The Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 noon - 5:00 p.m.
AFK Blog
Jan 17
Exhibits to discover this winter

​As the weather drives us to indoor activities, it's the perfect time of year to visit galleries and museums and see how art can enliven spaces and spirits.

Our teaching exhibition Memory • History • Story runs through April 27, 2018 at the Gordon Smith Gallery. This exhibition from the AFK permanent collection brings together pieces from Indigenous artists including George Littlechild, Jane Ash Poitras, Xwalacktun, Kenojuak Ashevak, Robert Davidson, Beau Dick and others. The art includes sculpture, textile, cedar carvings and weavings, as well as two-dimensional works, for a collection that inspires learning in our young people and understanding in our visitors. 

At the Vancouver Art Gallery, visit the exhibition Gordon Smith's The Black Paintings. These works are abstractions, often with collaged pieces. "Strikingly different from his landscape images, the black paintings have a depth and emotive richness, which reveals itself only with close observation," says the Vancouver Art Gallery. The exhibit runs through February 4, 2018.

The Monte Clarke Gallery is celebrating its 25th year with a group show of gallery artists. Two of our patron artists Karin Bubaš and Graham Gillmore are part of the exhibit that runs through January 27, 2018 at the Gallery at 101-525 Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

In the same building, works of one of our founding patron artists are on view. The exhibit titled Jack Shadbolt - The Ghost Universe is at the Equinox Gallery at 110 - 525 Great Northern Way and runs through February 22, 2018.  

One of our artist partners, ceramicist Brendan Tang, has an installation exhibit titled meatspace at the Burrard Arts Foundation, located at 108 East Broadway in Vancouver. The exhibition runs through March 10, 2018 and on Tuesday, February 13th at 5:30 p.m. the artist will be in attendance for a gallery tour.  


Molly Lamb Bobak

Molly Lamb Bobak, Oslo (detail), 1960

The Burnaby Art Gallery is presenting Talk of the Town, an exhibition exploring the street views and city panoramas of patron artist Molly Lamb Bobak, primarily from the 1940s to the 1960s. The opening reception is Thursday, January 18, at 7 p.m. They are offering a curator's tour on Sunday, January 28, at 2 p.m. and a lecture on Sunday, February 25 at 2 p.m. The exhibition runs from January 19 – April 8, 2018. The Burnaby Art Gallery is located at 6344 Deer Lake Avenue.

Take the opportunity to see one or more of these and the many other vibrant exhibitions happening around the Lower Mainland this winter. By supporting galleries and museums, we support our artists and the legacy of Canadian art and culture.



Jan 10
Welcome back to a new year of art and creativity


​The New Year brings lots of fresh opportunities for creative discovery and at AFK we look forward to celebrating the artist in every child.

Our popular Winter After School Art Programs begin the week of January 15, 2018. Taught by master art teachers, these classes allow young people to delight in time away from electronics as they explore their imagination and discover the joy of creating with their own hands. Many of our classes are already filled.

Classes that still have some space available include Tuesday classes for those in Grades 2-4:

  • Positively Picasso
  • Masterful Mixed Media, or
  • Artful Adventures, which welcomes those in Grades 2-5.

For students in Grades 4-7, our available classes include:

  • Clay Creations on Wednesdays
  • Watercolour Exploration on Wednesdays, and
  • The Art of Architecture on Thursdays.

Register online and and give your child a gift of creativity that they'll carry with them through their life. 

In addition to our ever-popular art classes for kids, we have a busy Winter schedule ahead of us.

Art Assistant Training Program
Thanks to a generous grant from the City of North Vancouver, we are proud to be able to offer our Art Assistant Training program. For three Wednesday afternoons in January, we will provide training to secondary students wishing to become art assistants or teacher's assistant.

Artist Training at Mountainside
Through a generous grant from Coast Capital Savings, we are pleased to be bringing art career training to students at Mountainside Secondary. For three consecutive Mondays in January, secondary students will be working with Tania Gleave and Jud Beaumont to explore their skills and abilities.

New Print Release
On February 22, we will be proudly launching a new Graham Gillmore print. More information will be available soon.

Memory • History • Story
Our teaching exhibition continues to draw record numbers of students and visitors. We invite you to visit the exhibition, which runs through the end of April.

There's always something happening at AFK, so please check back often for the latest news. We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events in 2018. 

Dec 19
Wishing you a wondrous holiday and a happy new year
snow outside.jpg

​As the year draws to a close, we reflect on what has been a remarkable fall and promises to be an even more eventful 2018.

