Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

News Archive

2014-2015

Ronald M. Bernier slide digitization project
In December 2014 the VRC received a grant from the Visual Resources Association Foundation to digitize and catalog a portion of images from the Ronald M. Bernier slide collection. Professor Bernier (1943-2012) was a historian of Asian art who specialized in Himalyan architecture and taught for the Art and Art History Department for 35 years. During that time he traveled all over Asia and beyond, documenting his journeys through beautiful photographs. The collection, which was gifted to the VRC in 2012, comprises 30,000 slides, with a particular strength in the cultures of Nepal, Tibet, India, and Southeast Asia. This pilot project will digitize and catalog a subset of 500 images that highlights the extraordinary depth and breadth of Dr. Bernier’s archive. To make them broadly available for research, the VRC will publish these materials as a stand-alone collection in LUNA, our collection management software. The archive includes images from esoteric Buddhist initiation rituals in Nepal in the 1970s and 80s, key historical sites from Myanmar (Burma) taken when travel to the country was particularly rare, and sites from throughout Central Asia–including Iran, a notoriously difficult country to access now–over a span of decades. In short, Dr. Bernier’s archive documents a number of world religions, lesser-studied indigenous traditions, and the material cultures of dozens of countries, often recorded in multiple visits over time.

This archive would expose otherwise inaccessible materials to scholars, students, and aficionados with limited funds for travel. As sites can change drastically over time–or as in the case of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan (included in this collection), disappear altogether–scholars would have direct access to high-resolution files that would aid them in tracing the trajectory and appearance of a site over time. Museum professionals investigating a particular sculpture, painting, or ritual item from the cultures represented could consult the Bernier material as a point of reference when investigating provenance. Further, many of Dr. Bernier’s images come from sites that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, providing crucial comparative data.

The principle investigator for the grant is Krystle Kelley, VRC Graduate Assistant, and collaborators on the project include VRC Director Elaine Paul, Digital Imaging and Technology Coordintaor Lia Pileggi, and Asian art scholar and Art and Art History instructor Ariana Maki.

VRC study area / collaborative learning space
The VRC collaborative learning space now features a Smart Board (an interactive white board). Small groups working on collaborative projects may wish to convene here. A data projector is included; laptops with the Smart Board software are available and VRC staff is happy to help. Students can also come to this multiple use space during the day and study. While not a strictly quiet study area, we have headphones that people can use if they would like to concentrate with the aid of white noise (www.simplynoise.com) or the music of their choice. There is plenty of power available to laptops and mobiles devices.

Please note that this space is for studying and other such activities; it’s intended to be a clean space. Food and beverage will be welcome as long as people clean up after themselves.

Equipment news
We have acquired some new equipment items over the last year, including a short throw data projector, a green screen, pen tablets, and an iPad, as well as MacBook Pros for special use by instructors. See our Equipment page for a list of items we have available for checkout to AAH students, staff, and faculty. Reserve in advance to ensure availability when you need it: call 303-492-1313 between 8:00am and 6:00pm, M-F.

Portolio Photography Room
Enhancements to the Portfolio Photography Room now make documenting small to medium sized 2- and 3-D artwork even better. These include a new, high-quaility camera (Canon EOS 6D DSLR with a 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM AF Lens), tethered to an iMac featuring Adobe Lightroom as the image viewing and organizing software. AAH students, staff, and faculty can contact Lia Pileggi with questions or to make an appointment to use the room. Be sure to plan and book in advance; spaces fill up quickly at mid-term and end of the semester.

Elaine Paul serving as president of the Visual Resources Association
VRC Director Elaine Paul stepped up in 2014  for a two-year term as president of the Visual Resources Association (VRA). VRA is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of image management within the educational, cultural heritage, and commercial environments. VRC staff, and the resources and services we provide, are indebted to this organization, which provides us with standards and inspiration to make our services the best they can be.

