School Tours and Workshops

  Children sitting on the floor in the galleries, sketching with a Docent.

School Tours

Guided school experiences emphasize an interactive and inquiry-based approach to looking at and discussing works of art. During the hour-long tours, museum docents engage students by visiting the galleries and discussing a variety of artwork. Students have time to make quality observations, draw meaningful connections, communicate deeply about the visual arts, and practice critical thinking skills. Self-guided tours can be longer than one hour.

For more information, please contact School Experience Manager Emily Jarvi at 616.831.2928 or ejarvi@artmuseumgr.org.

    Students: $4

    Adult Chaperones: Free (ratio of one per every 10 students; additional adults will be charged the group tour admission rate for adults: $7)

    Classroom Teachers: Free

    School tours and workshops may be requested during open Museum hours.

    Some school experiences may also be requested to occur during the Museum’s non-business hours for an additional fee. These requests must be received by the School Experience Manager, Emily Jarvi at least 5 weeks in advance of the desired date and can be accommodated based on scheduling and staffing availability.

Virtual School Tours

If your group is unable to visit the Museum in person, virtual tours are available to explore GRAM remotely.

Using Zoom, join a GRAM Educator on a live virtual school tour through the galleries for an interactive experience. Select from a menu of tour options, which can highlight specific exhibitions, themes, or types of artwork; or customize your tour with a topic of interest you would like to explore. Virtual tours are a flat fee of $50 for an hour tour. If you are interested in scheduling a virtual school tour of GRAM, please contact our School Experience Manager a minimum of two weeks prior to your desired tour date at ejarvi@artmuseumgr.org or 616.831.2928.

School Tour Themes

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Animals in Art

    Explore how artists see and depict animals through the visual arts, spanning a range of time periods, subject matter and context, and diverse artistic mediums.

    Storytelling in Art

    Artists are visual storytellers and the stories they communicate through their art help them to reveal, explore, and interpret their world. Investigate several works of art in GRAM’s galleries using the ingredients of creative storytelling and engage in interactive prompts to explore these works in greater depth.

    Explore new and exciting temporary exhibitions currently on view at GRAM. Our dynamic exhibitions are always changing and provide a unique experience with every visit. Click here for information about our current and future exhibitions.

    As the heart of the museum, our collection is constantly growing and changing — just like the city it serves. For over 100 years, GRAM’s collection has been cultivated to include a diverse array of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft that highlight more than 5,000 years of human creativity. From a trove of over 6,000 objects, GRAM’s curators refresh the Museum’s third floor galleries every quarter, presenting visitors with new works and old favorites to experience and enjoy.

    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.

For more information please contact Emily Jarvi, School Experience Manager at 616.831.2928 or ejarvi@artmuseumgr.org.

  Children sit at a long table working on art projects together

School Workshops

Activate the material covered on your tour by allowing your students to apply skills during hands-on art making lessons. Students work with the Museum’s Learning and Creativity Educators and learn methods for creating art with a variety of techniques and media. GRAM workshops are designed to scaffold and meet each student where they are, regardless of grade level. Workshops occur in Studio B, located in the lower level of the Grand Rapids Art Museum Creative Learning Center. Workshops are typically one hour in length, and available as an add-on experience to a docent-led tour. Requests must be received no later than 3 weeks in advance. For more information please contact Emily Jarvi, School Experience Manager at 616.831.2928 or ejarvi@artmuseumgr.org.

    $50 per class

    Fee includes instruction led by the Museum’s Learning and Creativity Educators, the use of the studio, and all supplies. Admission may be paid by check or credit card at the time of arrival. 

    To book your reservation, please complete this form and email it to Emily Jarvi, School Experience Manager at ejarvi@artmuseumgr.org. Reservations may also be completed via phone at 616.831.2928.

    School Experience Request Form

    School tours and workshops may be requested during open Museum hours.

School Workshop Themes

    Learn about visual narratives and atmospheric perspective through the creation of a multi-layered landscape incorporating visual clues.

    Explore Ellsworth Kelly’s process for creating abstract rein­ter­pre­ta­tions by deconstructing images of the natural world.

    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.

    Experiment with printmaking processes while creating unique visual art that is infused with the elements of creative storytelling.

    Create imaginative animal-inspired art while exploring mixed media collage.

    Explore art making techniques and media inspired by the artists and works of art featured in our current exhibitions.

    Explore art making techniques and media inspired by the artists and works of art featured in GRAM’s collection.