January 2021 marked a momentous occasion; my best friend, Trish VanOsdel, bought an art gallery. And to top that, one of my favorite people on the planet, Mike Michaelis, is her partner. That puts an art lover and collector like me in a dangerous situation. Temptation. Is. All. Around.
To make matters worse, they quickly appointed me their chief marketing officer. I’m a kid in a candy store. Fabulous art calls to me like a siren. Designing and engineering a website with beautiful imagery and loads of historic content is a dream job. It’s true what they say, if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.
I’m proud to say that the region’s premier art gallery now has a website befitting its stature. Collectors rely on Reuben Saunders Gallery for discovering new talent, established Kansas contemporary artists and internationally acclaimed artists (including my two favorites: Birger Sandzén and Lester Raymer). Now, collectors can virtually explore the gallery’s offerings anytime, anywhere. That includes the gallery’s specialty offerings: one-of-a kind-estate works.
A search-engine-optimized website is paramount for any business, but especially one that offers highly sought after works to collectors worldwide. Reuben Saunders Gallery attracts buyers from Europe to Hong Kong. We aren’t just in Kansas anymore.
Putting the Art Front and Center
Streamlined navigation guides visitors through artists, exhibitions, services and news. Genres include the Associated American Artists (1934-2000), Prairie Print Makers (1930-1965), contemporary, three dimensional, and artisan jewelry, a new gallery addition. (I had the honor of attending market in Dallas with Trish and helping pick out unique, original artist-made creations, but more on that later.)
One of the challenging aspects of the new site was transferring huge data files of historic information to retain valuable SEO. Our agency reduced the digital footprint exponentially. This drastic reduction enables the site to load more quickly and run like a well-oiled machine. Understated, elegant design allows the star of every page to be the artwork – rendered big and bold. The masonry grid allows you to see each piece fully and for all content to be updated efficiently by Trish’s capable in-house team.
The site invites interaction. Read artists bios. Watch videos about the artistic process. Find out what can be done about aged-yellow prints or grime-darkened paintings. Learn how tears in a canvas can be minimized or repaired. Grab a cup of coffee (or, if you’re like me, tea), because this site rewards lingering.
It also offers counsel to those wanting to build an art collection, but overwhelmed by the very thought. Its gentle encouragement can help you get going. Impressive credentials on the knowledgeable staff builds trust and connection. More enticing, creative surroundings can be just a click or phone call away.
A Proud Legacy Continues and Grows
The new site doesn’t replace the desire to be within the gallery walls – especially for First Friday art crawls and must-attend art openings. The gallery serves as a key member of the Douglas Design District and a second home for art lovers. What Reuben Saunders started in 1977 continues strong today under Trish and Mike’s ownership. Recently reimagined gallery spaces, ever-growing additions to artists represented, fresh exhibits and expanded product lines (handmade furniture, special books, gifts and jewelry) guarantee surprises on every visit.
If you haven’t been by in a while, prepare to be dazzled. The gallery feels alive with vibrant new works – many artists new to me – and positive momentum.
We will defiantly be adding some new works to our collection. I can’t say no to temptation forever.
Trish says, “Buying great art doesn’t mean you have to fly to Santa Fe or New York. The works we carry – both regional and national – hold up to what you will find in any major city. You don’t have to save up and wait for your next trip to buy art.”
And, I’m not going to.