2013-2014

Adjustment of VRC hours
We’ve been monitoring usage patterns, which are sporadic but generally low after 6:00pm. Therefore, the VRC will now be closing at 6:00pm during fall and spring semesters.

New study area / collaborative learning space
The slide collection has been removed, and we now have a large conference table in its place. Small groups working on collaborative projects may wish to convene here (a data projector and tabletop projection screen will be available). This is also intended to be a location where any Art and Art History student can come during the day for a space to lay out their laptops and books, as there is no other such area in the building. It will not be a strictly quiet study area, but we have headphones that people can use if they would like to concentrate with the aid of white noise (www.simplynoise.com) or the music of their choice. There is plenty of power available to laptops and mobiles devices.

Please note that this new space is for studying and other such activities; it’s intended to be a clean space. Food and beverage will be welcome as long as people clean up after themselves.

Equipment news
We have fully implemented our new software system, called WebCheckout, for equipment circulation in the VRC Equipment Room. This has allowed us to manage more equipment with fewer human errors.

All equipment in our Equipment Room (ER) is now available for up to three-day checkouts. This includes the equipment provided in the ER for use in teaching (e.g., laptops), which was previously available for the duration of of a class period. Anyone who needs equipment for longer than three days (such as for installations) should talk to Lia Pileggi or Elaine Paul for a system override.

We have acquired some new equipment. See our Equipment page for a list of items we have available for checkout.

Document scanning now part of our regular services
During the spring and fall 2013 semesters the VRC piloted a document scanning project for faculty, which we are pleased to announce is now part of the suite of services we provide to the department. This is a service to help digitize materials intended for course reserves, such as those that might be shared on D2L. See our Order Images page for more information.

Slide collection news
The VRC finished the culling process of the slide collection and will indefinitely archive the remaining, much smaller, collection of 35mm slides. These materials include field photography from past faculty members, images of faculty and student creative work, images from the Visiting Artist program, and other items that relate uniquely to our curriculum.

CS6 on all computers
The VRC has upgraded the Adobe Production Premium software suite on all of our public computer stations to CS6.

2012-2013

Equipment Circulation Software
This year we are implementing a new software system, called WebCheckout, for equipment circulation in the VRC Equipment Room. This will make reservations and checkouts much smoother and quicker. We are hoping to have the implementation complete before the end of the spring 2013 semester.

Document Scanning Pilot
During the spring 2013 semester the VRC is piloting a document scanning project for faculty. This is a service to help digitize materials intended for course reserves, such as those that might be shared on D2L. At the end of the semester we will assess the feasibility of the service in terms of staffing and faculty needs, and may go on to offer it as an ongoing service in the future.

Slide Collection News
The VRC will finish the culling process of the slide collection before the end of the spring 2013 semester, after which we will have a much smaller collection of 35mm slides to archive indefinitely. These materials include field photography from past faculty members, images of faculty and student creative work, images from the Visiting Artist program, and other items that relate uniquely to our curriculum.

CS6 on all computers
The VRC has upgraded the Adobe Production Premium software suite on all of our public computer stations to CS6.

2011-2012

Expanded VRC hours
The VRC is now open during the fall and spring semesters 8:00am – 7:30pm, M-F. See our home page for year-round hours.

Visiting Artist Videos in LUNA
The VRC continues to add videos from our Visiting Artist Program to our LUNA collection. As of September 2011, these date back to 2006, and we will continue the process of converting our entire collection to streaming format in the coming months. Please see our videos page for more information.

VRC Open Houses: Fall 2011
Art and Art History students, faculty, and staff are welcome to come by the VRC during our Open Houses to enjoy complimentary fresh-brewed coffee or Tazo teas, as well as pastries/cookies. Stop by, say hi, and learn what’s new this year!

Tuesday, 9/13, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Wednesday, 9/21, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Thursday, 12/1, 10:00am – 3:00pm

VRC Tea and Technology Workshop Series: Fall 2011
These informative sessions are designed to be of interest to faculty and students in both studio art and art history. Topics this fall include photographing 2-D and 3-D artwork and editing images of artwork using Photoshop. Complimentary Tazo tea and other hot beverages are provided.