Memory • History • Story

Our teaching exhibition Memory • History • Story is an exploration of our indigenous artists, their perspectives and voices. It opened in late September and has been phenomenally well received by educators and the public. With every teaching exhibition, we develop a specific curriculum to accompany the works. This year, the lessons support and extend the educational opportunity surrounding the history of residential schools in this country, our First People's relationship with the land and their traditions, as reflected in their art.

"This is one of the most important teaching exhibitions in our history," says Yolande Martinello, Director of Artists for Kids. "Seeing the work of our first people, and their perspective on their experiences provides an essential aspect to understanding the true scale, scope and story of our country. It is a big step for our educators in the work of truth and reconcilliation."

More educators throughout the North Vancouver School District and beyond are bringing their classes to see the exhibit. We usually welcome students in Grade 5. The exhibit has been so well received that we are also hosting groups of secondary students and others. Several classes of Fine Arts students from Handsworth Secondary School have visited the exhibit, as have students from the Gifted Program. In addition, students in the French Immersion program at North Vancouver Secondary Schools recorded their perspectives on the exhibition, in French. These audioguides will be accessible to those using the Gordon Smith Gallery MyTours, the self-directed Gallery exhibition app available for download or on one of our iPads available to visitors. Many elementary teachers are bringing groups for half-day, self-guided tours using the Gordon Smith Gallery app.

We invite you to drop by the Gordon Smith Gallery and view this collection. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon – 5:00 p.m. The Gallery will be closed for the Christmas Break.

Winter After School Art Programs

Our after school art programs are growing in popularity each year and our winter 2018 classes are already more than 70 per cent full, with two classes already taking wait lists. Programs start the week of January 15, 2018 and run for eight weeks. These fun, children's art classes make a great gift, and the skills kids learn last a lifetime.

New Print Release

We are excited to announce that in the new year, we will be introducing a new Graham Gillmore print.  We'll be sending out more information about this latest edition in January.

Art Assistant Training Program

Thanks to a generous grant from the City of North Vancouver, we are proud to be able to offer our Art Assistant Training program. For three Wednesday afternoons in January, we will provide training to secondary students wishing to become art assistants or teacher's assistant. The classes will discuss what teachers need, what the assistants should expect and how they can best support instructors and kids so everyone can get the most from the class. For more information, or to register for the Art Assistant training, please contact our office at 604-903-3798.

Artist Training at Mountainside

Through a generous grant from Coast Capital Savings, we are pleased to be bringing art career training to students at Mountainside Secondary. Jud Beaumont and Tania Gleave will be at the school, working directly with the secondary students to help them discover their own skills and abilities beyond the classroom.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events. Until then, we wish you and your family a joyous holiday and New Year filled with creativity, health and happiness. 

Dec 05
Thousands of students experience Indigenous art

​At Artists for Kids, we understand how essential it is to provide training not just to students, but to teachers as well. When we share insights with our educators, they incorporate it into their classrooms, so students across the district benefit. 

boys drawing web size.jpg

Through the generous support of the Edith Lando Foundation, we were able to offer extensive training and curriculum development to almost 40 teachers in conjunction with our teaching exhibition titled Memory • History • Story. The training took place over several weeks in the Fall, and continues to be shared with teachers and students.

In late September, the gallery team, consisting of about ten teachers, received specific training about the works on display, the artists and the themes that the exhibit inspires. Through presentations, explorations, discussions and hands-on studio work, the teachers experienced, first-hand, the opportunity to bring visual learning into the classroom, supporting different learning styles and giving more kids the ability to feel success in the classroom. During the half-day instruction, Megan Smetzer, an art historian, provided insight into the Inuit collection. In addition, master art teacher Veis Dokhani who wrote the curriculum that accompanies the exhibit, presented the content to the gallery teachers.  

In mid-October, 30 teachers took part in generalist teacher training. They were introduced to the exhibit, the art, the artists and the themes of the show. They were also given the link to the MyTours app, which allows for a self-guided experience and lesson plans that allow them to share the insights with their students.

The training also provides a natural environment for professional support. "Teachers rarely get a chance to get together, to share ideas and strategies," says Yolande Martinello, Director of Artists for Kids. "We're always working with kids, but we spend all day in the classroom, so there isn't an opportunity to share best practices and stories about what worked and what didn't work in various situations."

kids taking notes web size.jpg

The exhibit has had extensive interest throughout the schools. The Aboriginal Education Department participated in a guided tour of the exhibit. Secondary students in the French Immersion program are touring the exhibit, providing critiques in French that will be available as voice clips and soundscapes on the MyTours app. The Gifted Students program is bringing in 160 students for workshops, allowing them to interpret and experience the art and lessons of Indigenous peoples.

group in gallery web size.jpg

"This exhibit in particular has been extremely well received and has brought in more groups of students than we have ever experienced," says Yolande Martinello, Director of Artists for Kids. More than 2,200 young people will come through the doors of the gallery and spend time amid art by our indigenous artists.

