Monday, November 23, 2009

Cell phone guide service begins at RW Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport; one of 2 museums in Louisiana to offer cell service

Norton, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
At R.W. Norton Art Gallery, where twenty-four galleries display seven centuries of art, you can get a guided tour without a guide. With Guide by Cell, says Jennifer DeFratis, you may stand before a painting, open your phone, dial a local number, and follow prompts to listen and learn new insights about the work and its artist.

The Norton, as its fans call it, is only one of two museums in Louisiana to offer the service. Cost for the tour is measured by your current cell phone plan.

As you stroll through the museum, look for cards beside artworks bearing the Guide by Cell logo and a question. Enter a mailbox prompt to hear the answer.

Although no guide is present, you may still voice opinions and offer suggestions concerning grounds, galleries, exhibits, and programs, such as Guide by Cell. Touch the appropriate prompt, and speak your piece. “Please let us know. That’ s how we may improve the visitor experience,” DeFratis comments.

Voices you’ll hear on your phone include those of DeFratis, museum curators, and artists themselves. They will continue to narrate answers to new questions, so Guide by Cell will offer fresh, new looks at even more exhibits in coming months.

For additional informative, entertaining walks through the Norton, visitors may want to join DeFratis early each month for her popular First Saturday Tour, at 2 p.m. The Norton also offers group tours by appointment.

Norton Art Gallery: Located at 4747 Creswell Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71106. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, 1 to 5 p.m. There is no admission charge.

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