The Varley has developed a series of engaging programs that introduce elementary and secondary school students to Canadian art history and artistic practices, while complementing the Ontario school curriculum.
Through interactive gallery tours and studio sessions led by professional educators and artists, students are encouraged to expand their imagination and develop their own creative process.
We are proud to partner with schools from the York, Durham, and Greater Toronto Regions and to offer unique learning experiences for all levels and abilities that foster critical thinking and an appreciation for the arts. All educational programs are inspired by our permanent collection and seasonal exhibitions.
Education Programs for Colour, In Theory
Artist and educator Josef Albers states, “Color is almost never seen as it really is – as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.” Colour, in Theory is an exhibition comprised of three shows; A Study in Scarlet, Janet Read, and The Varley Story, that explore the various ways artists approach colour and viewers perceive it.
The Varley Art Gallery has developed a series of educational programs for Colour, In Theory designed to encourage creativity and critical thinking in young minds and enhance the Ontario School Curriculum. Every teacher that books a program is given an outline of the various curriculum links that are made in each program.
Kindergarten: The Basics of Design
Using the Inquiry Process students will explore and create abstract works of art inspired by the works in Colour, In Theory. Students will produce mixed media works of art while considering their own interests and experiences during the production.
Grades: 1-2: The ABC’s of Landscape
What is a landscape? How do artists show distance landscape paintings? Students will discover the FMB’s of landscape – Foreground, Middleground, and Background, and will learn the basic tools that artists use within these areas to create distance, depth, and perspective.
Grades: 3-4: Texture, Can You Feel It?
What is texture? How is texture created in a painting? In their gallery tour, students will be challenged to examine artworks from all angles to better understand how artists create texture. By feeling and working with various forms texture, students will expand their vocabulary of descriptive words.
Grades: 5-6: Your Atmospheric Creation
How can colour be used to portray feelings of atmosphere and movement? Students will explore and experiment with Janet Read’s style of painting and learn new vocabulary terms such as metaphor and atmospheric. Students will leave this program with a greater understanding of the atmosphere and how to use colour to express the lens through which they view it.
Grades: 7-8: The Swirling Landscape
How can we create movement in a landscape? Students will learn about key principles of design as colour, line, shape, and texture to create movement and harmony in a painting through an exploration of art works by Fred Varley, Janet Read, and Henri Masson. In addition, students will explore how colour plays a role in the creation of movement and will receive their very own recipe for Varley’s signature Sea Green.
High School Programs:
High school programs are designed to allow students to discuss a broad range of topics that relate to artworks i.e. politics, history, culture, environmentalism and many other subjects, while learning about artists methods and theories. Through gallery tours and studio sessions led by professional educators and artists, students are encouraged to expand their imagination and develop their own creative process.
High School Mentorship Program
This program allows high school students to discover the workings of a professional art gallery and to develop the skills needed to plan, organize and install their own exhibition. It also includes three visits to the gallery – each comprising of a one-hour guided tour of the current exhibition(s) and a two-hour studio session led by professional artist. Students will learn to write their own artistic and curatorial statements, and the logistics of installing and striking their exhibition. A certificate of completion will be awarded to each student who finishes the program. Students’ artwork will be featured as part of a one-night exhibition in the Varley Community Room and will be curated by the students.
This program allows High School students to develop their drawing skills by viewing and assessing figurative works during their tour of Colour, In Theory. Following the tour, students participate in a two-hour studio session where draw from a live model and exploring line, shade and colour as forms of figurative expression.
We offer hands-on learning experiences where students gain valuable knowledge about working in an art gallery. Internships in arts education are available for high school and university students
Booking Information & Inquiries
Sandy Saad, Educational Programs Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org | 905-477-7000 ext. 3274