The township woman got into Web design almost by accident.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
FOWLER -- About 30 artists and art groups from as far away as Amsterdam, Netherlands, have their work showcased on the Internet through a township woman's site.
Sandra Woods, an artist who works primarily with watercolors, started ArtGally.com a few years ago to give artists a place to show their work.
"I wanted to do something for artists," Woods said.
She and her husband, Curtis, started CSW Cyber Show a few years ago. The site for artists and poets wasn't getting the traffic she hoped for, so she started networking.
As a member of area arts organizations she knew other artists and poets and asked them about creating sites for them that would be linked through ArtGally.com, increasing the links to and from her site.
"That's how the mini-Webs got started," Woods said.
Initially, she did the sites for free, but because of the work involved, she now charges $50 for new members and $30 for renewals.
There's no charge for sites for child artists.
Jocelyn Beatty of West Middlesex, who creates wildlife art, started with the site about four years ago.
"It's better than a business card," Beatty said.
Most artists have a Web presence. If they don't, people assume you're not professional, Beatty said. She's had people contact her about a piece after finding the Web site.
The sites include information about the artists, their upcoming shows and samples of their work.
Awareness of the site spread by word-of-mouth to other states and by the Web to other countries.
"The artist who's been with me the longest lives in Canada, and I have another who's contacted me from Amsterdam," Woods said.
Woods plans an online art show for her members this summer, in which a judge will determine winners of prizes sponsored by Dick Blick Art Supply and Artist's magazine.
How she started
Woods got into Web design almost by accident.
In 1995, her husband, a poet and an instructor at ETI Technical College in Niles, came home from work one day and said, "'I told ETI you'd design a Web site for them,'" Woods said.
"I had never been on a computer," she said. "He said, 'You're an artist. You can figure it out.'"
With the help of computer programs she did, and she got hooked on Web design.
"ETI was my first site," Woods said, adding that she's done Web pages for other area companies as well.