Apps4Art: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

A year ago, when I was hallucinating about having a cache of iPads to pass around my class, I responded to a grant initiative in my region for proposals involving a consortium of members from four universities in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad Region.  The project “Apps4Art” was born (had to come up with a good reason for needing iPads didn’t we?) –and the quest embarked on was to download as many arts-related Apps as we could find on the market in 2011-2012–decide which were good, bad or ugly and develop a critique/jurying process that would evolve into a questionnaire for students–to help us compile statistics on Art Apps: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  The four people involved in this project were a Museum Curator, a Printmaker, an Actress/Creative Entrepreneur and an Art Historian.

With more and more educators –higher ed and K-12 bringing iPads into the classroom, there appeared to us to be  a need to have some sort of review/vetting system. We envisioned a kind of Rotten Tomatoes/Popcorn approach to compiling our data for Art related Apps.  We figured this out after spending too much money on worthless Apps.

Would be happy to share the results of our work—our rating system, our questionnaire etc.  Any other content-areas starting to be intentional about looking for quality and efficacy in Apps?  Our hands-down favorite, the Top of our Top Ten list of Arts-related Apps…The Museum of Modern Art’s Abstract Expressionism App.  (Moma AbEx Ipad App). (Free:)

Janet Seiz, Art Historian,

North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC

Categories: Research Methods, Session Proposals |

About jkseiz

As I mentioned above, I am an art historian with a strong interest in technology. In between art history jobs I worked for Apple Computer on two occasions--one in Illinois and the second in North Carolina and I have tried to stay as current as I can on technological developments for the arts and for art history. The advent of the "Digital Humanities" world couldn't be more fun. There is now a cool word that describes playing on a computer slinging visuals. On an NEH Summer Fellowship I conned the nice director of computing at St. Ambrose University in Iowa out of their new Powerbook 100 for the summer I was spending in Rome. It stopped working after one month--pre Apple Stores so I took it to a Papal Audience and had it blessed. It didn't fix it--but the President of the Catholic University seemed pleased he had the only blessed Mac laptop in the USA in 1992. :) Teaching at A & T has been great. The students are willing to experiment and venture into new areas of exploration. My dream is to create a Digital Humanities Center at North Carolina A & T--probably in my art history classroom in Dudley Hall for starters. This summer, as we ibook Author away--I hope to hit the publish button on our first book and thus christen the Dudley Digital Press. I have the recent photo of President Obama and Lt. Uhura telling us to live long and prosper on my office door. :)
  • I would like to suggest expanding this topic a bit to discuss ways in which we can design review systems for applications, what you and others have found in your attempts to do this, and if anyone has suggestions for/or would like to share in this discussion regarding their own experiences,