Blippar Integrates the Arts, Study Abroad, and STEAM Education in Paris

The following guest post is by Monique Y. Wells, Founder and CEO of the Wells International Foundation.

Earlier this year, Blippar’s Augmented Reality technology, the arts, study abroad, and STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) came together in Paris as part of an art exhibition entitled Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color. The show, which consisted of over 40 paintings and works on paper from private collections, took place from February 4th to March 15th at the Columbia Global Centers.

Discover Paris app demonstration

Catalog cover

The exhibition was the inaugural event for the Wells International Foundation (WIF), a U.S. non-profit organization that creates and supports education-based initiatives focused on the arts, STEAM, study abroad, literacy and women’s empowerment. In partnership with Professor Bryan Carter of the University of Arizona (UofA), the WIF invited six UofA students to Paris to create a digital application for the exhibition using Blippar’s platform. Five of the students had never traveled abroad before, so the trip was especially enriching for them.

Professor Bryan Carter

Professor Bryan Carter (far right), University of Arizona students, and Monique (front left)
© Discover Paris!

The group worked brilliantly as a team, recording video augments for 20 of the paintings just two days prior to the opening reception. On opening night, they proudly demonstrated their work and spent the evening helping the attendees with smartphones to download the app and “blipp” the paintings. Some 300 people attended the event.

Discover Paris app demonstration

Demonstrating the app
© Sophia Pagan Photography

Because it works with images as well as the original works, those with access to the exhibition catalog can also benefit from the Blippar app. It is an innovation that embodies a unique and valuable marriage between art and technology.

Two weeks later, seven American teachers arrived in Paris to pursue professional development training in STEAM education that featured Delaney’s work as the primary artistic focus. This initiative was the result of a partnership between WIF and J Rêve International, an organization founded by Jacqueline Cofield whose mission is to bring people together through the arts and cultivate creative communities that support personal, professional and communal achievement within a global context.

The initiative was J Rêve’s second Global Educator Program, an ongoing endeavor to equip teachers with the global competencies and connections necessary to bring an international arts perspective to their schools. Among the activities organized for participants in the Global Educator Program was a webinar during which Blippar’s Education Community Projects Lead, Chantal Pinkham, presented the company’s Augmented Reality technology to the educators.

Chantal Pinkham Blippar Augmented Reality

Chantal Pinkham presents Blippar’s Augmented Reality technology
© Discover Paris!

This was followed by a private visit to the exhibition, during which participants experienced the technology firsthand and accessed the augments recorded by the UofA students.

Global Educator Program

Global Educator Program participants Margaret Sargent and Malikka Karteron “blipp” a painting
© Discover Paris!

The students were excited to learn that their work would be used by educators and that it would have a lasting impact for K-12 students across the country. The teachers were eager to take catalogs back to their schools to demonstrate the technology and consider ways to use it for projects specific to their curricula.

The WIF looks forward to partnering with Blippar, Professor Carter, and J Rêve International on future innovative projects that will promote study abroad, the arts, and STEAM education!


Monique Y. Wells