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Birmingham Museums visitors can curate virtual exhibitions on Occupy White Walls

birmingham museums and occupy white walls online platform

Birmingham Museums has partnered with online art and game platform Occupy White Walls (OWW), letting players curate their own exhibitions in a virtual Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG).

Birmingham Museums is the first museum to partner with OWW, but public domain artworks are available from other galleries, including the National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum.

Occupy White Walls is an artificial intelligence-driven art platform. It features 200 artworks from Birmingham’s collection of public domain images.

These include Pre-Raphaelite works such as The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown and Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

BMAG engaging with visitors during COVID-19

birmingham museums and occupy white walls online platform

Linda Spurdle, head of digital at Birmingham Museums, said StikiPixels “brings art to life in such an innovative way”, adding that seeing gamers discovering artworks “is exactly the kind of engagement we hoped for”.

“The pandemic has reinforced the importance of our digital work and ensuring our audiences can still access the collection, even when we are closed,” added Spurdle.

“Partnering with Occupy White Walls is just one of the ways we are looking to grow engagement levels with the city’s digital database of artworks and encourage people to explore it and use it creatively.”

The game allows players to discover art while curating, designing and building their own exhibitions, all from the comfort of their own homes during BMAG’s closure over COVID-19.

Online game features 200 artworks from BMAG

birmingham museums and occupy white walls online platform

Players can visit an official digital version of BMAG, and can acquire digital copies of any BMAG works of art to build their gallery.

OWW was created by start-up StikiPixels and has more than 75,000 users. The average player in OWW has a virtual collection of approximately 800 artworks.

OWW is looking to expand its online art collection, and BMAG plans to upload its full collection of public domain images.

OWW was created by start-up company StikiPixels

birmingham museums and occupy white walls online platform

Yarden Yaroshevski, founder and CEO at StikiPixels, said: “Sadly museums are often slow to adapt as the world changes around them.

“This was not the case here, as the team in BMAG is enthusiastically and creatively embracing the new opportunities offered by digital technology.

“Through this collaboration BMAG has the potential to increase its global footprint by – literally – orders of magnitude, reaching people around the world who have never heard of the collection (or maybe even of Birmingham).”

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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