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Psychology Study Features KinderFrogs Art

Ellen Winner and researchers at the Arts and Mind Lab at Boston College designed experiments to answer the question of whether most people could discern abstract paintings from art by children and animals. The study and Winner’s Wall Street Journal essay on the findings feature a painting by a former KinderFrogs school student, Jack Pezanosky, created at four years old (can you guess which painting he created?)

Pezanosky graduated from the school for children with Down syndrome and other developmental delays in 2011. His art and the study were also featured in Psychology Today. Jack’s father Stephen said the research team found Jack’s art online and asked to use it in the study.

As for the results, even with incorrectly labeled images, survey respondents chose artists’ work as the better art 62% of the time. In a second study, participants chose which image was created by an artist 63% of the time, with no labels. If you’re wondering how you’d do in the experiment, 4-year-old Jack drew the image on the left, while abstract artist Hans Hoffman created the work on the right.

Despite the study results, TCU’s College of Education displays KinderFrogs artwork in the Bailey Building, in addition to many other works of art by students, educators and people with disabilities. TCU College of Education Art Catalog Thanks to an anonymous grant, the college purchased $100,000 in new art for the Bailey and Palko buildings in 2016, many created by TCU students. TCU is the only university in the nation with two special education laboratory schools on campus.