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Teens use tech to talk art: Amplifying teen voice and art interpretation

Two teens face a framed painting of a mother with two children on her lap. The two teens hold up a cell phone that is displaying the painting with additional text.
Teens testing augmented reality in SAM collection galleries. Mme. H and Her Children, 1815. Louis André Gabriel Bouchet. Oil on canvas, 65 1/8 x 48 1/4 in. Seattle Art Museum, Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection, 62.75. Photo: Brenna Darroch.

The author shared programs at the Seattle Art Museum that used mobile devices to engage teens. Teen-developed interpretation, such as taking pictures to post to social media, allows a different level of engagement than reading museum-produced interpretation. While the article focuses on teen audiences, the author suggests that the engagement strategies can be employed for other audiences.

Tasia Endo, Seattle Art Museum, USA It may seem impossible to imagine teens without their cell phones. According to a 2015 Pew study, 88 percent of teens have them, and 73 percent have smartphones. Tapping into teens' extreme familiarity with mobile, the Seattle Art Museum has found a synergy at the intersection of its dual goals of increasing technology and youth voice at the museum.

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