Beyond the Constructivist Museum: Guided Interaction through an Exhibition Interface

By Pat Villeneuve and Mary Erickson.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In a recent exhibition, the curatorial team used a visitor-exhibition interface to guide interaction, providing viewers the information and support necessary to engage with the artworks and generate personally relevant meanings. An earlier exhibition project on Chican@ art informed our work. At that time, we included visual referents in the form of labeled thumbnail images to enable visitors to identify traditional Mexican, mainstream U.S., and Chican@ imagery that Mexican American artists used to express their identities. In this paper, we introduce guided interaction as a step beyond the constructivist museum and detail how we use la lotería, a popular Mexican game similar to bingo, to encourage visitors to explore themes and visual traditions in an exhibition.

Keywords: The Constructivist Museum, Guided Interaction, Visitor-Exhibition Interface, Chican@ Art, Identity

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.49-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.783MB).

Pat Villeneuve

Professor, Department of Art Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

Pat Villeneuve is professor and director of arts administration in the Department of Art Education, Florida State University. She also directs certificate programs in art museum education, art and community practice, and museum studies for the department. Pat has published, presented, and consulted extensively in art education and art museum education. She is committed to the development of museum education practice and works with both theory and practical applications. Pat organized Gallery Praxis, an art museum education conference held at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in 2007, and has developed the InquiRING, a handheld, self-directed guide to gallery inquiry. In 2003 she completed her tenure as editor of Art Education, the membership journal of the National Art Education Association, and she is the editor and a co-author of From Periphery to Center: Art Museum Education in the 21st Century, published in 2007. Pat was recognized as the NAEA National Art Museum Educator in 2009.

Mary Erickson

Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Mary Erickson is professor of art at Arizona State University, where she has taught since 1990. Much of her research, teaching, and curriculum work focuses on thematic, inquiry-based art instruction. Her PhD and MA are from Ohio State University, and her BFA is from the University of Illinois. She was National Art Educator of the Year in 2002, served as Visiting Scholar at the Getty Center for Education in the Arts in 1994-5, and has been, for many years, an associate at Arizona State University’s Hispanic Research Center. She has published studies on ideas that diverse viewers use to understand unfamiliar artworks. Erickson is the coordinating consultant for online curriculum for the Gallery at the Tempe Center for the Arts and a regular speaker at local art museum docent and teacher workshops.


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