K12 Educator & Community Learning Resources

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color wheel and other art supplies

Each semester we create learning resources and experiential opportunities related to exhibitions and the collection. Many of these resources are available to the community and K12 educators. 

Interested in visiting an exhibition or starting a collaboration with our learning staff? Fill out either of the following forms and we'll be in touch.

Group Visit Request Form

Request a Collaboration


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Exhibition Resources

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Group tours through any of our galleries may be requested at any time and many of our exhibitions are available online. To arrange an in-person tour please fill out the Group Tour Request form.

The following resources are geared toward college faculty and staff but are available to all educators.

A quick-reference guide to exhibition themes as well as discussion prompts for educators to incorporate into their teaching.

Recommended Reading Lists

A list of exhibition-related books, articles, and other media available from the GVSU Libraries in a variety of formats including print and digital.

Events, both in-person and virtual, related to exhibitions throughout the year.

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General Resources

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examples of photography, painting, sculpture, and work on paper from the collection

Browse by Medium

Browse highlights from four major mediums within our collection: photography, works on paper, sculpture, and paintings.  These highlights showcase strong examples of different media and explain the history and use of each medium.

Search by Academic Topic

The GVSU art collection consists of works of art from around the world spanning 1,600 years of history. The following mini-collections are curated by academic topic in an effort to expedite searches for interdisciplinary studies.

Use Visual Thinking Strategy

Visual Thinking Strategy (VTS) is an inquiry-based teaching method that improves a student's ability to describe, analyze, and interpret imagery and information through observing and discussing visual art. These resources will get you started.

Learn More About Visual Literacy

The GVSU Art Gallery department supports visual literacy initiatives on campus. Visit the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center's visual literacy resources page to learn more. 

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Art Collection Learning Modules

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Rethinking Street Signs Activity, Inspired by the Work of Scott Froschauer

An activity inspired by the work of GVSU's 2020 ArtPrize artist Scott Froschauer from his series The Word on the Street, taking the form of street signs but communicating messages of hope and positivity, rather than municipal warnings. In this activity, students will look closely at and think critically about the visual language of municipal street signs and other ‘official’ signs in their environments. They’ll question the impact of these signs in their day-to-day lives. They’ll re-imagine and create their own signs with alternative messages.

Sculpture Activity, Inspired by 'Char' by Deborah Butterfield

One of the most iconic sculptures in the collection is Deborah Butterfield’s Char, a 7 foot tall bronze sculpture installed on the rooftop of the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health, home to GVSU’s Kirkhof College of Nursing and other health sciences programs. Deborah Butterfield is known for her life-size, abstracted horse sculptures that evoke both the animal’s form and spirit. In this lesson, students will take a close look at Butterfield’s work, learn more about her approach to sculpting, and use air-day clay to create their own animal.

Intuitive Painting Activity, Inspired by the Work of Reb Roberts

A painting activity and discussion all about responding intuitively, embracing accidents, and going with the flow, inspired by the work of local Grand Rapids artist Reb Roberts. Created for 6th - 12th grade students.

DIY Poster-Making Activity, Inspired by the Celebrate People's History Project

Make your own poster inspired by the Celebrate People's History poster series. Created for 9th - 12th grade and university students.

Subtractive Sculpting Activity, Inspired by the Work of Jason Quigno

A soap carving activity and discussion about contemporary Indigenous artists in West Michigan, inspired by the work of local Grand Rapids artist Jason Quigno. Created for 3rd - 6th grade students. 

Fin de Siecle French Prints

A close look at the key themes present in a selection of prints and objects from the Robert L. Hoskins And Erwin A. Raible Collection of Fin De Siécle French Prints, a Gift of Elaine Rutowski Shay. Created for 10th - 12th grade and university students.

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Contact Us

For questions or collaboration inquiries contact [email protected].

Page last modified February 9, 2023