Older people learning through contemporary visual art – engagement and barriers

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This article addresses how older people understand and engage with contemporary art in the gallery context – whether there is something unique to the art, the format of the visits, the pedagogical approaches used by gallery educators, the social contact, or a combination of all these factors. It also addresses the psychosocial barriers to engagement. It draws from ‘Contemporary visual art and identity construction – wellbeing amongst older people’, a two-year research project funded by the cross-research council New Dynamic of Ageing Programme. Over 21 months, 43 participants aged 60–92 made three visits to contemporary art galleries in north-east England. The potential for art galleries to develop lifelong learning opportunities for post-retirement people has implications for the cultural, health and voluntary sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-31
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Art and Design Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

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