Learning Resources for Everyone

Discover art making and learning activities that are inspired by artworks in our collection. Find the activity that suits your style and interest. Some are fun to do together or on one's own; others offer a means to slow down and enjoy colour and mark making at one's own speed and skill level; and others will provide new insights into familiar and less familiar work. Enjoy and share your work with us in the gallery below! Also check out Learning Resources for Teachers and Families.


COLOURING CARDS

Here is a selection of line drawing interpretations of artworks in the AGO collection. Use your imagination to reinterpret these works with new colours of your own.


ART MAKING VIDEOS

AGO Makes: Inspired by the AGO Collection

Drawing Larger Than Life

Watch AGO Artist Instructor Amanda Arcuri create a drawing inspired by Annie Pootoogooks drawing Composition (Drawing of My Grandmother's Glasses). Find an object at home, grab a BIG sheet of paper and try drawing larger than life!

Watercolour Masks

Watch AGO Artist Instructor Amanda Arcuri create masks inspired by Beatrix Potter's stunning watercolour study of a bat. Grab some oil pastels or crayons, watercolour paints, get creative and transform yourself!

Tiny Floating Worlds

Watch AGO Artist Instructor Melissa Pauw create teeny tiny floating worlds using nothing but a plate, dry erase markers and some water. Create your own tiny drawings and watch them come to life!

Land Art

Get outside and use the land around you to create an awesome work of art! Sticks, rocks and fallen leaves become your materials and the land is your canvas. Watch AGO Artist Instructor Amanda Arcuri make land art in a park and at the beach. Where will you make your land art?

Hanging Flower Garden

Watch AGO Artist Instructor Melissa Pauw use strips of paper to create a beautiful hanging garden. Make loops, teardrops, swirls and zigzags. You can keep it simple, or go WILD and fill your home with flowers!

Body Sculpture

Get moving and turn your body into a living sculpture! Watch AGO Artist Instructor Amanda Arcuri use household objects to create sculptures that only exist while you get creative and strike a pose.

Play with Printmaking

Who likes stamps? We do! And we bet you'll love playing with printmaking too. Watch AGO Artist Instructor Melissa Pauw use household objects to create your very own art prints with your family and friends.

Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

Inspired by Paul Klee's Hard and Soft drawing, Paola Poetto, Director of Engagement & Learning takes a moment to relax her mind with a simple writing exercise using pencil on paper. 

Shadow Puppets

Watch Tiana Roebuck, AGO Associate Curator, Learning & Studio Programs, make paper-cut shadow puppets using recycled materials found at home.

Soft Sculpture

Watch Tiana Roebuck, AGO Associate Curator, Learning & Studio Programs, make her own soft sculpture inspired by Claes Oldenburg's Floor Burger.

Tonal Painting

Watch AGO Manager of Strategic Projects Deborah Nolan make her own tonal painting inside a grid, using the colours blue and red inspired by Agnes Martin's The Rose.


ART MAKING ACTIVITIES

These activities inspire us to dance, strike a pose, draw, paint, make and reimagine our landscapes and urbanscapes through direct observation.

Drawing Larger Than Life

Learn more about Annie Pootoogook and get inspired to draw BIG and make all kinds of meta art, which is artwork that features you - the artist!

Like a Bat!

Let’s get inspired by Beatrix Potter’s striking watercolour Study of the head of a bat, full face and learn how to make watercolour mask and a hanging wire sculpture!

Play

Learn how to play with printmaking, challenge yourself with a “spot the difference” game, stretch yourself like artist Evan Penny, make Surrealist Artist Trading Cards, transform a cardboard box, build your own playground and so much more!

Found

Look around you and get inspired by what you find! These awesome activities are all about transforming things that may not seem like art materials...but add a bit of creativity and wow! Use your body to make a sculpture (strike a pose!), build structures big and small using unconventional materials and more!

Land

Go beyond the traditional and invent new ways of seeing the land around us. Capture sidewalk shadows, make maps of smells and sounds, create paper flowers, collage, make art using land as your canvas and so much more!

Opposites

When opposites combine you get a burst of new and exciting ideas! Let's make art that's fast and slow, big and small, light and dark, inside and outside!


CLOSE LOOKING

This series invites us to consider artworks through current themes and ideas, unique materials or ground-breaking art techniques and artists.

Close Looking: Microscope Monday

Conservators use microscopes to improve their understanding of how artworks were made and the extent of any damages or deterioration that have occurred over time. Join Meaghan Monaghan, Conservator of Paintings, as she closely examines several paintings from the Indigenous and Canadian Collection under the microscope.

Close Looking: Mary Hiester Reid and Helen McNicoll

Join author Molly Peacock and curator Renée van der Avoird as they discuss historical Canadian artists Mary Hiester Reid and Helen McNicoll.  Two of the first women to achieve success as professional artists in Canada, Hiester Reid and McNicoll radically broadened traditional concepts of femininity, domesticity and the potential for women to pursue careers as artists.

Close Looking: Salty Language

Slush fund, fudge the numbers, and son of a gun: we often use words and phrases in everyday conversations and may not realize their origin. Gillian McIntyre, Interpretive Planner and Sherry Phillips, Conservator, will engage in a conversation about language inspired by the Thomson Collection of Ship Models at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Close Looking: Pietro Testa's Allegory of Autumn

Join Alexa Greist, Associate Curator and R.. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings as she discusses a large 17th century etching by the Italian artist Pietro Testa. This newly acquired print, "An Allegory of Autumn" (ca. 1642-44) is part of a rare series of 4 etchings that are some of the most ambitious prints made by this enigmatic artist. 

Close Looking: Learning about Peter Brathwaite's Black Portraiture

AGO Curator Adam Levine meets Peter Brathwaite, a British opera singer who has spent much of his quarantine researching and recreating historical depictions of Black people in art. Adam and Peter discuss the celebrated project and the power of such paintings, including our own Portrait of a Lady Holding an Orange Blossom.

Close Looking: Franz Kline's Cupola

Chris Luginbuhl, Multisensory Designer, and Melissa Smith, AGO's Assistant Curator of Community Programs, discuss their co-creative process of translating an abstract artwork by Franz Kline, entitled Cupola, into a multimodal object that is intended to create a more embodied and inclusive gallery experience for blind and vision impaired visitors to the Gallery.

Close Looking: Harris and Houle

Renee Van der Avoird, Assistant Curator of Canadian Art and Nadia Abraham, Assistant Interpretive Planner. discuss Lawren Harris’ Algoma Country and Robert Houle’s Premises for Self-Rule: Constitution Act, 1982.


Seniors Social Online

AGO launches Seniors Social online, connecting with older adults through videos showcasing art, conversation, and artmaking.

Drawing a still life with Shadows

In this program we will explore cultivated gardens, picked flowers and two of the first women to achieve success as professional artists in Canada, Mary Hiester Reid and Helen Galloway McNicoll.


LEARNING RESOURCES

A Pride Book List

This curated selection of books may provide an appreciation and social consciousness about LGBTQ2+ members of your communities.PDF

How to Talk About Anti-Black Racism: Part 2

Part two of a round table discussion on how to talk about anti-black racism. This conversation will question what happens after the solidarity statement and how do we ensure wellness during these times of ground breaking change?


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