Education program Person standing in front of a series of photographs speaking to a group of kids sitting on the floor


McMaster Museum of Art’s education staff provide free visual art-based learning opportunities. Programs are designed for a variety of audiences including elementary and high school, postsecondary, adults, and groups of all ages. We have a selection of in-person and virtual program options.

Watch the Creative Kids video about our school programs here:

Build a Program with Us!

We are dedicated to cross curricular and integrated learning, bringing art education into a variety of subject areas in elementary and high school classes. We have partnered and worked extensively with boards across Southern Ontario, including HWDSB, HWCDSB, GECDSB, HDSB, HCDSB, DPCDSB, PDSB, private and Montessori schools.

Have an idea for a program? Interested in collaborating? We’d love to work with you!

For more information or to book a program, contact:
Teresa Gregorio, Educator: Campus & Community Engagement

Please note: M(M)A programs are FREE. Note that the museum has the right to cancel programs in advance of scheduled start times due to unforeseen or unexpected circumstances. We will work with you to find a time to reschedule. 



Programs are flexible and we will work with you to focus on your classroom interests and needs.

Program 1

Introduction to Decolonial Museums

Participants will look at museums with a critical lens. The coloniality of these institutions will be examined, and participants will be introduced to contemporary criticisms, decolonial actions, and the roles of different professionals within museums who perform this work.

Facade of McMaster Museum of Art in the spring.
McMaster Museum of Art. Photo by Georgia Kirkos, McMaster University.

Program 2

Indigenous Art and Connection to Land

Through guided looking and reflective exercises, participants will engage with notions of land as represented in work by Indigenous artists from several nations. McMaster-area participants (traditional territory of Mississauga and Haudenosaunee Nations) will connect with art, histories, and issues directly related to the land in which they live and examine their shared responsibility as outlined in the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement.

Stencil on paper of blue hunters dragging fish on line behind them
Niviaksiak, Char Fisherman, Sealskin stencil on paper, 1960.
Gift of Mr. W.M. Berry © Dorset Fine Arts

Program 3

the cut, the tear & the remix: contemporary collage and Black futures

Through guided looking and reflective activities participants will engage in integrated and cross-curricular learning that focuses on young, contemporary Black Canadian artists and how they express ideas of Afrofuturism and the diaspora in their diverse styles and approaches to collage. The 2021 M(M)A online exhibition the cut, the tear & the remix: contemporary collage and Black futures is the basis for these explorations. This program is designed to engage with transferrable skills of critical thinking and problem solving, innovation and creativity, self-directed learning and metacognition, collaboration through co-construction of knowledge, communication, global citizenship and sustainability, and digital literacy (in coding option).

Header image for the cut, the tear and the remix. The title appears floating in space above the Earth with the remix floorplan floating above.
Title image for the cut, the tear & the remix: contemporary collange and Black futures. Exhibition curated by stylo starr and designed by SPATIAL-ESK.

Program 4

we are all connected (outdoor program)

Art and visual culture can help us think about who we are and who we are responsible to.

Participants will consider their connection to individuals, groups, and life around them through facilitated discussion and interaction with outdoor artwork on McMaster’s campus. These works will engage with ideas including how artists ask questions, the role of visual culture in our lives, and the connections we all share with each other.

Neon sculpture that reads 'we remain profoundly and infinitely connected' on the facade of the museum
Hiba Abdallah, we remain profoundly and inifinitely connected, Neon text sculpture, 2019.

Program 5

Logo Design: How Artists Communicate

Through guided looking at artwork from the McMaster Museum of Art collection, participants will examine how artists communicate. Connection will be made to commercial art via app logos, and participants will be asked to engage with critical media literacy and consider design choice motivations.

Postcard with black cursive text on the left and black cartoon silhouette dancing amongst yellow stars against a blue background on the right
Henri Matisse, Icare / Icarus, Plate VIII from Jazz, Pochoir on Arches paper, 1947.

