Philly art contest asks users to Instagram

Visit Philly is teaming up with the campaign With Art Philadelphia for a contest that calls for some creativity.

The organization is utilizing social media by encouraging Instagram and Twitter users to take photos of Philadelphia art and apply the hashtag “#PhillyArtContest.”

Caroline Bean, the director of social media at Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, helped make the new photo contest come alive.

“I know that some of our artistic organizations in Philadelphia have a big social media presence. Museums can stay in touch with members through Facebook. Social media allows art to speak to the media and can get new people to come through. Even the tourism office can reach new people and point them in the right direction,” Bean said.

Visit Philly and With Art Philadelphia have collaborated to find the best original art photo through the lens of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook users. Pictures of paintings can be taken at local museums or galleries to enter the contest.  Not only does painted art count, but so do gardens, murals and sculptures.

In order to enter the contest, the picture must be of art in the Philadelphia area, and it can be submitted through Visit Philly’s Facebook. If one would like they can also send their picture by posting it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PhillyArtContest.

“We know from our experience in social media that certain things are popular to take pictures of [on Instagram]. We see how people want to take pictures on their own of certain subjects. One of those subjects is art. We wanted to bring out their enthusiasm to capture public art,” Bean said.

The contest gives the opportunity for 10 people to win what Visit Philly describes as a “free art-filled weekend getaway,” or free art museum memberships.

While browsing Temple’s campus, or even the streets of Philadelphia, it isn’t uncommon to see an iPhone or another smartphone in the hands of the people who are out and about. This contest can involve more than half of the Philadelphia community.

When questioned if contests held on social media websites attract a certain age group, Temple senior Ryann McHale believes it does.

“Twitter. Instagram, it’s aged middle school to college graduate, easily. I don’t know anybody over the college graduate age who uses Instagram like we do,” he said.

Junior Danielle Thor also believes that contests held on social media sites attract a younger audience, but said the older generation has an equal opportunity.

“I think, no matter what age, if you’re determined to put yourself out there and are interested in keeping up with art, you can easily explore your options,” Thor said.

This isn’t the first time that Visit Philly has done a contest involving art and social media.

During the end of April, Visit Philly held a contest via Pinterest called, “Pin Your Way with Art.” Those who entered the contest had to pin a minimum of 10 images from specific locations that Visit Philly showed through their Pinterest boards. Not only were their art boards, but there were also hotel and dining boards where users could pin images.

“I think social media gives all kinds of information and it makes interests more accessible. People are able to be exposed to things they may not have been exposed to before social media. Currently, we have more than 800 entries, so people are clearly responding,” Bean said.

Considering the contest only began Aug. 22, a response of 800 is a significant number. Looking through the hashtag #PhillyArtContest on Instagram, it’s easy to see that people are using this project creatively. Among Instagram, users can find photos of murals, the giant paintbrush near the Race-Vine subway stop, the architecture of City Hall, the quirky sculptures at Love Park, shots of run-down buildings and more.

“I love to see people creating their own photographs on their own social websites. Instead of us pushing the news out, these fans are doing it themselves,” Bean said

The last day to hashtag to win the contest is Sept. 12.

Chelsea Finn can be reached at

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