OIT’s Introduction to Photoshop workshops, offered by OIT staff, complement the Photoshop training offered by the VRC in image editing. Areas covered are creating images, discovering and using tools, and saving and modifying files. The schedule is available at the link above.

VRC Offers More Equipment
The VRC now offers more equipment than ever. Visit our equipment page for a complete list with links to specifications. New equipment includes:

  • Portable shooting kit: portable soft box with lights for photographing small works
  • Voice Tracer digital sound recorders: one for classroom use; one for creative work and documentation
  • Photography backdrops: red, white, gray, black, with stands available
  • Elmo document camera: works with a data projector to display small, opaque, 2-D and 3-D objects
  • Misc. peripherals: iPhone/iPod charger, memory card readers, Canon camera remotes, Mac laptop power adapter

New Portfolio Photography Room
Located in the VRC, the Portfolio Photography Room is for photographing small to medium 2-D and 3-D works. The room is equipped with a removable shooting table for smaller 3-D works. One wall is used for hanging framed 2-D works, and another has a magnetic surface for hanging unframed 2-D works.

  • Nikon D300 Camera kit, shooting wirelessly to an iPad
  • Nikon AFS DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 wide angle lens
  • Bogen Tripod
  • Bogen Still Life Shooting Table with Plexiglass
  • Promaster Fluorescent Three-Light Studio Reflector Kit

New Software and Hardware at Imaging Stations

  • All public scanning stations have been upgraded to CS5 (Adobe Production Premium suite: Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, OnLocation, Encore, Device Central, Bridge, Media Encoder).
  • Each station now features Acrobat X Pro.
  • Memory card readers available at each station.

2010-2011

Image Collection Now Available in LUNA
We are pleased to announce that our image collection is available in the new and improved LUNA browser interface. Please see our find images page for access information.

Visiting Artist Videos in LUNA
Recent videos from our Visiting Artist Program are now available in LUNA. As of November 2011, these date back to 2007, but we are in the process of converting our entire collection to streaming formats to make available online to our faculty, students, and staff. Please see our videos page for more information.

Coffee, Tea, and Technology Lecture Series: Pilot, Fall 2010
These informative sessions, organized by the VRC, are designed to bring expertise in various technology-related topics from across campus to the Department of Art and Art History. These hour-long lectures will be of interest to both faculty and students. Topics in the fall include photographing 2-D and 3-D artwork, the art and science of web design, and controlling information overload with RSS feeds. Complimentary fresh-brewed coffee and Tazo tea are provided.

VRC Offers More Equipment
The VRC now offers more equipment than ever. Visit our equipment page for a complete list with links to specifications. New equipment includes:

• More cameras (including SLR cameras and HD video cameras)
• Lenses (zoom, wide angle, and macro)
• Lighting kits (fluorescent and tungsten)
• Backdrops with stands
• Tabletop soft box

Portfolio Photography Room
Over winter break of 2010/2011 we will convert a small room (8.5’ x 7.5’) in the VRC into a space for photographing small to medium sized 2-D and 3-D work. It will be available to the entire department. This room will include:
• A digital camera with wide-angle lens, tethered to a computer
• A lighting kit
• A mobile shooting table

2008-2009

VRC and Web 2.0 Tools
The VRC is engaged with several Web 2.0 technologies to keep our users informed. We have launched a blog about images, imaging, and related information resources for teaching and research in the Department of Art and Art History. We maintain a Flickr group for faculty, students, and staff members of the Department of Art and Art History to share images relating to creative work and interests; research and scholarship; and departmental activities and facilities (e.g., show openings, the new Visual Arts Complex, etc.). The VRC shares its bookmarks online through a freely available Delicious account. We also have a Facebook page — please consider becoming a fan!

