Studio Activities

Our hands-on art activities are tailored to pair with tour themes to enhance students’ experience at the NBMAA.


What are the similarities between the work of artists and engineers? Join Museum Educators for an interactive tour and studio experience, during which students will learn to become creative problem solvers by looking at various artworks from a technical standpoint. This program will emphasize the NBMAA’s impressive collection of unique works of “touchable” art in the galleries—our artist-designed bench collection—and students will respond to this remarkable experience by reflecting and translating their favorite works of art from the tour into miniature paper benches using a variety of materials.

Connecting Tour Themes: Art, Architecture, Engineering, and Design

Chihuly Sculpture

After a docent-led tour, students will come to the art studio to learn about the difference between 3-D versus 2-D artwork and engage in creative problem solving. Students will utilize their imaginations and fine motor skills to each create a unique sculpture out of multimedia art supplies inspired by Dale Chihuly’s sculpture, Blue and Beyond Blue.

Connecting Tour Themes: Art, Architecture, Engineering, and Design, Math-terpieces, What is Art, Art Bones

Cityscape Collage

What makes a community successful? After considering the many ways artists in the NBMAA collection depict city and country life, students will visit the art studio to further their discussion of the sights and sounds of the city and create an original three-dimensional, pop-up "cityscape" collage out of construction paper, color sticks, and crayons.

Connecting Tour Themes: Art, Architecture, Engineering, and Design, Math-terpieces, What is Art, Art Bones

Curator for a Day

Working independently or in small groups, students will curate their own mini exhibition using a variety of artworks from the NBMAA’s collection that relate to a predetermined theme or question. Expert curators will also write wall labels and text to accompany their exhibition. Collectively students then analyze and reflect upon their curatorial decisions and interpretations.

Connecting Tour Themes: What is Art, What is America

Exquisite Corpse

Students will have fun working together to create an artwork in the classic “exquisite corpse” tradition, using written prompts, creative problem solving, and team building to make one image out of a collection of images and words gathered by the group.

Connecting Tour Themes: What is Art, Art Bones

Landscape Postcards

Looking at and responding to a range of landscape painting in the NBMAA’s collection, students will discover and analyze a variety of techniques that artists use to create the illusion of space. Students will also investigate how the relationship of people and the environment is portrayed over time. Students will then create their own landscape drawings using key elements of art to structure their composition and add watercolor to explore texture, depth, and mark making skills. An optional message can be written on the back of the students’ postcard-sized landscape using descriptive writing full of sensory details about the landscape depicted. 

Connecting Tour Themes: What is Art, What is America, Artist in the Landscape

Math in Landscape

Students are invited to participate in a hands-on studio activity that promotes the discovery of how math can be an integral part of the art making process. Following an interactive demonstration, students will be guided in an art making activity utilizing point plotting where they will graphically create a landscape using paper, glue, markers, and their imaginations. Math topics to be explored include: fractions, coordinate planes, point plotting, symmetry, and measurement.

Connecting Tour Themes: What is Art, What is America, Artist in the Landscape

Narrative Collection Collage

Students will learn the fundamentals of storytelling, including plot, setting, and character development, and interpret and present these concepts in their own collages. They will also take part in an inclusive theatrical presentation of their artwork. An optional activity asks students to title their works and write an accompanying story.

Connecting Tour Themes: Art Bones, What is Art

Puppet Self Portrait

Students will create individual puppet self-portraits that reflect what they learned on their docent-led tour through the NBMAA galleries, focusing on color, texture, and the beautiful seasons of New England.

Connecting Tour Themes: Seasons