School Programs

Seymour Art Gallery offers School Tours and School Workshops as a community resource to broaden the range of learning opportunities in the visual arts.


School Tours are half-hour tours of our exhibitions,led by a staff member or docent, for school classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Sessions must be booked in advance, but we will do our best to accommodate teachers’ schedules if classes are unable to attend the regularly scheduled tours. Our School Tours (without a workshop) are presented free of charge but donations to our non-profit society are always appreciated.


From January 13 to February 24, we are showing large scale oil and wax paintings in ‘Manifestation of Intention’ by North Vancouver artist Steve Baylis. The artist combines a range of unique influences including intuition, memory, experience, meditation, and even theoretical physics, with his own driven inquiry. Baylis’ bold and intricate paintings both draw viewers in to investigate their rich details and send them back to consider the works as a whole. The pieces are, as the artist describes them, complex expressions of a simple thought: “Each work is a gestalt – a carefully balanced visual whole; in focus, but free and moving.”

Steve Baylis (b. 1980, Vancouver BC) studied Art & Design at Kwantlen University and continued his training at Capilano University, where he mentored under artist Kiff Holland.

Wednesday February 7, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. FILLED
Wednesday February 14, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. FILLED
Wednesday February 21, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.



School Workshop sessions are presented in conjunction with the exhibition on display at the gallery. Students receive a short lecture from a visual artist regarding the exhibition followed by a one-hour hands-on workshop. We offer programs designed for both elementary schools and secondary school classes.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to meet professional working artists and benefit from their experience.

We look forward to working with teachers to create an inspiring educational art experience for students. Here we are, right in your neighborhood, opening our doors to children and youth to enhance their knowledge, help them appreciate art and let them find inspiration to better express themselves. Each session is enhanced by the gallery setting and exposure to original art.

The cost is $125 per session and we can accommodate up to 25 students. Refunds are available until 7 days before the session date.



Students will first tour the exhibition ‘Manifestation of Intention’ with exhibiting artist Steve Baylis. Exploring his large-scale wax and oil paintings, they will discuss ways of viewing abstract artwork and their own emotional responses to colour.

Baylis will outline his creative process including his mark-making techniques, thoughtful colour choices, and use of glazing and layering colour to build up his painting surfaces.

In a hands-on workshop, Baylis will then lead students in a playful abstract collage project where they will experiment using cut shapes, transparent paints, and colour.

Using pieces of canvas paper pre-painted with transparent colours, students will cut out shapes to create their own abstract composition inspired by the paintings in the exhibition. After gluing their shapes onto a piece of canvas paper and adding detail with a marker, students will add a layer of transparent paint on top of their collage. This final layer will change the colours beneath and reveal the depth that can be achieved through glazing.

Friday January 26, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Friday January 26, 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.  FILLED
Friday February 2, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Friday February 2, 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.  FILLED





October 2017 – LOST & FOUND, HIDE & SEEK: Inspired by the exhibition ‘SUNSHINE FRÈRE: CACHE CACHE’ 

Students will begin with a tour the exhibition ‘cache cache’ with artist Sunshine Frère and learn about how memory and technology have informed her sound installations, sculptures, silkscreen prints, and banners. In this workshop, Frère will focus on three banners in the exhibition that were created by using a lost search algorithm. Students will explore the idea of loss in two ways. Thinking about loss in a personal context, but also discussing how loss affects groups of people on a societal or collective basis. Students will then use collage and a variety of media to make a personal banner that represents something important that has been lost, be it a personal item, a community symbol, idol or icon, or perhaps even, a time or place that they wish they could revisit.

Sunshine Frère is a Canadian artist, curator, and writer. She holds an MA in Interactive Media from Goldsmiths and a BFA from Concordia University.

September 2017 – PLASTER PAINTING: Inspired by the exhibition ‘REBECCA CHAPERON: CAVE PAINTINGS’

What would you paint on a cave wall? Students will first tour ‘REBECCA CHAPERON: CAVE PAINTINGS’ with visual arts instructor Jeri Engen, and discuss the symbolism in the large-scale paintings. They will think about their own life experiences and, like Chaperon, will devise symbols to use in their art piece. Painting on a plaster surface and then scratching in the details, the students will each tell their own story on a cave wall-like substrate.

June 2017 – DRAWING IN 3-D WITH WIRE. Inspired by the exhibition ‘GORDON SMITH: SERIGRAPHS’

Drawing in 3-D with Wire BannerThroughout his storied artistic career, Gordon Smith has produced serigraph prints as a side project. The serigraphs, produced primarily as fundraisers for cultural organizations and personal gifts from Smith, are beautiful works unto themselves, offering a glimpse into his visual thinking and showing a progression echoing and influenced by his acclaimed works in paint.

