Teacher Programs

Statewide Teacher Workshops

Teacher Programs & Workshops at VMFA


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: STEAMin' at VMFA

Sat, Feb 21, 10 am – 3 pm | Pauley Center Parlor
How can art energize STEM, the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math? Art is the perfect catalyst for producing energized reactions from your students. Art, which is both hands-on and cerebral, offers fascinating possibilities for inter-disciplinary learning. Learn how to use paintings, prints, vases, sculptures—and hands-on processes—to create group projects in your classroom. This workshop includes a resource packet with a CD of images, background information about works of art in the VMFA collection, resources for image analysis, lesson plans, and templates for hands-on activities.
$30 (VMFA members $27), includes a boxed lunch


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)


Teacher Workshop: The Art of Place! Geography Connections at VMFA

Sat, Mar 14, 10 am – 3 pm | Pauley Center Parlor
How does art illuminate geography? Let us count the ways! Ancient art, for example, was made at a particular time and place — from available materials. Were the materials local or did they come from far away? What types of land and water had to be crossed? Where were the stones, marbles, and other minerals obtained? How did the movement of human populations change the earth itself — and how do artifacts inform our answers? What do landscape paintings tell us about changes in landforms? In this interactive workshop, participants will investigate geographic topics and solve geography quests in VMFA galleries.
$30 (VMFA members $27); includes a boxed lunch