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National Art Collection coming to mobile devices thanks to Ta Papa and Excio

 National Art Collection coming to mobile devices thanks to Ta Papa and Excio

Te Papa has partnered with Wellington start-up Excio to offer 150 images from the National Art Collection that people can access on their mobile devices.

Meaning “to excite or evoke,” Excio brings artwork to life on mobile screens by creating interactive images. Viewers can click on or highlight certain sections of a piece of art to learn more about it, learning about the artist, techniques, and more. Even better, the art can be downloaded to be shown as a smartphone background image, for example – meaning learning more about amazing art is never more than the touch of a button away.

The app was conceived by Excio during their time in Te Papa’s Mahuki accelerator programme, which gives start-up technology businesses the opportunity to develop their ideas and take them to a wider market.

Excio's Ana Lyubich.

The Excio platform was originally developed for museums and galleries, and has now grown to include libraries, archives, individual artists and photographers from around the world, essentially any organisation that holds a catalogue of beautiful images.

There’s also some hardware to attest to Excio’s innovation. In just a year, Excio won The David Awards 2017 for most innovative New Zealand business, was the national winner of the Demo the World competition, and finalists in the emerging gold category of the Wellington Gold Awards.


Needless to say, the folks at Te Papa are pretty stoked. “Excio is a way for Te Papa to engage with people on a more personal level and for people to engage with art more personally,” says Te Papa chief digital officer Melissa Firth. “It is also an exciting way for us to share some of our national treasures beyond our physical walls.”

Excio was one of ten teams in Te Papa’s inaugural Mahuki accelerator programme in 2016. Innovators from the 2017 crop of participants will showcase their business propositions – outlining how their digital solutions can address the challenges faced by Te Papa and other cultural service providers across New Zealand and the world – on November 16 at Te Papa.