Program 6

Art, Music, Identity

Participants will examine the connection between visual art and music through engaging activities that contrast and compare sounds and visual art. A hands-on activity will ask participants to respond to clips of music, with a suggested follow up activity to reflect on personal identity, music, and visual art composition.

Abstract image with tick black lines and black squares, orange, yellow, and green details
John Howlin, Victory Jump, Acrylic on canvas, 1984.

Program 7

Map Making and Art: High School SHSM Geography and Art

Participants will examine various approaches to map making, looking critically at the colonial nature of maps.

The program includes a facilitated discussion surrounding map making as visual expression of cultural values, and critical interpretation of included and excluded content. Indigenous conceptions and connections to land will be highlighted.

A post-program activity asks participants to engage with research and listed resources to answer reflection questions designed to encourage critical thinking and connect to each individual’s responsibilities to the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement.

Collage of a variety of outdoor images
Jeff Thomas, Belt 3: Home/land & Security, Pigment print on archival paper, 2012; printed 2018.

Program 8

The Power of Arts-Based Learning

Participants will hear and experience how visual art-based learning is vital to a variety of different career paths, beneficial to individuals’ well-being, and can help society build a better future. Observation, social/emotional learning and so many other skills are developed in the Arts!

McMaster Museum of Art Tour
Tour at McMaster Museum of Art for Life Long Learning Week 2011. Photo courtesy of Sarah-Louise Baron, Adult Basic Education Association


Program 9

Art, Sketching, and Cultivating a Creative Habit for Well-being

In this presentation, participants explore the methods and benefits of cultivating a creative habit by keeping a sketchbook. Through examples from the McMaster Museum of Art collection, participants see how artists approach their own creativity, engaging in the mindful practice of observation, contemplation, and reflection.

Abstract image with thick black lines, pink and blue
Wassily Kandinsky, Drei Reiter in Rot, Blau und Schwarz / Three Riders in Red, Blue and Black, Colour woodcut on pale cream laid Van Gelder paper, 1911; published 1913.

Program 10

Digital Collage and Design

This digital collage workshop has participants look at examples of collage from the museum’s collection for inspiration, explore uses of collage in art, and think critically about design choices for their own digital collage work. We look critically at context and juxtaposition, exploring how artists can interrupt dominant narratives and question power structures through collage.

Collage by Radcliffe Bailey
Radcliffe Bailey, Diamond, Mixed media collage in shadow-box frame, 2004.

Program 11

Pattern: Math and Art Combine

Discussion of selected artworks from the McMaster Museum of Art collection will centre on how artists thoughtfully and critically use and create pattern to share meaning and communicate. Various artistic applications of pattern will be examined. This will provide a framework for the activity where participants will create two simple patterns; one ruled by shape, the other by value.

Lines of white and pink beads in vertical lines
Liss Platt, Newman/GoodNPlenty, Inkjet print on paper, 2004.

Program 12

Identity and Art

Participants will examine identity and how it is expressed by artists from different time periods, places, and cultures and how these contexts affect the perspectives of both artist and viewer. Style, media, and symbolism will be discussed, and will form the basis of the activity.

Photograph of a person on a bike in a field with a series of black birds on their head
Meryl McMaster, Avian Wanderer I, II, III, from the Wanderings series, Archival pigment print on watercolour paper, mounted to dibond, 2015.

Program 13

Printmaking: Mass Communication on a Piece of Paper

Participants will design and create their own printing block and discover the mass communicative power of making multiple original artworks. Various artistic approaches throughout history will be explored. The artistic challenge posed will focus on creating simple and effective images in order to communicate with the viewer.

Print of people on a bridge in a rainstorm
Utagawa Hiroshige, Òhashi, Atake No Yudachi / Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge at Atake, No. 58 from Meisho Edo Hyakkei / One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Woodblock on paper, 1857.