CASW (Contemporary Arts Society for Wales), supports visual arts in Wales. Most notably purchasing artworks that are then put on display in various institutions. It also works to sponsor and grant aid to arts bodies and students. However for the purpose of this website it was the purchasing of artworks that was the most notable activity.
Since its inception in the 1930;s CASW has placed over 800 works in arts all over Wales. However it’s current website did not reflect this accurately. The aim then was obvious. To rebuild the website in such a way that existing content could flourish, and make the extensive catalogue of art available to all.
The Feature Set
The standard features of this website what you might expect. It is fully responsive, and easy to navigate. That out of the way its time to talk about the art catalogue. Items of art owned and put on display by CASW are known as acquisitions. At this writing there are a total of 874 items in the acquisition list. The aim was to import this information from previous sources and turn it into a database that could be very easily searched. There also had to be an option to list images of the art (at this time there is not an image for every piece listed in the database), and also the ability to just focus on the names of artists and pieces of work.
All of these aims were achieved. The finished search engine is both flexible and fast. If you’d like to give it a try take a look at: http://casw.org.uk/aquisition-search/ Filling in any one (or more) the search questions will send the database looking for your answers. I hope that you find it useful.
The Production Process
Actual production took a while for this project. It presented challenges in data and software design. A great deal of time was spend importing, testing and converting data from it’s earlier sources into the new post base database format. It was also vital that the database search system yielded accurate yet flexible results. In order to complete this there were periods of checking, and redesign that took the initial concepts and refined them into the finished article. Towards the end of the project there was quite a bit of tweaking that would lead to the search system being able to cope with the kind of requests that would be made of it. I encourage this idea of focused and targeted development. It has the tendency to create good results.
On Going Support
With this new website CASW are aiming to update its content regularly and to make it as effective as possible. The aim is to give support in order to make this happen. Taking on a dynamic website is quite a task and not one to be taken lightly. This kind of support is available to all clients but in the context of what is being attempted here it seems quite relevant to mention it.
If you’d like to take a look at the CASW Website you can find it at: http://casw.org.uk/