New Imaging Equipment Available
To better support creative work and documentation in the department, the VRC now offers digital SLR cameras, video cameras, data projectors, tripods, lightkits, and more. This equipment is available by reservation for a checkout period of two business days; students must provide their Buff OneCards at the time of checkout. Please see our equipment page for more information.

Visiting Artist DVDs
The VRC is pleased to announce that all videos in our archive have been converted to DVD format. Next steps are to provide these digital videos in streaming form through our Luna Insight database. Stay tuned for more details.

ARTstor Reaches One Million Images and Fifth Anniversary
ARTstor, the digital library of images, associated information, and software tools designed to complement teaching, learning and scholarship, has reached a million images and celebrates its fifth anniversary in July of 2009. Congratulations to ARTstor — many thanks for being so responsive to user suggestions and for providing such excellent support to your community of subscribers. Here’s to many more productive years!

2007-2008

VRC Digital Image Collection
The Art and Art History Visual Resources Collection is pleased to announce the launch of the new teaching and research digital image collection of the Department of Art & Art History. It comprises increasing numbers of images depicting historical and contemporary art, architecture, and other visual and material culture from around the world. See the VRC’s find images page from more information.

The VRC is a founding member of the Digital Image Collaborative, a consortium among academic departments and colleges at the University of Colorado and the institutions of the Auraria Higher Education Center, which provides access to images for education and research to all current faculty, students, and staff at these institutions. These collections in turn are part of the University of Colorado Digital Library (CU-DL), a CU system-wide collaboration with the Auraria Higher Education Center, which includes digital collections from many departments, colleges, libraries, as well as other institutions from around the world. IMPORTANT: Faculty members from the CU-Boulder campus who wish to export and use images from the CU-DL will want to use a Java client rather than the browser version currently available on the CU-DL web site. See our find images page for more information.

For information on the process by which the software Luna Insight was chosen as the common digital library platform at the University of Colorado, see the 2006-2007 section below.

We’ve Moved to Our Temporary Facilities
The Department of Art and Art History has moved to two temporary buildings while the old Sibell Wolle building is razed and the new Visual Arts Complex is built in its footprint. The VRC is now located in room 82 in the Fleming Building, near the corner of Broadway and Baseline. We continue to offer the same services provided in the old building.

Digital Imaging and Technology Coordinator
The Visual Resources Collection warmly welcomes Lia Pileggi, our (semi) new Digital Imaging and Technology Coordinator. Her position has been recently upgraded to 3/4 time, making an immense difference in the servives that the VRC can provide. Lia offers training in scanning and digital portfolio preparation for students and faculty alike, and provides in-house technical support in classrooms.

ARTstor News
ARTstor, the digital library of images, associated information, and software tools designed to complement teaching, learning and scholarship. ARTstor’s ever-growing archive currently contains approximately 700,000 images of art, architecture, archaeology and other visual and material culture from around the world. ARTstor has recently made approximately 95% of its holdings available for downloading at a size of 1024 pixels on the long side. Those wishing to use larger ARTstor images to zoom and create details in offline presentations should still use ARTstor’s Offline Image Viewer (OIV) software. It is an excellent and easy to use image presentation program that allows one to combine personal images with ARTstor’s images.

ARTstor has also recently implemented its Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) project. It “seeks to facilitate scholarship in the arts by reducing the costs associated with publishing images in academic journals and similar publications. Image providers participating in IAP have supplied publication-quality images and agreed to make them available free-of-charge for use in scholarly publications. As a service to the community, ARTstor has developed the software to deliver these publication-quality images to users.” For more information, visit the IAP Web site.