Not every classroom can make it to the gallery, so the Outreach Program is being extended to the classrooms across the North Shore. Throughout the year, one of our two master art teachers will be bringing a work of art and curriculum-specific lesson plan to more than 1,000 elementary students. Their two-hour program incorporates lessons about an artist, his or her art and the teachings that the art shares. Then the kids experience hands-on art making. The classroom teachers also benefit, as they experiences how to incorporate more visual arts training into their own lessons. Through the lunch break, the specialist Outreach teachers then share lesson plans and tools with other teachers at each school, potentially reaching every educator in every elementary school visited.

Through the generosity of the Edith Lando Foundation, we are able to bring more visual arts focus and directly elevate the impact of indigenization of the curriculum. This year alone, we will reach almost 5,000 students and 300 teachers.

We thank the Edith Lando Foundation for their support and their comprehension of the impact that targeted teacher training can on students this year and in the years that follow. 

Nov 28
Register your child now for Winter After School Art Programs

​Winter is our most popular time for our after school art classes. The New Year is a great opportunity for your child to discover a creative skill or pursue an existing one.

Winter ASAP in progress.png 

Our Winter After School Art programs are open for registration and already half the spaces are booked up and one class is full. Be sure to register your child soon, to avoid disappointment.

Classes begin the week of January 15, 2018 and run for eight weeks.

Taught by art specialist teachers and assisted by a secondary art student, our classes provide students with the opportunity to further their artistic ability and foster positive attitudes towards the visual arts. To celebrate the work created in the classes, we will proudly host an end-of-term student exhibition at the Gordon Smith Gallery on March 15, 2018. All students and parents are invited to visit the gallery and see the work created by their child and others.

We offer a wealth of classes for various ages and interests. Kids in grades 1 – 3 can explore Primarily Painting or pattern play with our newest class, Zentangle.

Those in Grades 2-4 can discover a range of Canadian artists in Artful Adventures, and the works of Pablo Picasso in Primarily Picasso.

Students in Grades 4-7 have added media to explore, including Clay Creations, Jewellery Making and the Art of Architecture.

Some of our After School Art Programs are held in the Shadbolt Studio, adjacent to the AFK offices at 2121 Lonsdale. Other programs are offered in schools throughout North Vancouver.

Register your young artist today, and bring creativity and inspiration to their new year.



Nov 14
Gordon Smith Exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery

​We are proud to announce that our founding patron artist, Gordon Smith, has an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The exhibition, titled Gordon Smith: The Black Paintings, runs through February 4, 2018.

Pachino 43.jpg

Gordon Smith, Pachino 43, acrylic on tarpaulin

These paintings are abstractions, often with collaged pieces. Many of the works reference his time in World War II when he was an intelligence officer, drawing maps from photographs. He was wounded at Pachino Beach in Sicily in 1943 and evacuated on a troop ship to North Africa that came under fire. By early 1944, he had arrived back in Vancouver. The black paintings evoke in us the loss and death experienced during wartime, a feeling that has never left him all these decades later, although Gordon admits to simply loving black.

gordon smith black paintings.jpg

Gordon Smith, Tanu, 1995, acrylic on canvas

Along with Bill Reid and Jack Shadbolt, he was a founding patron artist of Artists for Kids. He has been a tireless supporter of our work. Gordon insisted that we try to make Artists for Kids a national endeavour, so in 1992 he provided a portion of the Shannon Falls print edition to fund a trip east to engage some of the most important artists in Canada, making introductions to Guido Mollinari and Betty Goodwin in Montreal and Molly Lamb Bobak in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The result of his support through the funds and the introductions gave AFK national credibility and gave us new, significant Canadian artists to work with artistically and educationally for years to come.

We proudly hosted his exhibition North Shore in 2000. In connection with this exhibition, Gordon led a three-day painting enrichment program. Two years later, the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists was established to support our work. In 2009 we hosted Smith Works on Paper exhibition. His developmental studies showed the creative play with line, colour, contrasts, composition and found materials that are a large part of his process, and are on display in the current exhibition.

