General 8-29-2003

Editor’s Note: Collections

How to find, view, and build collections on

The Featured Collection will be an ongoing part of This month’s is the entire State Fair Visual Arts Show plus an extra not found on the fairgrounds: a collection of 20 years of photos of the fair curated by George Slade. Collections are curated “exhibitions” assembled by staff and invited curators or by members.

How can you view these collections, and find out what other collections there are to look at? Look at the front page; up at the top you’ll see the menu with choices for navigating the site. Click on “Collections.” Two choices will appear to right of the word: “Curated” and “Member-made.” To view curated collections – this month, the State Fair show and the Slade collection of Fair photos – click on the word “Curated.” When you click on “member-made” you’ll see a selection of member collections to choose from.

You can also make a collection of your own and share it with other users. Registration is required to use the Collection feature. You can register by clicking the “Join” link at the top of every page. Members can choose to make their collections public or can keep them private. The items in a collection consist of artworks, artists, organizations, or articles already on

The possible uses for collections are legion—jurors for a show can glean work from the immense database of Minnesota artists on the site; music festival organizers and events bookers can gather work samples; fans of certain genres, styles, and artists can compile competing collections to share with their friends; these collections can be shared privately or publicly on the site.

How can you make your own collection? To put something in a Collection, start by searching or browsing through the site. When an item interests you, click the “Add to Collection” button. Eventually, when you have some items you like in your collection, choose, on the “Add to Collection” small window, the “More Work on Collection” button. A window will open with instructions telling you how to save your collection; how to make it public on the site; how to share a private collection with a selected list of people; and how to edit, rename, and redesign your collection. At any time you can access your collections and play with them by going to “Manage Your Collections” in the list of actions under “Account Information” in “Your Account.” (Access this by clicking “My Account” in the menu at the top of the home page after you’ve logged in.)

My own experiments with this new function have resulted in a public collection called “A Few Artists and Writers from the North.” Let me know what you think!