Visitor Experiences in the Art/Science Gallery
This study showcases the two of the most recent exhibits in the Art/Science gallery at the Museum of Science: What I Eat: Around the World in 25 Diets and Bonsai: Creating Art with Nature. By analyzing information from two different exhibits that were shown in the same space, themes emerged across both exhibit experiences that can inform the exhibit team more broadly about the gallery's audience and effect on visitors. Evaluation Questions: In what ways are visitors interacting with the exhibits? What do visitors find most interesting about the exhibits? Which connections are visitors making with art and science from these exhibits? Does this add value to their overall Museum experience? What audience attends the Art/Science gallery? What are the enjoyable aspects of the Art/Science gallery space? How do visitors describe their experience in the Art/Science gallery space? How important is it that a science museum has exhibits like 25 Diets/Bonsai (art in the middle of a science museum)? Which changes can be made to improve the Art/Science gallery experience? Methods:Timing and tracking methods were used to record how visitors navigated the exhibition and how long they spent in the gallery. Exit interviews were conducted with visitors who spent a minimum of three minutes exploring the space. Data from the Museum's Public Visitor Experience Monitoring Project were used to support study findings by checking visitor demographics, visitation rates, and quality ratings pertaining to the Art/Science gallery.Findings:Visitors to this gallery may differ from the overall Museum audience. Format, content, and artifacts have an effect on visitor interactions in the gallery. All visiting groups were interested in the exhibit on view, particularly the exhibit content. The Art/Science gallery is a space where visitors can understand and appreciate art and science connections. The Art/Science gallery can provide an experience that is different from what other areas of the Museum currently offer. Changes can be made to further enhance the visitor experience in the gallery. This report includes observation and interview instruments.