"Gordon is a vital and essential supporter of our work. Through his inspiration, dedication and reach, we have been able to transform Artists for Kids into the leading innovator of art education in the country," says Yolande Martinello, Director of Artists for Kids.

We encourage everyone to visit this exhibition and learn more about Gordon's work, his process and his perspective.

More information on the exhibition is available in an article in the Vancouver Sun

For tickets to the exhibition, which runs through February 4, 2018, visit the Vancouver Art Gallery's website


Nov 07
Art Teacher Award for Teresa Anton

​We are delighted to congratulate North Vancouver educator and AFK instructor Teresa Anton on her award for Excellence in Art Education, 2017, from the B.C. Art Teacher's Association.

Teresa and Daylen photo.jpg

        Daylen Luchsinger, Program Coordinator of AFK, 

    with Teresa Anton, holding her much-deserved award.

Teresa was nominated for this award by her peers. "Teresa's energy and enthusiasm has helped elevate the creative learning and visual skills of a generation of young artists," says Yolande Martinello, Director of Artists for Kids. "She brings a fresh, creative outlook to her students."

The award ceremony took place as part of the BCATA's Super Conference in Vancouver on October 20 – 21, 2017, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Teresa first worked with Artists for Kids in our after school art program, teaching Clay Creations. Her career as a secondary school educator on the North Shore began in 2004 when she taught at Balmoral Secondary School. Several years later she moved to Carson Graham Secondary School where she taught in the International Baccalaureate Program. Since 2014 she has taught at Handsworth Secondary. She has been a vital member of the AFK team as a gallery instructor and has brought her energy and creativity to several enrichment programs.

Teresa is a true leader in art education. Her positive, outgoing perspective sees every challenge as an opportunity. "With Teresa, everything is possible. She is innovative in her approach to projects. And her innate awareness of current art trends makes her an invaluable contributor to our students and their educational experience," says Yolande. "We congratulate Teresa on this award and thank her for her ongoing contribution to our students."

Oct 03
The impact of our Gallery education

​In conjunction with this year's teaching exhibition Memory • History • Story, we're pleased to be offering educational opportunities for students to experience art and First Peoples Principles of Learning, first hand.

Xwalacktun image for exhibit.jpg

                                   Xwalacktun, Ambleside Park Swa’y’wi 

Recently, the B.C. Ministry of Education developed new curriculum with a focus to indigenize all areas of learning. This change means not only adding and altering content in the various subject areas but also the methods used to teach these subjects. The exhibit provides students, educators and others with a resource to look at the way we, as individuals and as larger communities, learn.

The exhibition highlights three main sections:

1.     The front of the gallery celebrates the First Nations' crafts, materials and processes. The cedar tree plays an integral role in the spiritual beliefs and the ceremonial life of coastal First Nations and is a natural resource in the production of material goods. Cedar, the well-known symbol of the Northwest Coast, is represented by the welcome pole and the weavings. Other materials presented are Caribou and horsehair, used in the masks and the needle work.

2.     The main section of the gallery portrays the First Peoples Principles of Learning by grouping works into the four chosen areas of learning:

  • Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits and the ancestors.
  • Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships and a sense of place).
  • Learning is embedded in memory, history and story.
  • Learning requires exploration of one's identity.

3.     The Process Gallery honours the work of Kenojuak Ashevak and other Inuit artists. The focus on animals is evident in much of the work.

The Mezzanine Gallery features a selection of limited edition prints from our Indigenous artists. These prints are  available for purchase at our online print shop.

The art in the show is taken from the AFK teaching collection with the exception of three pieces that are on loan. Most of our Indigenous art is exhibited with the exception of a few pieces by artists already represented.

Windows to Canadian Art

Our program brings Grade 5 students to the Gordon Smith Gallery for a full day of art education and hands-on art learning. Each year, we create a curriculum that supports our teaching exhibition. Through this curriculum, we are able to weave together lessons from the themes of the art, stories of the artists and relevant Canadian cultural references. By presenting works of our Indigenous artists and their stories, we are able to share the experiences and insights of our First People with the next generation of Canadians.

This school year, the exhibition will welcome more than 45 classes or about 1,000 students, so if you see groups of young people in the gallery next time you visit, they may likely be part of an all-day Canadian cultural experience.

Outreach program

Not every class can make it into the gallery, so when funding is available, we take the gallery to schools. Through our outreach program, master art teachers Veis Dokhani and Catherine Schechter brings a work of art from our permanent collection to students at elementary schools. In this two-hour long program, social studies is blended with visual art skills to collectively support and enrich the students' curriculum. Through this outreach program, the students are introduced to the stories and perspectives of our Indigenous artists.

