the same time, it’s meant to encourage individual users to chart their personal course through contemporary Brazilian culture, and to draw their own connections.”
“This companion site, created entirely in-house, is a dynamic reflection of all that’s gone into the Via Brasil project.” says Jerry Dannemiller, director of marketing and communications. “Our team of developers, designers, content editors, and others working behind the scenes have labored with a keen eye toward building a site that is intuitive, responsive, and, above all else, useful for visitors, whether they’re approaching the site from academic or art perspective, or simply have an interest in all things Brazil.”
The Via Brasil site was developed by a core team from the Wexner Center, including Dannemiller, M. Christopher Jones, director of design; Mike Greenler, senior graphic designer; Elizabeth Grunewald, digital content editor; Adam Tracht, web developer; Ryan Shafer, editor; and Adam Evans, Ohio State design student.
Elements of the site currently (or will soon) include:
• Details on the Cruzamentos exhibition and documentary series, Via Brasil-related public programs, and the translation of writings by Brazilian film critic Paulo Emílio Salles Gomes, made possible by a $782,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as complementary performing arts events.
• Video, including interviews with many of the artists and contributors to Via Brasil, both from the Wex and abroad, translated from Portuguese to English.
• Photographic documentation of Wexner Center curators’ visits to Brazil, including sites such as the Cinemateca Brasiliera, Ipanema Beach in Rio, the Inhotim museum, and much more.
• Elements of Brazilian culture, such as traditional recipes, Portuguese word pronunciations and definitions, and up-to-the-minute weather details from both Columbus and São Paulo.
• News coverage of Brazil from outlets such as the Guardian, BBC News, Flash Art, Time Out São Paulo, and others.
• Social network inclusion of Brazil-related content, particularly on Instagram and Twitter and by use of the #WexViaBrasil hashtag.
As Via Brasil unfolds in 2014, the site, too, will continue to add content and evolve, with a structure that can organically grow along with projects and programming. The accumulated content will then serve as an accessible, searchable archive following the initiative’s conclusion.