It’s no secret that women are often overlooked for recognition in their fields—that’s especially true in art galleries. Leading creative agency R/GA Chicago set out to change that, by digitally and physically showcasing emerging women visual artists in the #ArtByAWoman campaign and Open Gallery for LIFEWTR.
LIFEWTR is known for its custom water bottles showcasing new artwork. To maximize its series celebrating women artists, R/GA created an accessible gallery to display #ArtByAWoman—landing the campaign the 2018 Webby Award for Brand Strategy in Advertising, Media & PR. We chatted with R/GA about the campaign, what they learned, and more.
How did the idea for Open Gallery come about?
As we were tasked to launch the new LIFEWTR “Women in Art” bottle series, we discovered a jarring statistic: 51% of today’s visual artists are women, yet their work makes up less than 5% of permanent collections. When we realized how severely under-represented women still are in the art world, we decided to create a new type of gallery beyond art galleries. Starting with our three emerging women artists on our LIFEWTR bottles, we then created more spaces for people to share works of #ArtByAWoman in high-profile out-of-home spaces (including Times Square, Oculus in NYC, and Wrigley Field), a live event at Lincoln Center, and on our official Instagram account.
Open Gallery leveraged Instagram to populate spaces with #ArtByAWoman. Why was Instagram the right digital platform for this project, and what other technology was involved in bringing this to life?
What was the most surprising or unexpected response or outcome from this initiative?