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ArtPad: Here's the collection -- did we make a connection?

TitleArtPad: Here's the collection -- did we make a connection?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsKjorlien, M.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web 2008. Proceedings
Conference Start DateApril 9-12, 2008
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedMontreal, Quebec, Canada
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordsartists, contemporary art, create, education, interaction, teens

The website ArtPad: A Collection. A Connection has ambitious goals. At its core is the online presentation of works from the Glenbow Museum's contemporary art collection, an exceptional collection that is not often presented to the public. Simple enough, but we also wanted to present the collection to an untapped audience for the museum: teenagers. Further, we strove to present the content in an educational context, yet in a way that high school art students would want to receive and interact with the artwork, with each other, and with the museum. Ideally, this balance of (presented) museum content and Web 2.0 functionality will create user dialogues about the artwork featured and contemporary art in general, and user reactions to the art they can create and post on ArtPad. The needs and preferences of the intended user were at the fore during development of ArtPad. Sample audience groups were consulted throughout the development process and research was conducted on how this audience group learns and prefers to receive information. Will this evaluation pay-off? Will young art aficionados be engaged enough by the artwork and the content presented to begin interacting with it, expressing their own views and questions about contemporary art and creating their own artwork? This paper will focus on the user evaluation process employed to develop the site, the features and components developed specifically for the target audience, and the Web 2.0 components used to create and build discussion around contemporary art practice. ArtPad dispenses with the traditional curatorial stance ? that of one authoritative voice ? and instead opens the discourse to users. This curatorial view, user statistics and feedback, and responses and reactions from artists featured on the site will also be addressed in the paper.