Your source for art news from the AGO and beyond.

Presented by Signature Partner

Making art (and friends) at the Seniors Social

A new AGO initiative brings seniors together on a monthly basis to socialize, make art and tour the galleries.

Two women paint using a new technique during the AGO Seniors Social

Image courtesy of the AGO

Light streams through the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School windows as a group of seniors gather around a pair of instructors. The group is learning a painting technique used by abstract artists whose work they’ve just viewed while on a guided tour of the AGO. Back at in the Gallery School, paint begins to fly and soon enough, conversations ignite and laughter fills the room. Sound like fun? It is, and it happens every second Friday of the month at the AGO’s new Seniors Social.

Open to everyone 65 years and over, the Seniors Social is a monthly workshop that helps older adults to create connections through art. By pairing themed tours of the AGO Collection with an artmaking activity, participants are invited to learn, share and engage with art and each other in new and exciting ways. Best of all, the workshops are free thanks to the generous support of Lead Sponsor Amica Senior Lifestyles, as well as funding from the Government of Ontario.

Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned artist, the workshops have something for everyone. During the January social, participants were introduced to several abstract pieces including Untitled by Paul-Émile Borduas in the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art, and Time Machine Series by Joyce Wieland on view in the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art. During each stop, the tour guide highlighted the artist, the work and the significance of the piece before asking the group for their reactions. Throughout the tour, participants were encouraged to interact with both the art and each other, sharing their thoughts, asking questions and creating new connections.  

Following the tour, the group headed to the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery in the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre, coffee and tea in hand. Here, instructors introduced small groups to the impasto painting technique they had just seen on display in the galleries. Using mini canvas as a flexible palette knife, everyone began colour-blocking thick layers of acrylic paints with one-on-one help from the instructors.

Guided tour
Seniors Social 1
Seniors Social art making
Seniors Social 2
Seniors Social art making
Seniors Social 3
Seniors Social signage in WFLC
Seniors Social 4

Sure, abstract painting may not be your thing (although it’s not that scary, we promise)! No problem - the workshop changes each month with different works from the AGO Collection to see and a different artmaking lesson to master. With everything from painting to sculpture, drawing and more, there’s always a reason to keep coming back.

If you’re 65 or older with a love for art, join us for the next Seniors Social, make a new friend and create your very own masterpiece. While the program is free, space is limited and tickets must be reserved online in advance.

The AGO is also a social place to spend time outside of our many programs and initiatives. As an AGO Member or AGO Annual Pass holder, you can drop in anytime you want and stay as long as you’d like.

Be the first to find out about AGO exhibitions and events, get the behind-the-scenes scoop and book tickets before it’s too late.
You can unsubscribe at any time.