Our Research – Participants’ Insight

While in our initial work we focused on observations to determine engagement, we soon shifted to a model of self-reporting through surveys, research tools and focus groups. In all of our work we hope to empower and validate the voices and experiences of our participants, and this priority also carries into our research.

Feedback from participants and their friends or loved ones is important, beneficial, and inspiring. Feedback is often filled with insight about their experiences and what Artful Moments means to them. We collect feedback about ‘what works’, and recommendations for ways to improve, and we adjust our programs accordingly, in a timely manner. 

Artful Moments - A participant draws a portrait.
A participant draws a portrait.

Here are examples of feedback from Artful Moments participants- an excerpt from our final report for an OTF-funded project. (You can read the full report in the Materials section of this module.)

When asked, “What went well for you?” comments included: 

“Everything” – many wrote this; “painting”; “a day out”; “enjoyed the day”; “all of it”; “drawing”; “I enjoyed painting and being with everyone”; “talking about the art sculptures with my mom and others”; “loved touring the art vault”; “seeing the art and learning about artists was a thrill”; “meeting other people”.

When asked, “What do you feel you achieved?” we read:

“Finished a painting”; “peace of mind and feeling good”; “learning new things”; “the painting”; “spending the time doing things”; “meeting new people who are also interested in art”; “good company – got to be with other people”; “relaxation”; “more insight into my mom’s decline”; “time well spent with my mom – ‘Artful Moments’ has been more than I hoped for…very positive and fulfilling”; “participating in this program has been a joy”; “see how other people work”.

Participants reported feeling “enthusiastic” and “fired up” when participating in the art appreciation and hands-on art making program. They described being “enlightened” and “satisfied” and found it “interesting”… They all agreed that the art making session provided an enjoyable way to share time together. One participant found it eye-opening to see different interpretations and was pleased that she didn’t find herself wondering, “What am I doing here?” One participant who accompanied her mother said that she would not like the program to be only for ‘caregiver relief’ as “I want to be a part of it – it’s like a date with my mom”. 

In addition to the powerful feedback, Artful Moments has impacted each participant in various and differing ways.  Throughout, we see themes of social connection, accomplishment and inspiration, shared experiences, and more.

NOTE – there is a recorded focus group – I wonder if we can paste together some excerpts?

ALSO – interview Rosemary!

  • 13:10– I love looking at the art… with people sharing… intimate (Rosemary) to 14:15*
  • 16:45 – more than the sum of it’s parts. Stays with me. Think about pictures and what other people have said (Rosemary) to 17:55
  • 26:25 – a different way to connect with other people, by what we say and see*
  • 27:19 – you go through something when you do that
  • 27:27 – when there is one focus, we see what appeals to other people, and brings back memories, leaves their own stamp*
  • 43:05 – shared looking, talked to each other, deeply connecting, we laughed, shared failings, openness*
  • 1:08:20 – when I stand now in an art gallery, purpose and life!*
  • 1:13:30 – connection is the theme that runs through it