East Brunswick Arts festival; visit museums by your phones/Ipads

Visitors to the 2014 East Brunswick Fine Arts Festival.jpgAttendees
from the 2014 East Brunswick Fine Arts Festival, an outdoor juried
show of fine arts and crafts.

EAST BRUNSWICK — The Township of East Brunswick will host the 13th
annual Fine Arts Festival June 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event, which will be held on the grounds of the municipal
complex, is an outdoor juried show of fine arts and crafts that
is intended to provide artists with a venue to exhibit their
work, demonstrate their talents and offer original art and craft
items for sale.

Approximately 70 artists are expected to display their work at
this year’s festival, which will include demonstrations in glass
blowing and stained glass.
The event also will feature a display of artwork from the
students at Hammarskjold Middle School, musical entertainment
by guitarist/vocalist Tommy Aboussleman, food provided by
“ahh! La cart” food truck, ice cream from Frank’s Ices and
Ice Cream, and a community art project organized by freelance
photographer and social worker Scott Friedman.

The municipal complex is located at 1 Jean Walling Civic Center Drive.

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good1yearago

Museum apps: Introducing Generation Facebook to Great Art
May 30, 2015
JONAS SCHOELL
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Scrolling through a painting on a touch-screen, examining a sculpture
with a virtual magnifying glass, or being guided from your hotel room
all the way to the museum entrance – the age of the app has begun in
Germany’s museums. “More and more museums are replacing their audio
guides with app-based guides on tablets and smartphones,” says Thomas
Thiemeyer, professor of cultural studies at the University of Tuebingen.

The digital guides are designed to attract a younger generation of
museum visitors. But there’s a problem – developing apps costs money,
and not all museums can afford it. “The inclusion of digital media
is an investment in the future of the museum,” warns Anja Schaluschke,
director of the German Museums Association. German museums sell around
110 million entrance tickets per year, a rise by 12 million over
the past decade thanks to Germany’s growing importance as a tourist
destination as well as museums’ skill at drumming up publicity for
star attractions and special shows.

But the old-fashioned museum and the bookish visitor are the past.
The future is the world of the “digital native,” predicts Schaluschke.
In many places museums are already using apps. More than 5,000 museums
in Germany are listed on museum.de, a website and app that tells you
when you are close to a museum and what it shows. The app is offered
for both the iOS and Android operating systems.

Along with image galleries, the app also offers information on
exhibitions, admission prices and opening times. Visitors can even
use it as a sat-nav to give directions from their hotel to the museum
. But the best apps can do more. Frankfurt’s Staedel Museum is
regarded as a new media pioneer by experts. Tens of thousands
read the Staedel’s online blog, hundreds of thousands watch its
YouTube videos, its Facebook page has more than 30,000 likes and
its Twitter account more than 11,000 followers.

Smartphone-wielding visitors have been able to use the museum’s
free wifi service since February to download a new app after they
arrive. Of course it’s better to install the app before you arrive.
For children it has educational computer games. In other nations,
museums are also going digital, with experts seeing Amsterdam’s
Rijksmuseum as a prime example. Those interested can take an
up-close look at almost every painting, from Rembrandt’s
The Night Watch to one of Van Gogh’s self portraits, using
a smartphone. It’s like having a magnifying glass in your pocket.

It’s also possible to download the pictures. With ingenuity,
you can even print them onto a mug or T-shirt. Whether it’s films,
audio or extra explanatory notes, any file type can be integrated
into the apps, forming a multimedia package that can complement
the exhibitions. Frank Tentler, a digital media advisor, predicts
another development: augmented reality.

The concept involves real elements such as a painting or a
sculpture being overlaid with a virtual environment. Visitors
can point their smartphone or tablet at a picture, take a photo
and use an app to display notes, graphics or an animation in
front of the picture. The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem,
for example, already has several apps which make use of augmented reality.

One programme, the so-called AugmentiGuide, allows visitors to
download a wealth of information about the city’s historical
buildings with their tablet computers. There is also further
information on the exhibitions, for example historical films,
via QR codes, which can be scanned with a smart phone. “Apps
work differently to embedded media,” says Thiemeyer. “They’re
going to fundamentally change educational work.”

“As a digital accompaniment to an exhibition, they can solve
the conflict between seeing and reading,” he adds. There used
to be a conflict between posters with lots of text, which critics
said spoiled the displays, and doing without text, which meant
that the visitors were left in the dark about what they were seeing.

An app now makes both possible, says Thiemeyer: “Lots of information
without visual collateral damage.” But for a museum app to succeed
it needs a well thought-out concept and a proper digital strategy,
warns Tentler, adding that many museums are only starting out on
digital technology. And, he adds, in some places, there is no desire
to take on such changes. Money is another problem, because developing
apps means hiring expensive software contractors. “Museum budgets
are limited,” says Schaluschke. “Locally funded museums are especially
hard up.” So the digital revolution may be a while coming to some museums.

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