Students will first tour the exhibition with visual artist and Seymour Art Gallery Assistant Vanessa Black and discuss Gordon Smith’s exhibition of serigraphs and his approach to art-making. They will experiment with wire to develop their own abstract patterns and shapes that are inspired by nature. Students will combine these wire shapes to create their own abstract, three-dimensional landscape inspired by Smith’s line-based serigraphs. Considering their artwork from all sides, students will ultimately ‘sketch’ with wire to create a ‘drawing’ that exists in three dimensions.

May 2017 – MONO PRINTS with artist Liane McLaren Varnam. Inspired by the exhibition ‘Start with Art’LianeLiane 2










‘Start with Art’ is an exciting annual exhibition aims to educate children and cultivate the love of art and art collecting. Established artists will exhibit artwork, offer advice for young artists, and share childhood memories about art-making. The school programs will start with a gallery tour and artist talk by an exhibiting artist and will culminate in a hands-on art-making workshop.

Our popular printmaking workshop is back! Students will work with exhibiting artist Liane McLaren Varnam create a one-of-a-kind mono print which combines the spontaneity of painting with exciting variables of the printing process.

February 2017 – ANIMAL MAPPING MASTERPIECES: Inspired by the exhibition ‘I SPY WILD | LIFE: New work by Sarah Ronald’

animal-mapping-1In her exhibition ‘i spy wild | life’, artist Sarah Ronald shows new drawings, paintings, and installations which spur viewers to tune in and seek out the contradictions present in our daily lives, specifically around our relationships with wild animals in both suburban and natural environments. This is a great exhibition for North Vancouver students, since many will have experience seeing wildlife on their streets and in their backyards!

After touring the exhibition with the artist and discussing the themes and artistic process of her work, students will create an animal mapping masterpiece! They will begin by imagining themselves as an animal of their choosing. Using a local suburban street map, they will literally draw their path on clear mylar as they navigate the roads, alleys and greenspace.  Their course will be influenced by the search for food and safe places to rest… and avoiding potential hazards!

Once they’ve completed their route, the travel pattern they drew will become the basis of an abstract work of art as the students add additional colours and collage elements to create their own finished animal mapping story.

November 2016 – STORIES FOR CHILDREN: Inspired by the exhibition ‘Hope Forstenzer: Stories for Children’stories-for-children-sample

Left and centre: Forstenzer’s blown glass works, Right: Workshop sample

For years, glass artist Hope Forstenzer has been fascinated with classic children’s tales and their often sinister undertones. She is interested in the cross-culture use of fear as a crucial storytelling device to shape children’s behaviour. These popular stories often serve as cautionary tales rife with terrifying figures and characters created to threaten kids with terrible consequences… if they don’t follow the rules. Groups of colourful blown-glass balloons hang from the gallery’s ceiling, each illuminated orb sandblasted with an image depicting the darkest characters from children’s stories and legends.

After touring the exhibition, discussing the glass-blowing process, and exploring the themes of the work, students will work with instructor Jeri Engen to create unique sun catchers inspired by the pieces on display. The work, incorporating the students’ favourite fairytale or other dark characters, will be created using a process of printmaking with a gelatin plate and layering paper. When hung in a window, the pieces will allow some light through, creating a back-lit art piece in keeping with Forstenzer’s captivating illuminated glass work.

October 2016 – UNBECOMING – Inspired by the exhibition ‘UnBecoming: An Annotated Exhibition’, new work by Elizabeth MacKenzie. Join artist Amanda Lye for a workshop which explores drawing the face, inspired by the drawings of local artist Elizabeth Mackenzie. In her exhibition, MacKenzie presents a new series of large-scale self-portraits that both reveal and obscure her face through an exploration of materials, along with two additional installations that annotate her creative process within the development of this work. Students will consider how a number of MacKenzie’s past projects on view in the gallery have informed her new work and will view a giant mind map, which she has rendered directly on the wall, outlining her thinking behind the

Left and right: Workshop sample, Centre: Materials sample

After touring the exhibition and discussing MacKenzie’s process, we will explore materials and discuss how an artwork and our ideas about the face change with different drawing materials and techniques. Working with the idea of multiples and repetition, as well as light and dark, we will create drawings of the face using a variety of materials including water soluble graphite, charcoal pencils, water, and ink.

Once the drawings are completed, we will echo the process that MacKenzie uses in her work by initiating our own mind maps which incorporate words that come to mind when we experiment with drawing faces.

April 2016 – START WITH ART – This exciting annual exhibition aims to educate children and cultivate the love of art and art collecting. Established artists will exhibit artwork, offer advice for young artists, and share childhood memories about art-making. The school programs will start with a gallery tour and artist talk by an exhibiting artist and will culminate in a hands-on art-making workshop.

colourful vegArtist materials are everywhere; you just need to know how to find them! Exhibiting artist and secondary school teacher Meghan Parker will lead the students in making their own paint from natural materials (including vegetables and spices) and using the paint to create a botanical drawing.