Teacher training

Through the generous support of the Edith Lando Foundation, we are able to offer focused teacher training this fall, bringing First Peoples Principles of Learning to up to 30 elementary teachers. These generalist educators will receive training that will allow them to incorporate more opportunities for visual learning into their lesson plans, reaching 600-plus students.

This year's teaching exhibition Memory• History• Story is an exceptional collection of art and an invaluable means to share the perspectives of Indigenous artists with our young people.





Sep 26
Culture Days marks the opening of our latest teaching exhibition

​Join us this weekend for North Shore Culture Days. From Friday, September 29 – Sunday, October 1, 2017, we will be hosting a range of events and activities that celebrate the arts and community. 

emily with art.jpg

    Studio Technician Emily Neufeld, preparing art for exhibition opening

Friday, September 29

On Friday, from noon to 4 p.m., join us for a sneak peek of our new teaching exhibition Memory • History • Story. Tours will be available.

From 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., meet the artist, master carver Darren Yelton, who goes by his Aboriginal name K'na'kweltn~ as he crafts a four-and-a-half-tonne, 350-year-old log into a kyactn, or welcome pole.

From 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. join us for the official opening of our exhibition. Tour the remarkable collection of work from our Indigenous artists and discover the stories of their art. 

In conjunction with our teaching exhibition Memory • History • Story, we're proud to release Thoughts of the Sea and Sky by Kenojuak Ashevak. This hand-coloured etching and aquatint is one of the last editions of this remarkable artist's work.

Volunteer exhibition.jpg

Throughout the weekend, visit the Volunteer's Exhibition in the lobby of The Gordon Smith Gallery. Many of our volunteers are talented artists themselves, so we're pleased to be able to show some of their works during Culture Days.

Saturday, September 30

2 – 3 p.m. Hear the joyous music of the Laudate Singers in the Gallery. After a mini-performance, everyone is invited to learn a Canadian classic from their repertoire, and join the choir in song.

Sunday, October 1

Noon – 2 p.m. Join the North Shore Chamber Orchestra and A Casual Arrangement for a Culture Days Orchestra Jam at the Gallery. Players of all ages are welcome to join in an informal sight-reading session of old and new music from Celtic, pop and classical traditions.

Enjoy a last look at our volunteer exhibition in the lobby.


This year's Culture Days will be a fun, eventful weekend. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events.


Sep 05
Back to Creativity

​The summer has passed faster than imagined, and here we are, post-Labour Day, starting a new school year filled with hope and opportunity.

At Artists for Kids, we're delighted to welcome all the young artists back to class. We're looking forward to offering more great After School Art Programs starting in October. From drawing and painting, to ceramics and jewellery making, our after school classes are always filled with creativity and fun. Online registration for these eight-week classes will open soon.

Lightheart image.jpgWe're also pleased to announce the opening of our exhibition Lighthearted in honour of Terry Lightheart, who passed away in September 2016. Terry was a businessperson, collector and artist whose passion for art was practiced through painting. In his estate he left a portion of his collection to Artists for Kids. To celebrate his love of art and Terry's belief that art should be enjoyed by as many people as possible, we are proud to present a two-week exhibition in his name. Lighthearted runs from Saturday, September 9 – September 23, 2017. Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 2-4 p.m., sponsored by Darby's Public House. A small portion of the collection will be available for sale, including works by Jack Shadbolt and Gordon Smith. Funds raised will go towards AFK Bursaries in Terry's name. 

Throughout the year, we are proud to be offering a hands-on experience to students in our Windows to Canadian Art gallery program. In conjunction with our upcoming teaching exhibition Memory•History•Story, we are proud to welcome master carver Darren Yelton, who goes by his Aboriginal name K'na'kweltn~ as he crafts a four-and-a-half-tonne tree. In time, the 350-year-old log will be a kyactn, or welcome pole. Throughout the year, students in our Gallery program will be able to participate by picking up the chisel and making a mark in the totem, to experience first-hand the carving experience. We will host a pole-raising ceremony on National Aboriginal Day in June 2018. 

There will be many other events and activities throughout the fall, so please check regularly for updates. Until then, welcome back.





1 - 10Next

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Blog Tools

 About this blog

About this blog
At Artists for Kids, we are dedicated to educating the next generation of Canadian Artists. This blog, which is updated regularly, shares stories of art-based activities, resources, events, exhibitions and classes, all which contribute to a richer creative and cultural community. We invite you to visit our blog often.