Each McMichael Signature Studio is a two-hour, process-oriented workshop led by professional art instructors and developed in collaboration with established Canadian artists. The programs are designed to foster creativity and develop manual skills, and to position the artistic process as a tool for personal and collective expression.
Fee: $12 per student
LANDSCAPE PAINTING STUDIO: GRADES 1 – 3, 4 – 6, 7 – 8
Inspired by the Group of Seven’s legacy, this painting studio takes students from an initial compositional study to a final painting, all while discovering a modernist approach to the landscape genre. Exploration of colour gradation and space is an important part of this process-oriented studio as students learn the tricks and tips for painting perspective, focal points, and working with a traditional Canadian palette.
Curriculum Connection: VA
WATER QUILT, PRINTMAKING STUDIO: GRADES 1 – 3, 4 – 6
Inspired by Joyce Wieland’s Water Quilt, students create a collective artwork incorporating handmade stencils representing various plants and species from the McMichael’s fragile wetland environment. This studio invites students to explore the art of printmaking while addressing the impact of climate change on our immediate natural environment.
Curriculum Connections: VA, ST, SS
HAIDA MANGA STUDIO: GRADES 1 – 3, 4 – 6, 7 – 8, 9 – 12
Developed in collaboration with artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, author of the award-winning books Red: A Haida Manga and Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable of the Environment, this studio covers the narrative and aesthetic function of the traditional Northwest Coast formline in combination with popular Manga cartooning techniques.
Curriculum Connections: VA, SS, NS, CWS
MÉTIS SASH-WEAVING STUDIO: GRADES 4 – 6, 7 – 8
Created in partnership with Métis artist and curator Nathalie Bertin, this studio focuses on the legacy of the Métis sash. Students are introduced to the history and function of the sash within Métis culture and experiment with pattern making while exploring their own identity, culminating in a collaboratively assembled handmade sash.
Curriculum Connections: VA, SS
MAPPING LANDSCAPES: WATERCOLOUR PAINTING STUDIO: GRADES 9 – 12
In 1993, the McMichael presented Painting the Bay, a stunning exhibition of large-scale watercolour and oil paintings by John Hartman, who was born and raised on the shores of Georgian Bay. Years later, Hartman, considered one of Canada’s finest artists, continues to explore the cultural tension between the geography of a place and its cultural and personal perception. Developed in close collaboration with the artist, this studio invites students to investigate a notion of landscape beyond its physical boundary and to create their own landscape inspired by personal and historical narratives using watercolour techniques.
Curriculum Connections: VA, CWS
#LandIsSacred, #WaterIsLife: PRINTMAKING STUDIO: GRADES 7 – 8, 9 – 12
It is told through many Indigenous teachings that it was the generosity of Mother Earth that gave life to all living beings. Developed in collaboration with Michif artist Christi Belcourt, this signature studio invites students to explore and contemplate the notion of environmentalism, culminating in a creative expression of their own relationship to the natural world. Belcourt’s work celebrates many traditional Indigenous world views and spiritual beliefs. The importance of land and water is a reoccurring theme throughout her work and will be emphasized in this studio.
Curriculum Connections: VA, SS, NS, CWS, S