Schools & Educators
GRAM Honored with MAEA Distinguished Service Award
In Fall 2013, Grand Rapids Art Museum was awarded the Michigan Art Education Association (MAEA) Distinguished Service Award, honoring GRAM’s efforts to advance the importance of the visual arts in schools throughout the state, and serve as a resource for art educators and students. Find out more at miarted.org
“The museum provides quality and relevant professional development opportunities for art educators, K–12, and its education department staff is eager to work with area districts and teachers.”
—Susanne Butler Lich, Northview Public Schools
“GRAM has… [made] the museum inclusive for children and families, and [strengthened] their educational component… I applaud their efforts and sincerely appreciate the changes they have instituted.”
—Dr. Cindy Todd, Kendall College of Art and Design
In 2014, GRAM plans to continue advancing teacher workshops, expanding school tours, growing the Language Artists school program, and more.
Tour themes include:
- Art+History: social studies through the eyes of artists
Connect paintings by Thomas Hart Benton, Richard Diebenkorn, and other artists in the art museum’s permanent collection to the U.S. and Michigan History curriculum. Consider themes such as the American landscape, social/political structures, and westward expansion on a tour that teaches students strategies for critical literacy.
- Learning to Look: an introduction to the museum experience
Analyze the formal qualities of art to gain a complete understanding of the art-making process. By identifying and discussing elements and principles such as composition, color, line, texture, scale, proportion, balance, contrast, and rhythm, students will unlock the choices artists make to tell their stories.
- Green Features: exploring the relationship between nature, sustainability, and creativity
Experience the green features of world’s first LEED Gold Certified art museum. A guided conversation takes you through an investigation of the building and works of art inside.
Self – Guided:
Lead the museum experience yourself by registering your students for a self-guided tour. Explore the museum’s collection and special exhibitions at your own pace while focusing on works directly related to your groups interest.
Activate the material covered on your tour by allowing your students to apply skills during hands on art making lessons. Studio workshops are inspired by the works of art seen on docent led tours. Students work with museum educators and learn methods for creating art in a variety of techniques and media.
Available workshops include:
- Art + History
Learn about visual narratives and atmospheric perspective through the creation of a multi-layered landscape incorporating “visual clues.” !
- Learning to Look
Explore Ellsworth Kelly’s process for creating abstract reinterpretations by deconstructing images of the natural world.
- Green Features
Create a panoramic landscape and mixed media piece while learning about the properties of recyclable vs. non-recyclable materials, in the world’s first LEED Gold certified art museum.
Click here to plan an experience for you and students.
Tour + Workshop Times
Tours are available at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
An 11:00 a.m. workshop can be added to the 10:00 am tour.
Wednesday – Fridays:
Tours are available at 10:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
An 11:00 a.m. workshop can be added to the 10:00 am tour.
Docent-guided tours are one hour in length. Self-guided tours need not be limited to one hour.
Tour requests must be received no later than 3 weeks in advance.
Designed to enhance the tour experience, GRAM’s teacher resource packets are suitable for all educators (grades K-12) and instructors of home school groups. Prepare for your filed trip by reviewing the included vocabulary lists, artist biographies, and analysis of selected works that may be seen during tours. Included activity ideas can act as simple introductions to the museum experience or provide closure after the tour.
Explore galleries rich with examples of engaging, provocative, and innovative graphic design.
Collaborate with peers and a practicing graphic designer to investigate ways of using design thinking in the classroom.
Discover new ways to analyze works of art through the eyes of a designer.
Experiment and Prototype as you explore methods designers use to understand and engage their audience
while solving real world problems.
Reinvigorate age-old teaching practices with cutting-edge pedagogy and instructional frameworks.
Art often deals with sensitive subjects.
Subjects that our students face each and every day.
Subjects which are commonly difficult to discuss for both student and teacher.
During this tour and workshop experience, participants will:
Learn how to safely and confidently discuss sensitive subjects and themes with students.
Engage with authentic works of art from GRAM’s collection and changing exhibitions.
Inspire themselves and colleagues to approach their teaching practice in new and innovative ways.
Themes discussed may include: sex, sexuality, identity, gender roles and stereotypes, death and loss, abuse, nudity, war and conflict, and many more.
By refocusing our attention from our personal experiences to works of art, we are able to create a safe environment, promoting open conversation about these challenging and confusing topics.
Check back often to see when then next educator night is scheduled.
For more information regarding professional development offerings or to create an experience all your own contact the School Programs Coordinator at [email protected] or 616.831.2928.
For more information contact the School Programs Coordinator at:
[email protected] or 616-831-2928.
To register your course listing, please fill out and return the form provided.
The Jansma Works on Paper Study Room is a valuable resource within the museum. The museum’s collection includes many significant works on paper, ranging from 16th century engravings and woodcuts to contemporary screen prints, watercolors, and photographs. Outstanding examples include the graphic work of Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Mary Cassatt, Henri deToulouse-Lautrec, and Robert Motherwell; as well as photographs by Francis Frith and Èdouard Baldus.
Regular open hours for the Study Room are from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Friday. In addition, from October through May the Works on Paper Study Room and the adjoining Library will be open the first Sunday of the month, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 pm.
Faculty & Student Use:
Professors may make an appointment to bring their students to the Study Room during open hours. Class size in the Study Room is limited to 18 participants. Rosters with more students can be divided into smaller groups and arrive in shifts or in separate trips.
Please call the Curatorial Assistant at 616-242-5026 to set up a visit. The submission of a class roster and $20 per course-listing fee is also required.