Gathering Material to Send to the Web Site for Your New Gallery Page


A few technical web questions answered in English.
by Terrence Foley  
Copyright 2008 Western News Company (Chicago) all rights reserved

This article is in progress as of 10/06/08

Return to Hoffman Estates Art League


Gettng Started

I'd never worked in a real office while going to school.  On my first accounting job after I graduated, the controller asked me to make up the new  journals for that month:  Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Check Register and so forth.  I went back to my desk and in a mild panic, I tried to remember what generic journals should look like and how I would customize them for that company.  Suddenly it dawned on me, I need not reinvent the wheel.  Somebody had been doing this every month for melennia.  All I had to do was to get last month's journals and copy them.

The question has come to be the starting point in my life for a whole lot of what I do.  How did the last guy do it?

So if you want to set up your own gallery page on your art club's website, the best place to start is with the question, "How did the last guy do it?"  It is usually most efficient to just take a look at what has been done.  With some understanding of what has and is being done it is much easier to get started and ultimately improve on what has gone before.

Obviously there is a major exception to this in creative work.  If you have been told that what has gone before is old and tired and you are there to resurrect the dead, often it is best NOT to look at what has come before because you want a whole new look.  Your job then is in fact to reinvent the wheel.  After you have at least blocked out your new approach you can take a peek at what has been done before you.  Better yet, have someone familiar with the old, take a look at your new and tell you if it really is new.  


What Has Gone Before

At the Hoffman Estates Art League website, our gallery pages are straightforward.  The purpose of the page is to introduce the artist and to display examples of his/her work.

To introduce the artist we include a photo of the artist and a short biography and/or creative statement.

Under the artist information we display the artist's work.  It may be photos of work in any medium.  Under each photo is a line or two of information about the picture usually similar to what one might fine on the wall card at a gallery.

  • Title

  • Artist

  • Medium type on type of ground (eg. oil on canvas)

  • Size

  • Collection (Collector's Name, Name of Collection, "Collection, the Artist")

  • For Sale/NFS

  • Price

The easiest way for all this information to go wherever the image of the artwork goes without having to retype it over and over is to just name the image file with the above information.  For example you might name the file:

Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting,Artemisia Gentileschi, Oil on Canvas,76 x 60 cm,Royal Collection Windsor, NFS.jpg

That of course is quite a mouthful, but if you type it when you prepare the picture, all that never needs to by typed again.  WHAT IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT is that the elements of that file name can be cut and paste wherever they are needed.  That means if you get the spelling correct when you name the file, it will NEVER be misspelled!  That may not seem very important until someone misspells something and you wind up on the Tonight Show or America's Funniest Videos as the joke of the day.  

Just about all computer systems Win95 and later will allow long file names including spaces, commas, periods and dashes.  It's not the greatest idea to use other punctuation in your file names as your computer could choke on those characters.  

Copyright 2008 Western News Company (Chicago) all rights reserved.





* Compressed files are used to make file transfer times faster and more efficient.  If you are using Win98 or lower, you can easily download a free copy of a compatible unZip utility at
If you are using WinXP or higher, zip file compression is automatic.  
In current releases of Linux, zip file compression is automatic but I also indlude links to .tar.gz files.

*.PDF files are Adobe Portable Document Format.  The PDF viewer is available free from
The PDF viewer is probably included with your Windows system and is standard in current releases of Linux.

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