Thursday, March 14, 2013

4 Years of ART Evolved... The end of an era

Here is the post celebrating the passing of ART Evolved's fourth year in existence. Technically this post is a couple weeks late (and it was just 4 years and one month ago the behind the scenes stuff occurred to get this site off the ground).

A lot has happened here and in the great palaeo-blogging sphere over this time. The past 1.5-2 years in particular have been quite different in palaeo-blogging, and I'd argue there has been something of an extinction event going on in palaeo-blogging. Not a catastrophic end type extinction, but certainly a marked and noticeable one. The number of causal palaeo blogs have dropped, and the community has moved onto other online venues. Online palaeo is by no means extinct, but its blogging lineage (at least for now) appears to have had its glory day.

So that leaves myself and Peter in an interesting position. This blog was launched those four long eventful years ago with the idea of being a central community hub for online palaeo artists to gather and collect events, thoughts, and happenings in the field in one place. While it certainly has been no failure, and done far better than either of us thought it would, ART Evolved never really developed into what we'd imagined it to be either.

Don't get me wrong I've been quite ecstatic with the site, and I hope it still has a long prosperous future ahead of it. However things have certainly changed in blogging. More to the point things have also changed in both the lives of Peter and myself. We are not the young free time blessed substitute teachers we once were. Full time jobs and other life commitments find us with far less time for this site than we once had.

Which is why we've had to really consider on this anniversary the future of the crown jewels of ART Evolved. The thing one we're both the most proud of in our blogging careers. The galleries of life...

With the down turn in blogging the past year plus, there has been a down turn overall in the galleries entrants, and a down turn in the overall impact these galleries have had in the field. Don't get me wrong, we certainly have had many very talented and exceptional entries in even the past few galleries (and my many thanks to those who have still been submitting art!). However it is safe to say the galleries are just not as big of  an event, draw, and/or focus of the online palaeo-art community they once were.

So rather than let them struggle themselves into complete failure (especially given me and Peter's continued inability to give them the time and attention they deserve), we have decided to (at least for the foreseeable future) to bring them to a conclusion on this the 4th anniversary of ART Evolved.

Now I'm not saying we're ending it right this moment. No, no, no my friends. We've decided to end the galleries of life on as big a note (hopefully) as possible. We'd been planning on saving this gallery topic for the 5th anniversary of the site, but what's the harm in unleashing it a year early?

To celebrate the 4 year long ongoing collection of great new palaeo-art by our many, many, many amazing, awesome, and really appreciated contributors and artists we give you the finale gallery of ART Evolved...

So please get started on your Tyrant lizards. We are aiming this gallery for a June 1st launch.

Please spread the word, as again this is hoped to be a fun event to celebrate, and yet mark the end of, this long running online palaeo-art tradition! The dreamed for goal, though obviously it is just hoped for, would be an entry from ALL our past galleries participants.

Of course with this announcement, please don't mistaken this as the end of ART Evolved.

We will be remaining up and running.

We will still happily post the palaeo-art of anyone and everyone who submits it to us. We just won't be organizing the big themed events anymore.

Who knows, if demand returns, the galleries could return as well. However for the immediate future, we thought end on a bang while the going was still good.

So please consider joining us for one last go at creating a gallery of new and fantastic palaeo-art.

One way or the other, to all our past gallery participates a very heart felt thank you from me and Peter. You've given us one heck of a fun ride, and we've made some great virtual friends through the process.

Thank you again everyone who has helped make this site what it is today!



Trish said...

On the one hand, man this is a huge bummer.

But on the other hand, what a high note to end on! And I'm guessing we can still submit art to the older galleries?

Craig Dylke said...

Trish- Exactly my thinking.

It is a big bummer, but as they say all good things must come to an end.

When you look at the past three galleries, the overall art quality is still there, but the number of overall artists and submissions are way down.

There was tremendous effort by a few individual artists to beef up the Stegosaur gallery, but considering it was a Saurian subject matter it was a really low overall turnout.

Added to that me and Bond have lost our overall enthusiasm for the galleries. A fun fact is me and Bond are the ONLY two people to have submitted to every single gallery. They have become something of a chore as of late for us, and so sadly that means we're not doing as good a job as we should be.

Rather than just let them completely putter and die, our thought was one big huge send off gallery. It'll be fun for everyone, and hopefully knowing it'll be the last one (at least for now) me and Bond will actively give it our best again!

I would be more than delighted if this gallery matched or surpassed the Ceratopsian gallery that started us off on this 4 year long palaeo-art adventure.

We certainly will take submissions for the old galleries, and I might start loose galleries for other popular prehistoric categories people can submit to whenever. I just don't think we'll be organizing deadlined art shows anymore.

The excitement isn't there anymore. Who knows after letting it run afoul for a bit interest will come back

David Tana said...


This saddens me, and I can't help but feel at least somewhat responsible. But I think you're making the right choice for the right reasons. And who knows what the future will bring? Let's make this gallery the best one yet!

Craig Dylke said...

David- Seriously man don't feel bad...

We've ALL moved on, me included. It's no one's fault. Just the way things are going on the palaeo web.

Glendon Mellow said...

If ART Evolved isn't ending, isn't the title of this post a bit traffic-baity? It's the end of the Galleries of Life era.

While I'm disappointed it's the end of the big galleries, that's a massive difference from stopping the blog altogether.

Craig Dylke said...

Glendon- Why can't we attract traffic? ;P

I'd love for all our old associates to get word of this and submit a finale piece.

It is the end of an era... not a BLOG. If I'd said that or just the end...

Albertonykus said...

Submitting to one of these galleries was one of my earliest involvements in the paleoblogosphere, so a shame indeed. Won't be missing out on this one.

Craig Dylke said...

Albertonykus- In writing this announcement I was certainly flooded with many fond memories of galleries past. There is a part of me that wishes the legacy could go on, but realistically future galleries would just be shadows of the former "classic" gallery era.

Please do take part in the finale. We want this last gallery to be as big a bang as possible!

BlacknickSculpture said...

Sorry to hear the galleries are ending Craig. But a T-Rex gallery is a great way to blow out the candles!

EmperorDinobot said...

NO! NO!!! NONONONONO!!! No you cannot end the Galleries of Life! Gotta keep going! gotta keep going!


Craig Dylke said...

Dinobot- We've been talking about opening up several non deadlined galleries, that can just fill up with pieces people send up.

However the heyday of the great ART Evolved gallery sadly ended at the beginning of 2012. Feathered Dinosaurs was the last truly successful gallery.

Myself and Peter have also kind of burned out on the institution. They no longer gives us excitement or drive, like it used to.

All this said if you are really interested we could pass the reigns on to yourself, and you could run/organize them here on the site after this one...

Albertonykus said...

Considering that the originally slated date has passed, do we have a new deadline for this?

Craig Dylke said...

Albertonykus- Yeah sorry. In every sense I guess we need a new one.

Me and Bond are slammed with end of school stuff.

I'll put up a post. We'll probably give it another month. Partially as there has been a slightly underwhelming response to this gallery (not that I've been actively advertising it), and me and Bond will be in the same city in just over a month.

Unknown said...

Somehow I completely missed all of this and have failed to visit the blog for about a year :( Suddenly realised I hadn't done anything or seen anything for ages.

Probably my course getting in the way, which I wouldn't have gotten onto without the galleries.

Thankyou so much for your work guys and sorry I missed the final galleries - I know I found it hard when you spread them out more - I kept forgetting about them!

Sarah Snell-Pym / Saffy