Building Character: Art Museums & Social Media


Snapchat featuring Bari Ziperstein’s Model 2, 2016 Terracotta, underglaze, and glaze (on view at the AD&A Museum until April 30 2017)

Although every museum offers a unique experience, I think the most memorable visits to art museums stem from their ability to be fun. For many, visiting an art museum can be an intimidating experience. One way to undermine this “intimidation factor” can be to merge more traditional aspects of art and museums with contemporary attitudes. This is something I already see being achieved in the AD&A Museum through our programs.

Our museum helps combat the intimidation surrounding art and museums by offering fun and unique events inside the AD&A Museum! An event that took place during Fall Quarter (Music at the Museum, Patrick Lindley and Friends, October 20, 2016) infused the Irving Gill architecture exhibit with music and poetry by offering a space where artists performed electronic, acoustic Middle Eastern music, and spoken word. It was refreshing to see this unique mix of media being brought into the museum space. The performances gave the museum a new air as different types of music filled the room.

The event displayed the AD&A Museum’s contemporary attitude towards the enjoyment of art and presented one fun way to engage the community with our museum. Another way to engage the community with our museum and lower the “intimidation factor” is to approach audiences through social media. Museums are rapidly moving into the world of new media through their integration of art and Snapchat. Artworks from all periods can be reframed in a contemporary context, or made into memes, by snapping a photo and pairing it with music lyrics or quotes from popular culture.

By utilizing social media, the AD&A Museum can provide a virtual glimpse into the galleries that has the potential of attracting more students within our community. With 77% of college students using snapchat, this app can offer a fun way of reaching students, updating them daily about our exhibits and events in an accessible but informative way that contrasts with the traditional expectations surrounding art museums. Hosting unique events at the AD&A Museum and merging our museum’s regular outreach with new forms of media shows how the AD&A Museum can offer memorable and fun experiences for our campus community and wider audience.

You can now find the AD&A Museum on snapchat @ adamuseum for live updates from the galleries!

– Rachael Grainger, Communications Intern


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