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Local Website LookSee Hopes to Create a Path for the Art Curious



What's the difference between looking and seeing? Paige Goodpasture, former host of the Creative Habit podcast, and Caroline Wright, former curator at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, believe it's the distinction between walking by the same site every day without noticing the surroundings and stopping to see closely in a fresh way.

The pair hopes to facilitate opportunities for others to see more deeply by drawing attention to the visual arts through a new website they've co-founded called LookSee. An online forum about visual art in Richmond, LookSee includes videos produced by Wright in collaboration with Janelle Proulx and Tyler Kirby from Departure Point Films, as well as podcasts created by Goodpasture and essays by guest writers.

The website, which launched Oct. 5, highlights information about the visual art community and its advocates as well as Richmond-based artists working outside the city.

"In addition to artist voices, we want to share … other people who are supporters of visual arts in Richmond — curators, collectors, conservators, even fabricators of the materials that artists need to create their work," Goodpasture explains. "The ideas are endless. In general, what drives LookSee is a good story."

The co-founders plan to add new content to the site monthly. A calendar of exhibition openings, talks, and other art events around town will be updated continuously.

The project has been in the works for several years, Goodpasture says, noting that they first started discussing it two years ago. The women, who met in 2013, started building the site at the beginning of this year.

"When we first started discussing the idea, Caroline was already producing these beautiful videos that she did for VisArts and I was doing my podcasts," Goodpasture says. "We wanted to create a place where people could come and see multiple forms of content about the visual arts around Richmond. We combined forces."

The target audience for the project is, as Wright describes, the "art curious" who may be new to art and unaware of the nationally recognized art community and the emerging talent in the area. Art curious also includes people who are familiar with art and looking for a more introspective take on an artist's practice, a critical viewpoint or a collector's habits.

"We want to re-create the experience [online] of a door opening and being able to walk into a studio or a gallery or a museum or other art space and engage in what's going on there. We want it to be something that stimulates them to want to learn more," Goodpasture says. "One of the ideas that we had in the creation of LookSee was to create this experience of a path — a meaningful walk — you listen to a podcast and then at the bottom of that page there's an opportunity to go on to additional content whether it's another podcast or an event that's related to the podcast you just listened to." S

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