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Art: Home

information, research, inspiration


Painting by Nancy H. Taplin. Click on image to see more of her work.


Web Searches

Before using information from a website, I try to determine its trustworthiness. Evaluate websites carefully to determine their credibility. Who is producing the information? What are their credentials? Do they have an agenda? Bias? What is it? Can you find the same information elsewhere in a known credible source? Take a look at Ad Fontes Media, a website that rates the bias of news sources.

Artists' Websites

Search for an artist’s website. Look for a “news” page that may detail articles and reviews written by the artist. For example, here is Lorna Simpson’s news page.


Interviews and Reviews

Google: [artist name] [project name] review or interview.

Interviews will give a sense of how an artist thinks about and describes their work. A search for “Sam Durant interview” resulted in this interview with Durant: “Q&A: Artist Sam Durant was pressured into taking down his ‘Scaffold.’ Why doesn’t he feel censored?Los Angeles Times. June 17, 2017:


Image Search

Do an image search, note the most compelling images, find out what websites they come from, and go to the sites of interest. I would avoid sites like Pinterest and focus on news and art institution sites. For example, I did an image search for: “Sharon Lockhart lunch break.”

Scrolling down, I found an image of the project. I went to the website and found a review from Art in American.




EbscoHost is a good place to start an article search in the library’s databases. I compare it to shopping at Safeway. Walking into my neighborhood Safeway, I find a florist, coffee stand, butcher, bakery, and pharmacy. It’s a group of small stores within on big store. EbscoHost provides a variety articles in art, science, news, anthropology, etc…


Art books in Library Stacks

Visit the library and look at the art books. On the third floor, you can wander through the art titles in the N section. Art photography is located in the TR section.

Art about a particular topic

You want to make art about a particular topic and are looking for inspiration or other artists who might work in the same direction. Search in the library catalog or online for: [art topic] art exhibitions. For example, you might look for environmental art exhibitions or gender art exhibitions.




In ARTstor, search for images of fine arts, historical artifacts and architecture from around the world.


Art Full Text

Art Full Text includes publications from 1977 to the present. It covers an international selection publications featuring articles and interview on new and prominent artists, exhibition reviews, and criticism and analysis. Includes a variety of topics from fine, decorative and commercial art to photography, folk art, film and architecture. (Image: Painting by Nancy H. Taplin)


Nexis Uni

In the library databases, you will find Nexis Uni, a collection of 600 English language newspapers from in and outside of the country. Search for stories about artists here.



Need inspiration? These books and website might provide you with new ideas and work methods: by Maria Popova. Here is a sample entry from the site: “The Daily Routines of Great Writers.”

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work edited by Mason Currey.

Daily rituals. Women at work edited by Mason Currey

Inside the Artist’s Studio by Joe Fig and Jonathan T. D. Neil



Research Desk Help

Visit the Research Desk. Call us up or walk into the library and discuss your research questions, concerns, and dead-ends with us. We want to help and love the challenge of a new question. Regular desk hours: Mon-Thurs 9-7pm, Fri 9-5pm. Phone: (360) 867-6250. Or get research help 24/7 through Chat.

Daniel J. Evans Library - MS: LIB2300 - 2700 Evergreen Parkway, NE. Olympia, WA 98501 - 360-867-6250