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Arts Center's Web site to debut in fall

By YILU ZHAO

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 24, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- Like an arts festival that never closes, Artsburg.com is being designed to take the state's art scene online.

The Web site sponsored by the Arts Center in St. Petersburg won't be working until fall, when a trial version is scheduled to launch. It will sell the works of Florida artists, whose creations include ceramics, paintings and photos.

Dorothy Webb, a retired software company executive now on the Arts Center's board of trustees, is in charge of the site's construction. "Let's face it," said Webb, who hopes the site will become a one-stop shopping center for Florida's home decorators and gift buyers, "if this works, it's going to be a killer."

Webb has been lining up artists by working with other non-profit art organizations throughout Florida. So far, 35 organizations, with a few hundred members each, have said they want to join.

"Some artists are very good at marketing and technology, but the majority are not," Webb said. "We want them to keep doing what they are best at."

The Arts Center will take a 35 percent commission of sales at the Web site, a standard rate at many online galleries and the same for the center's brick-and-mortar part.

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