PhD Researcher Stephen Vainker talking about his project
Stephen Vainker is researching the impact of art exhibitions on young people.

Experiences and Engagement: An investigation of young persons’ visits to ARTIST ROOMS on tour


Tate and National Galleries of Scotland

Project team

Dr Adrian Bailey
Prof Tim Coles
Dr Mike Leyshon
Stephen Vainker (PhD Researcher)


PhD CASE Award (3 years)

About the project

The project is investigating the variety and depth of the ARTIST ROOMS experience amongst young people and how that experience leads to self-reflection and personal transformation.  ARTIST ROOMS (AR) is a collection of international post-war and contemporary art established through one of the largest and most imaginative gifts of arts made by Anthony d’Offay in 2008 to museums in Britain.  Jointly held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) on behalf of the nation, AR sets out to engage new audiences, inspire young people, and stimulate future practitioners.  As a new concept, the ‘gallery without walls’ first went ‘on tour’ in 2009 with displays at Tate, NGS, and at 13 (regional) venues from Bexhill to Orkney.  To date there has been no research on how ARTIST ROOMS transforms the identity and worldview of young people (13-25 years old) who come into contact with the art works in a variety of ways. 

This project is addressing this knowledge gap through a range of qualitative methods, including participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Stephen Vainker is currently working with the Tate, NGS and partner galleries to identify the different categories of young people who visit, the different methods of engagement used by these young people, and the impact of the frequency and duration of young peoples’ visits on their experience.  Along with increasing academic understanding of young people and the arts, this project will also suggest ways in which survey instruments could be improved to collect more relevant data to provide a baseline for future assessments of AR impact.


Innovation, Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Transfer
Service Process and Operations



'Experiences and Engagement: An Investigation of Young Persons’ Visits to ARTIST ROOMS on Tour'

Showcase Event  08/06/2011 Short podcast - Vainker