I have vastly enjoyed our summer project to write entries for New Zealand craft artists on Wikipedia. In addition to getting over the beginner's hurdle with the site itself, and learning a tremendous amount about this facet of New Zealand's art history, I've been able to geek out on research and use all those semi-dormant art history skills I painstakingly gathered (and paid for) at uni.
But most of all I've found satisfaction in just being able to make things. For example, creating entries for New Vision Gallery and Barry Lett Galleries. At the start of the day these galleries - which were really important to how art developed in New Zealand in the second half of the 20th century - only existed in a scattered way on the internet. And then at the end of the day, I'd been able to sew that all together into a coherent - not complete, but at least findable and usable - narrative.
With the passion of the converted, I now of course want to spread the love. As part of this, on Saturday 7 March The Dowse is taking part in the international Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon events. We're hosting a free all-day event that starts with a crash course for brand new editors, and then moves into an afternoon of communal editing.
While the focus is on improving the information available about New Zealand women artists on the site (here's a list of artists who don't currently have page, or only have the most minimal of entries), we welcome anyone who wants to learn to edit on any topic, or who'd like to share their skills, or even just hang out.
We're taking RSVPs to help us plan, so if you're interested, all the info you need is up on our website.