Arts and Crafts Workshops
Originally published in TEACH Magazine, January/February 2019 Issue
While the winter season may narrow your field trip options, a visit to an indoor arts and crafts workshop may be a great way for students to release some of their pent-up energy. Not only do art workshops help stimulate creative thinking, they can also offer meaningful curriculum connections. Check out the following suggestions for your next field trip!
Art Gallery of Ontario
The AGO holds a variety of hands-on art workshops delivered by highly trained teaching staff. In the “Environments and Habitats” workshop designed for Grades K–3, students can learn about animal habitats in the urban environment, and use sculpting clay and coloured paper to create a 3D animal house. Students in Grades 4–8 can explore environmental topics through experimental printmaking, for example. They may create posters inspired by the Anthropocene exhibition in the workshop “Posters for Social Change.” For Grades 9–12, there is an “Experimental Marks” workshop, where students use acrylic paints, palette knives, cardboard, and textured materials to create abstract expressions on raw canvas.
Richmond Art Gallery
Richmond Art Gallery offers sessions that include a tour of a current exhibition followed by an art workshop in an in-house classroom. Programs are designed to make curriculum connections in areas such as art, applied design, technology, language arts, math, social studies, and drama. In an ongoing workshop called “Living Pictures,” students engage in an exhibition that re-imagines the 19th century practice of tableaux vivants in a series of works that place living participants in recreations of historical artwork. Using a mix of digital and traditional media, students re-imagine an historical event, famous artwork, or scene from a story through the creation of a photo collage in which they themselves will pose as the subjects.
St. Albert Place Visual Arts Studios
St. Albert, AB
At St. Albert Place Visual Arts Studios, there over 50 visual art field trip workshops led by professional art instructors. Programs include Huichol yarn painting, where students use contrasting colours of yarn to emulate traditional symbols such as people, animals, and nature, following the tradition of the Huichol people of northwest Mexico. There is also an array of interesting clay workshops, such as “Storytellers”—a field trip based on contemporary and traditional clay figurines made by potters in New Mexico and South America. Students then learn to tell their own stories through clay making.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
The Winnipeg Art Gallery offers specialized 90-minute art making workshops, each focusing on a specific artwork or exhibition. In “Who Am I?” for Grades K–4, students explore ways to express their personal experiences and feelings through original self-portraits using a colourful variety of art materials and techniques. For Grades K–12, there are print making workshops, where students design their own block prints inspired by Inuit art. Students in Grades 5–12 can also attend the “Power in the 80s Poster” workshop. They reflect on aspects of social issues about which they are passionate by creating their own 1980s-inspired multi-media activist posters.