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Exploring Art with Your Kids

If you are looking for something fun and different to try with your kids this summer, why not take them to some family friendly art galleries?

Galleries are often seen as formal or stuffy, but they are the perfect place for kids. They are colourful, spacious, engaging and many even host art classes, camps and workshops for children.

Art galleries are a great place to learn about local culture, exotic places around the world, textures, lighting and even science.

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Art showcases the world around us and gives kids a glimpse into another person’s creative process. It teaches them that imagination is something to be cherished and there is no right or wrong in the creative process.

Art galleries give your child a chance to be exposed to things they wouldn’t normally explore. They may not realize that a sculpture can be created out of mud and twigs or that sand can be used to create art on a canvas.

Here are a few of our favourite galleries to bring the kids to in the Lower Mainland.

The Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery has programming geared toward families and kids. There are child-based classes, The Making Place, Family Tours, summer camps and events like Kids Take Over that showcase artwork by local students.

This year, from March to December, the gallery features Self-Guided Art Agent Packs. Visit and enjoy interactive activities designed for the whole family. Explore, chat and play in the exhibition spaces with self-guided Art Agent Packs. Inside each pack, you’ll find items like a sketchbook, a search-and-find activity, gallery games to do as a family, self-guided tours, a storybook and more.

Admission to the gallery is free for children 12 and under, when accompanied by an adult.

Learn more at vanartgallery.bc.ca.

The Surrey Art Gallery

The Surrey Art Gallery has numerous programs designed toward kids and families and is right next to Bear Creek Park, which is home to several public art pieces.

This year the gallery will feature a Spring and Summer Family Art Party where kids can create their own found objects print, explore the landscape and ecology through watercolour resist painting and experiment with geometric abstraction. Join an ecologically minded performance of The Big Wail with Jayne Walling in the Studio Theatre.

Admission to Surrey Art Gallery is free.

Learn more at discoversurreybc.com.

New Media Gallery in New Westminster

The Art + Technology LAB is a teaching space located next to New Media Gallery. Public, school and professional artist programs are offered throughout the year. They focus on encouraging a broad understanding of how technology can be used for creative purposes, pedagogy, critical thinking and the creation of meaning. Programs range from the ages of three to 18 and include:

• Creative Filmmaking

• Robotix

• Sound Explorers

• Little Makers

• Tiny Tots + Technology

They also provide tours, workshops and eight exciting camps. Learn more at newmediagallery.ca.

West Coast Curated

If you are looking for a family-friendly art gallery in your area, look no further than West Coast Curated. West Coast Curated is made in partnership with destination marketing organizations from the communities of Vancouver, Whistler, Vancouver’s North Shore (the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver), Burnaby, New Westminster and Langley. Visit westcoastcurated.com to learn more.

Experiment with the materials, processes and ideas that you see in the artworks on display in local art galleries. This is a great way to introduce your children to art, inspire their creativity and instill a sense of exploration for years to come.

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