Teen Artists: Impact of a Contemporary Art Museum

Mary Erickson, Laura Hales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study describes the effects of a yearlong, multivisit teen program in a contemporary art museum on adolescents’ reflections about art. Our purpose was to discover whether this program, focused on experiences with contemporary art and artists with its metacognitive approach, affected students’ thinking about their own artmaking. The authors sought out comparable programs by surveying the National Art Education Association Museum Education Division’s electronic mailing list and analyzing the education websites of 40 prominent art museums. Data collection included a variety of journal entries and a postprogram survey of all students, as well as pre- and postinterviews with 12 of the 42 participating teens. Adolescents’ thinking about art ranging from realism to formal elements and principles to the expression of meaning were the foci of this study. Comparison of students’ pre- and postresponses to questions about their artmaking priorities revealed that a significant number shifted their priorities from form, originality, and truth to materials to concern for expression of meaning. More detailed descriptions of this transition are provided by analyses of all data available for two students who made this shift and who were among the 12 pre- and postinterviewed students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-425
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Art Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Education


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