IMG_5103Our popular printmaking workshop returned! Students worked with exhibiting artist Liane McLaren Varnam and learned an exciting way of creating a one-of-a-kind mono print using techniques that combine the spontaneity of painting with texture, stencils and chine collé.





February 2016 – DEEP COVE: THEN AND NOW – PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE DEEP COVE HERITAGE SOCIETY COLLECTION – This exhibition will revisit the “main drag” of 8.e. MAGICAL MAP 0030Deep Cove (formerly 2nd Street, now Gallant Avenue), from the earliest photographs in their collection, to the present. Students will also visit the exhibition “Deep Cove Memories: Growing up in the Cove from the Mid 1940s through the Mid 1960s”, multimedia work by Wendy Bullen Stephenson.

Stephenson, who holds a PhD in art education, lead students in an art/mapping project.  Using cartographic elements that are commonly found on a map layout, students created a map of an area that holds personal significance, and pinpointed areas highlighting their personal histories.

This project is inspired by Stephenson’s drawing “The Magical Map” (pictured)




October 2015 – 30 YEARS – This special exhibition highlights just thirty of the thousands of artists who have exhibited their work at the Seymour Art Gallery since it was established in 1985. Many artistic mediums were covered including painting, drawing, textiles, ceramics, carving, and photography. Artists included North Shore artists Gordon Smith, a key figure in the history of Modernist painting in Vancouver, and First Nations artist Xwalacktun (Rick Harry). School programs began with a gallery tour and talk by curator/director Sarah Cavanaugh and the viewing of a portion of the short film we produced with artist interviews and closed with a hands-on workshop with artist and instructor Jeri Engen. Classes collaborated on one large-scale drawing inspired by the work of West Vancouver’s Gordon Smith. Engen explored different techniques to change the students’ mark-making including slowing them down, speeding them up, and playing different types and tempos of music. This workshop proved that drawing time is not always quiet time!

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June 2015 – M.A.TATEISHI: SECRETS: Echoing artist M.A.Tateishi’s process of “reverse collage” or tearing away layers to create her mixed media artworks, students learned to put down graphite and then “draw” using erasers.

April 2015 – START WITH ART: This exciting annual exhibition aims to educate children and cultivate the love of art and art collecting. Established artists exhibit artwork, offer advice for young artists, and share childhood memories about art-making. The school programs included a gallery tour and artist talk by exhibiting artists Liane McLaren Varnam or Meghan Parker and culminated in a hands-on printmaking or mixed media workshop.

February 2015 – MAKE  RE | MAKE  UN | MAKE: This exhibition featured the work of six artists who each use repetition as a tool to explore diverse ideas through drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and video. The school programs started with a curator-led tour of the exhibition and culminated in a hands-on workshop. Students learned about the individual creative journaling processes of the artists in the exhibition, and then created their own handmade book. Students chose to create a book that would be unique to them, and their creations ranged from dream journals, poetry books, travel diaries, sketchbooks, and books in which to archive their collections. This workshop taught students a process of bookmaking and showed them that recording their ideas, art, and thoughts is an important part of their own creative endeavours.


April 2014 – START WITH ART: This exciting annual exhibition aims to educate children andcultivate the love of art and art collecting. The school programs started with a gallery tour and artist talk by exhibiting artist Liane McLaren Varnam and culminated in a hands-on printmaking workshop. Students learned an exciting way of creating a one-of-a-kind mono print using techniques that combine the spontaneity of painting with texture, stencils and chine collé.

October/November 2013 – We presented workshops in conjunction with the exhibition BIO/GRAPHIC: AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN COMICS. Students toured the gallery and learned about comics from exhibiting artists Sean Karemaker and Miriam Libicki, before creating their own comic book. This creative session empowered students to ‘make their mark’ and record their own experiences.

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(L-R Volunteer Sandy Koven, Volunteer Kate Whitehead, Exhibiting Artist and Instructor Sean Karemaker, Curator/Director Sarah Cavanaugh)

April 2013 – We welcomed 98 students for our school programs, which were presented alongside START WITH ART, our annual exhibition for kids. Students toured the gallery and created their own one-of-a-kind mono print with exhibiting artist Liane McLaren Varnam.

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February 2013 – We welcomed 80 second and third grade students for our school programs.  In conjunction with our polymer clay exhibition, CHAMELEON, students toured the gallery and worked with exhibiting artist Joan Tayler. They learned to mix colours, stamp and hand-build while creating wonderfully imaginative miniature sculptures!

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(L-R Gallery Assistant Meghan Leeburn, Outreach Chair Svetlana Bardos, Exhibiting Artist and Instructor Joan Tayler)