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Art Through Texting — Get Your Art on Demand

Need artistic inspiration, a late-night art piece or an aesthetic portrait to match your mood for the day without having to travel to the museum?

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) came up with the perfect innovation for art-lovers on-the-go: a project called “Send Me SFMOMA.”  The project allows you to be sent a picture of any art piece from the museum’s collection via text message. Though there isn’t an option to ask for a specific piece, based on your word choice, color, and even emoji, the museum will send you a picture based on the preference you sent.

To check out the museum’s newest feature, text 572-51 with the words “Send Me” followed by your keyword, color or emoji. Some keywords or emojis might not be in their database, but with 34,678 pieces in its collection, you won’t get the same picture twice.

For example, if you text “Send me Egypt,” you might get Robert Rauschenberg’s, ‘Architecture (Tribute 21).’ A flower emoji might get you Robert Adams’ ‘Redlands, California.’ Asking to be sent the color pink might get you Alexander Girard’s, ‘Dinner Plate for La Fonda del Sol Restaurant’ —a picture of a white plate with a pink outer rim.

“In a world oversaturated with information,” wrote the museum’s creative technologist Jay Mollica on the SFMOMA blog site, “we asked ourselves: how can we generate personal connections between a diverse cross section of people and the artworks in our collection? How can we provide a more comprehensive experience of our collection?”

Mollica explained that within four days of the project being released, the museum received more than 12,000 message requests, generating more than 3,000 different artworks. In the physical museum, only 5% of the 34,678 pieces they own is on display at any given time — which is roughly 1700 pieces. That means the amount being sent to viewers digitally surpasses what is currently viewable at the physical museum.

Pretty text savvy right?

With how fast technology continues to grow in our society, it’s no surprise that the museum developed a way for people to view art via texting. The advancement is a great way to engage young kids in art and inspire others to visit museums and stimulate their creativity.

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Written by Mariah Thomas

Mariah Thomas is an aspiring journalist with a passion for bringing awareness to the cultural and artistic perspectives in our world. Her goal is to use her writing to open the door to honest communication on controversial issues that impact our daily lives.

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