GRAM Welcomes Schools & Educators!
School Tours & Workshops
GRAM offers docent-led tour experiences for youth and school groups that promote critical thinking and literacy skills while fostering an appreciation for works in the Art Museum’s collection. Through an emphasis on student centered learning and critical dialogue, GRAM tours enhance analytical skills vital to art studies, as well as all other areas of the school curriculum.
- Art + History: Social Studies Through the Eyes of Artists
Connect paintings by Thomas Hart Benton, Richard Diebenkorn, and other artists in the permanent collection to the U.S. and Michigan History curriculum. Consider themes such as the 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.
- 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.
- Tours are available between 10:00 am and 4 pm.
- Workshops can be added to any tour that begins before 3:15 pm.
- 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.
Why Grand Rapids Art Museum?
Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, the 4 C’s of Design Thinking at GRAM, are taught through interactions with contemporary artworks and practical hands-on activities to create an opportunity for educators to acquire 21st century skills necessary for the modern classroom.
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.
During a GRAM 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.
For more information regarding professional development offerings or to create an experience all your own please contact the School Programs Senior Coordinator at email@example.com or 616.831.2928.
College and University faculty who wish to provide their students with access to the art museum for related course work may submit their rosters for a fee of $20.00 per course listing. The fee will allow students and course instructors unlimited visits to the museum throughout the length of the semester. Please plan to submit your course roster at least three weeks in advance of the first visit.
The Jansma Works on Paper Study Room is open upon request, and professors may make an appointment to bring their students to view the works. 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, Jennifer Wcisel at 616.242.5026 to set up a visit. The submission of a class roster and $20 per course-listing fee is also required.
For more information please contact the Learning + Creativity Coordinator at 616.831.2914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.