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Completed in 2010


Sheila Galloway, Mel Lloyd-Smith and Sarah Shalgosky


This research explored how sculpture trails can help people engage with contemporary visual art. It investigated the learning opportunities they offer pupils and teachers. Funded by Arts Council England West Midlands we collaborated with the Mead Gallery’s Curator Sarah Shalgosky and Mel Lloyd Smith, Chair of the Friends of the Mead and former Deputy Director of Warwick’s Institute of Education.

One stimulus was the University’s Sculpture Trail. Midlands schools used this despite the pressure on curriculum time for creative subjects. National concern about limited specialist visual arts knowledge among Key Stages 1 and 2 teachers and current aspirations for ‘education out of school’ are relevant. The sculpture trails directory which we created was paralleled by site visits to 12 sculpture trails in England. The in-depth analysis centred on observation of groups visiting the University’s 40 works on open display on campus. Questions guiding the research were:

  • What does the experience of visiting a sculpture trail offer young pupils?
  • What does it offer teachers?
  • How can a venue best use the learning opportunities offered by a sculpture trail?

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