Teacher Programs

Statewide Teacher Workshops

Teacher Programs & Workshops at VMFA


Teacher Workshop: The Great War That Didn’t End all Wars

Thu, Oct 2, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & Galleries
Twyla Kitts, VMFA Teacher Programs Educator
“The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells” wrote poet Wilfred Owen about the sounds he heard during World War I. This workshop, which includes profiles of selected writers who served during this bloody conflict (including Owen), incorporates primary source images, documents, poetry, and maps that reveal how profoundly this war changed the world. Participants will also explore the VMFA exhibition The Great War: Printmakers of World War I, on view through Nov 11, 2014.
$20 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: China: Silk, Dragons—and the Great Wall

Thu, Oct 30, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & Forbidden City exhibition
Mary Swezey, Fiber Artist, and Twyla Kitts, VMFA Teacher Programs Educator 
This workshop focuses on connections with Chinese culture for the elementary classroom. Participants will investigate the Great Wall, silk and the life cycle of the silk worm, as well as the symbolism of dragons in Chinese culture; visit the special exhibition Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from Palace Museum, Beijing, and create painted silk wall decorations.
$38 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: The Forbidden City and the Son of Heaven

Thu, Nov 13, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & Galleries
Lulan Yu, VMFA Adult Programs Coordinator, Courtney Morano, VMFA School and Family Programs Manager, and Twyla Kitts, VMFA Teacher Programs Educator 
The Forbidden City, the great walled enclave within the city of Beijing, was the residence of the Chinese imperial family and the center of Chinese government for more than 500 years. The palace complex, which served 24 Ming and Qing emperors, embodies the central components of Chinese culture though its location, structure, organization, decoration, and artifacts. This workshop, designed for upper-level history, humanities, and English classes, examines the flow of Chinese history through the symbols, objects, and information on view in the special exhibition Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from Palace Museum, Beijing. Participants will visit the exhibition and receive related resources, timelines, and project ideas.
$38 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: Discover the Forbidden City in Chinese!

Thu, Dec 11, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & galleries
Li Jian, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art at VMFA
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to enjoy a Chinese-language tour of the Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from Palace Museum, Beijing with Li Jian, VMFA’s curator of East Asian Art and the curator of this ground-breaking special exhibition. Participants will also enjoy a PowerPoint overview and discussion of aspects of the Forbidden City, and work in small groups to share lesson ideas. (This workshop will be limited to 20 to assure a quality experience in the special exhibition galleries.)
$38 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: Japanese Printmaking: Water, Shadow, and Landscape

Thu, Jan 15, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & galleries
Li Jian, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art at VMFA
This workshop, led by Mary Holland, VMFA Studio School Director, artist, and expert printmaker—complements the special exhibitions Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints and Miwako Nishizawa: Twelve Views of Virginia, on view at VMFA Nov 15, 2014 Mar 29, 2015. The workshop combines a hands-on printmaking experience with aesthetic and technical considerations of woodblock prints. Hasui (1883–1957) was one of Japan’s woodblock print masters. Nishizawa is a contemporary California-based Japanese-American artist who combined traditional Virginia landscape views (including Hollywood Cemetery, Jamestown, and Monticello) with the Japanese landscape tradition to create the works in her exhibition.
$20 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: Paper: Tactile, Textured, Versatile—and Revolution

Thu, Jan 29, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & Galleries
Anna Bushman, VMFA Youth and Family Programs Assistant Educator, and Twyla Kitts, VMFA Teacher Programs Educator 
It is indeed a digital age, but an appreciation for paper—its finish, weight, strength, color, ability to accept or reject media, etc.—is integral to understanding the art-making process. This workshop begins with an exploration of works on paper and works made of paper in the VMFA collection. Participants will also create two- and three-dimensional works of art using a variety of paper samples and media.
$20 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: African American Dreams: Poets, Painters, Singers,

Thu, Feb 19, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & Galleries
Twyla Kitts, VMFA Teacher Programs Educator, and Karen Getty, VMFA Docent Program Coordinator 
Delve into word and image in this consideration of the African American experience as represented by works in the VMFA American Art Galleries. Paintings and sculptures take on deeper meaning when coupled with primary sources, poems, essays, speeches, and song lyrics. The workshop explores authors including Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
$20 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: George Catlin and the American West

Thu, Mar 12, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & Galleries
Jeffrey Allison, VMFA’s Manager of Statewide Programs and Exhibitions and the Paul Mellon Collection Educator 
George Catlin’s renderings of Indians were so powerful that they were said to hold great "medicine," a term denoting vast spiritual vitality. From his earliest known Indian portrait in 1827 until his death in 1872, Catlin was respected as an artist who possessed an anthropologist’s eye for cultural study supported by finely observed details. His works portraying traditional dances, rituals, and ceremonies exist today as the sole record of many aspects of Indian life. This workshop offers hands-on activities for examining art with a critical eye, treating pictures as windows into the past that have the power to yield unique insights.
$20 (VMFA members $18)


Teacher Workshop: Workin’ the Flowers: Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, and Modern Visions

Thu, Apr 23, 4:30 – 7 pm | Conference Room 1 & Galleries
How did impressionist and post-impressionist painters radically transform the traditional French still life genre? How were their experimentations with paint application, composition, and color combinations connected with changes in science, commerce, and technology? Discover how their reinvention of artistic representation can inspire and challenge your students’ understanding of art-making in this workshop that combines gallery exploration with hands-on elements.
$20 (VMFA members $18)