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Living with Art Program-Individual Registration

April 28 - June 23

Living with Art

Accessible Program for Adults Living with Exceptionalities

Join us at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in an exploration of art, nature and artmaking activities which are interactive, accessible, and designed to promote enjoyable learning and social skills. These 3-hour long workshops will offer young adults (ages 18 and over) living with special needs opportunities to actively explore the connections between art, nature, and the world around us. Each unique workshop will have its own theme combining in-gallery art-viewing, outdoor discovery and studio artmaking. Participants can engage independently or with guardian/caregiver support.

All workshops are free of charge, pre-registration is required through the McMichael. 

Each workshop will have a link below when the registration is open.  

Spring Registration is Now Open!

Program Descriptions per workshop

A Lens on Landscape

Workshop Description for participants: 

During this workshop we will visit some spaces inside the gallery that were part of the McMichaels’ home and explore some landscape paintings. The group will continue outdoors to enjoy a brief walk, look at and – if weather permits – photograph (with iPADS) the landscapes on the McMichael grounds. Inside the studio, we will have a short break before creating our own watercolour landscape paintings! 

Clay Works

Workshop Description for participants:

In this workshop we will explore sculpture including different ways sculptures are made and the materials artist use to make 3D works for art. We will discover many types of 3D art together. We will start with a walk Outdoors to take a closer look at some of the sculptures located on the gallery/McMichael grounds. Then, inside the gallery we will continue our exploration of other sculptures. In the Studio, we will have a short break and then we will make our own 3D art using clay.

Paint with Texture

Workshop Description for participants: 

In this workshop we will examine how artists can express ideas using thick (impasto) paints. Inside the gallery we will begin with a visit to the theatre as a “Behind the Scenes’ look at this room which was a part of the McMichael’s home.  We will also handle an artist’s paint box and their tools to examine how some artists (like the Group of Seven) expressed their ideas of nature. We will look at some paintings in the gallery spaces and will continue by taking a leisurely walk outdoors, then head to the Pine Cottage studio space. In the studio, we will have a short break, then make art.  We will make our own nature-inspired painting using thick (impasto) paint and a plastic palette knife.


Workshop Description for participants:

In this workshop, which combines outdoor and in-gallery activities and studio art-making, we explore the Inuit stonecut printmaking method.We begin at the Pine Cottage where we can handle Inuit objects and learn about stonecut printmaking through photos and hands-on activities. Then we head outdoors for a short walk to enjoy the natural setting of the McMichael. Our walk will include (if weather permits) a close-up look at the INUKSHUK located on the grounds.

We continue indoors with a gallery visit and interactive and hands-on activities to view art and see how the natural environment can be a source of inspiration for artmaking.

Then, in the Studio we will create our own individual prints (using various tools and materials in art-making designed for creative expression and a range of skills and abilities).

The Shape of Things

Workshop Description for participants: 

Enjoy the McMichael’s woodland setting and its art collection in this workshop that takes a closer, fun look 2D shapes.

We begin with an in-gallery visit which includes interactive art-viewing activities to explore a variety of artistic styles and to discover how artists can create and use 2D shapes in their artwork to express ideas.

We will then take a discovery walk on the McMichael grounds. (If weather permits, we can take our walk in the Sculpture Garden.)

Lastly, in the Studio participants will use paper and a variety of design tools, drawing and colouring materials, to creatively express their ideas in making their own ‘shape’ inspired artwork.

Scratch Painting

Workshop Description for participants: 

In this interactive, hands-on workshop we explore how artists (contemporary, Group of Seven, Tom Thomson and others) can use colour and dramatic lines in their paintings. 

We begin with a walk to the Tom Thomson Shack and a ‘Behind the Scenes’ visit inside.  We will learn a bit about the shack and how it had once been Tom Thomson’s home and studio.

We then go into the gallery to view and explore (through independent viewing and interactive activities) a variety of artworks.  

In the studio we will make our own ‘scratch’ (sgraffito) paintings using acrylic paint (over oil pastel) and an assortment of inscribing tools.

           Please dress accordingly for the weather as portions of these workshops will take place outdoors.


Participation Guidelines

  • For young adults, ages 18 and over, living with special needs.
  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Maximum number of participants per workshop – 10 (plus caregivers).
  • Participants must be able to engage independently in activities, or with parent/guardian/caregiver support.

Please note:

This is not a transfer of care program. Parents/guardians/caregivers are responsible for their adult son/daughter for the duration of the workshop.

This includes:

  • Signing in and signing out of the workshop with their son/daughter.
  • Accompanying and assisting him/her to engage in activities if, and as may be, required.
  • Alternatively, if their son/daughter can participate independently in activities, parents/guardians/caregivers must always remain available to McMichael staff.


  • Remain in program spaces, elsewhere in the gallery, or on the McMichael grounds for the duration of the workshop.
  • Provide a cell number upon signing in for on-site contact by staff.
  • Sign in and sign out their son/daughter.
paint material in class
two students conversing


April 28
June 23
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