Visiting McEachern Art Center (also known as the MAC) is an inspiring experience. The iconic Art Deco building stands out in downtown Macon, hosting Middle Georgia’s most contemporary art as a part of Mercer University’s Department of Art.
While social distancing is in effect, one might think art patrons would miss out on enjoying an exhibit at the MAC. But thanks to MAC Director Ben Dunn and the seniors graduating from Mercer’s art program, an art lover can walk all around the MAC from the comfort of their own home.
To show off the talent of students in the Mercer Art Department Graduation Exhibition, Dunn turned to a special tool called Artsteps. This web-based platform creates a lifelike model of the real gallery within your web browser, hanging paintings together on the walls to create a comprehensive exhibition much like one would see in person. There are even guided tours that explain each piece and its medium to the viewer.
The gallery can be posted to popular social media sites or embedded onto a web page. It is even compatible with Virtual Reality and Assisted Reality equipment, allowing the viewer to view the MAC just like they were there. Dataverse Ltd., the company that created Artsteps, notes that “Through a simple, interactive tool that allows easy modeling of virtual exhibitions, Artsteps makes artwork available to anyone.”
There are exhibitions on the Artsteps site taking place all over the world.
“We wanted a way to honor the work of our graduating seniors and give them the opportunity of displaying their art,” said Dunn, who had to install the art featured in the exhibition into Artsteps, just as he would in an in-person MAC exhibit. “People are still able to engage with the gallery in a spatial context.”
The Graduate Exhibition gallery will be available through the month of May at this link and has already been viewed by more than 550 patrons.
McEachern Art Center seeks to advance emerging artists and offer the community a place to contemplate art with care. Exhibitions prioritize contemporary art and include free open programming and admission.
For questions about McEachern Art Center, visit www.macmacon.com or sign up for its monthly newsletter. Normal gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday from 4 p.m.-8 p.m., although the gallery is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19. The gallery is accepting open submissions to its summer art show here.