Artsteps logo, a hexagon with red, green, blue, and white.

Tool Review: Artsteps


Artsteps is a web-based tool that enables the user to create custom virtual exhibits. Developed by the Greek software company, Dataverse, this application offers paid and free-to-use options. There is plenty of functionality in this application without diving into the paid options and for the sake of scholarly purview, this review will focus on the features that are currently freely accessible. Further, development is ongoing with a recent update that added a VR Marketplace and a future release that will incorporate multi-level galleries (Artsteps). 


One of the things that make this tool so accessible is the minimal technical requirements. With access to a computer and internet connection anyone can create an account or log in using their Google credentials. If you do not have these tools at hand it is possible to head to your public library and build a virtual exhibit using their public computers- no special equipment or software to download! Artsteps does recommend using the Google Chrome browser to maximise compatibility. 

Artsteps Explained

As noted, Artsteps is a virtual exhibit application that can operate fully web-based. The extensive creative flexibility and compatibility with numerous types of media allow for many types of exhibits to be created. Though there are many art exhibits in the website's public database, this tool is also adept at hosting historical, literary, social, medical, and other projects. For example, here is a project that's goal is to raise awareness of rare diseases called, Une histoire de diagnostic. All projects created within the free parameters of Artscape are published and hosted indefinitely and open for anyone to view. This allows projects to be browsed, sorted or searched via the Exhibitions page.

On the technical side, the free elements of the tool allow any user to design their virtual 3D gallery, upload media (images, video, audio, 3d files) and arrange them in the gallery space. While designing a virtual gallery there is a lot of flexibility in the layout, and spatial details such as wall colour, textures, and door placement can all be customised to create a unique space or even replicate a real-world room or gallery. 

Artsteps refers to media as artifacts and includes some stock elements to help display them. Display cases, tables, and room dividers not only provide different ways to arrange your artifacts but makes the way you can display artifacts familiar to real-world exhibits. Once the exhibit is designed, Artscape has the option to create a planned route through the space. If the exhibit design includes a specific order to view the artifacts this can be plotted out through a guided tour with audio notes at each point. From a curatorial perspective, this is a great tool to help add more dimension and context to the exhibit.

The ability to combine different formats of visuals and audio in an immersive, virtual space provides plenty of possibilities for scholarly pursuits. Outside of the most obvious use for art-based exhibits, scholarly work such as research findings, curation, or documentation can be presented in a virtual space in addition to in-person conferences or displays so that a greater audience can be reached. Also, there is an element of preservation as exhibits will be available virtually far past any in-person collections. 

Functional Review

Artscape’s interface is uncomplicated to navigate and use. Upon signing in the user can click the new button (green oval with +) in the top right corner of the screen and start creating their exhibit. The design interface works almost completely by dragging and dropping or clicking buttons which makes the operation similar to writing an email and adding attachments. The developers followed the adage “less is more” and it works well because, for such a powerful tool, the minimal yet well-balanced set of features is easy to navigate.

Further, there are plenty of user-made tutorials and guides available online which make this already very user-friendly tool even more accessible. For example, the College of Charleston’s Teaching and Learning Team has created video and text tutorials available here. Alternatively, ULCA’s Office of Advanced Research Computing has an exhaustive tutorial hosted on their Sandbox site


Although this tool works well and is user-friendly, there are a handful of things that could be improved. They are, 

Final Thoughts

This is a fantastic tool for creating virtual exhibits. The ability to greatly customise, edit, and organise media in a free virtual environment is valuable because it makes sharing stories, ideas, research and more uncomplicated and accessible. With Artsteps you do not need a lot of experience using digital tools to create an immersive and informative exhibit. 


Artsteps. (n.d). Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Retrieved on November 7, 2022, from