To access the ARTstor digital library, please go to www.artstor.org. From that page, click on the orange “Go” button in the upper right to enter the Welcome Page of the ARTstor Digital Library. Anyone accessing ARTstor from an on-campus computer will be granted access automatically by IP authentication. To access ARTstor from an off-campus computer, you must first access ARTstor from a computer on campus and register. This will initiate a 120-day Remote Access Grace Period, during which you will be able to log on remotely using your e-mail address and the password you created. Each time you log on to ARTstor from a computer on campus, the 120-day grace period will be reinitiated. You may also access ARTstor remotely without re-authenticating from a campus IP address by using Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. VPN software allows you to access resources that are limited to users at the University of Colorado (e.g., ARTstor), by making your computer appear to be accessing the Internet via the Boulder network, rather than through an off campus ISP. See www.colorado.edu/its/vpn for information on downloading and installing the VPN software.

2006-2007

Digital Asset Management Initiative
In the spring of 2004, a system-wide committee on digital asset management formed to investigate the institutional transition from analog to digital materials in teaching and research. Two task groups were created, focusing on digital content and technical infrastructure. They report to a Steering Committee comprising administrators from the Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Downtown Denver campuses. Four individuals from the Department of Art and Art History have participated in the process: Former Chair James Johnson, current Chair Garrison Roots, who sits on the Steering Committee, Professor Erika Doss, and Visual Resources Curator Elaine Paul, who co-chairs the Task Group on Content and is also a member of the Task Group on Infrastructure.

In February of 2005, the Task Group on Content recommended that CU subscribe to ARTstor, a digital image subscription service, as a means of acquiring the initial critical mass of digital image content for teaching and research in the humanities. At the same time, the Task Group on Infrastructure, recognizing that no single resource can ever provide all of the digital content required at CU, recommended Luna Insight as the common software platform that units at CU can adopt to manage and share their digital collections. A subcommittee has formed to create a Digital Library web page, with information on digital collections across CU, tools for collection managers wishing to create a digital collection in Insight software, and links to ARTstor and other electronic resources at each campus. See ucblibraries.colorado.edu/art/DAM.htm for more information on the digital asset management investigations, recommendations, and ongoing work.

ARTstor
ARTstor is now available to all faculty and students at CU. ARTstor is a digital library of images, associated information, and software tools designed to complement teaching, learning and scholarship. ARTstor’s ever-growing archive currently contains approximately 500,000 images of art, architecture, archaeology and other visual and material culture from around the world.

To access ARTstor, please go to www.artstor.org. From that page, click on the red “Launch” button in the lower right to enter the Welcome Page of the ARTstor Digital Library. Anyone accessing ARTstor from an on-campus computer will be granted access automatically by IP authentication. To access ARTstor from an off-campus computer, you must first access ARTstor from a computer on campus and register. This will initiate a 120-day Remote Access Grace Period, during which you will be able to log on remotely using your e-mail address and the password you created. Each time you log on to ARTstor from a computer on campus, the 120-day grace period will be reinitiated. You may also access ARTstor remotely without re-authenticating from a campus IP address by using Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. VPN software allows you to access resources that are limited to users at the University of Colorado (e.g., ARTstor), by making your computer appear to belong to the CU Boulder network, rather than to your off campus ISP. See www.colorado.edu/its/vpn for information on downloading and installing the VPN software.

Luna Insight
The Art and Art History Visual Resources Collection is creating a collection of digital images in Luna Insight, the software platform recommended by the Digital Asset Management Task Group on Infrastructure. The Art and Art History VRC is sharing an Insight implementation on one server with the Visual Resource Center of the College of Architecture and Planning (Boulder and Downtown Denver campuses) and the Auraria Visual Resources Collection of the College of Arts and Media (Downtown Denver campus). We are currently in the design and testing phase of our data model, and plan to begin purchasing, creating, and cataloging digital images in our collection by the summer of 2006. Faculty and students at CU will soon be able to search across Insight collections at the university, thus accessing content from the three collections above, as well as forthcoming collections from the University Libraries. Stay tuned for further announcements. For more information on Luna Insight software, see www.lunaimaging.com/insight.

Visual Resources Association Conference
Elaine Paul organized a session for the 2006 Visual Resources Association Conference, held March 5-10 in Baltimore: “Cross Campus Collaborations in Building Digital Image Collections: Strategies, Challenges, and Benefits.”