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Explores: Our Province at Play

ArtStarts Explores: Our Province at Play is the same great programming we offer at the ArtStarts' Gallery—online!

Young artists can continue creating together, practice physical distancing, and connect with fellow explorers from across the province and beyond!

ArtStarts invites all families to this fun and free online drop-in program where they can investigate and discover the world around them through observing, touching, drawing, moving, getting messy, and listening to inspire creative learning.

Join us on Facebook live at 11am every Saturday!

ArtStarts Explores features a different guest artist facilitator on a monthly basis. If you're a BC-based artist interested in learning more about leading a workshop, contact our public programs manager at [email protected].

Watch recent episodes of Explores

In case you missed it, check out a recent episode of ArtStarts Explores and create along, for free. View our entire archive of workshop episodes below.


A texture is the feeling, or appearance or a surface, or the consistency of a substance. Basically, it is the look and feel of an object. If you touch a plastic ball, what kind of texture does it have? When you look at the grass compared to a sidewalk, what is different about their surfaces? Can you imagine what it is like to touch a carpet compared to touching a shirt or your pants?
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Watch theme video
Exploring Look and Feel workshop
Exploring Random and Ordered Patterns workshop
Exploring Textures in Nature workshop


Can we take something we do with our bodies and represent it on a piece of paper with a mark-making tool? What words can represent an image? What can we learn from other artists when we copy their styles and techniques? How do we copy responsibly? Let's learn about translating, copying, and interpreting together.
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Exploring Copying with Respect workshop
Exploring Equal but Not the Same with Equivalents workshop
Exploring Sounds and Movement with Equivalents workshop


Comics are arranged with individual squares that feature cartoon drawings and text bubbles or boxes with prose. Altogether, the panels tell a story! In this theme, we explore creating our own stories using comics!
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Exploring Lettering and Dialogue with Comics workshop
Exploring Time and Space with Comics workshop
Exploring the Rules (and breaking them) with Comics workshop


Have you ever made a zine, or opened a birthday card, or read a pop-up book? Folding a page can hide and reveal all kinds of things that turn a regular piece of paper into a story, a joke, or a new learning experience!

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Exploring Mark Making and Folding workshop
Exploring Storytelling with Folding workshop
Exploring 3D with Folding workshop


If ‘X’ is you looking for family fun every Saturday morning, then ArtStarts Explores: Maps marks the spot! For the month of February, set your sights on our weekly online programming as we embark on a journey of creating and learning together through maps. We will be exploring scale, direction, location, and distance, as well as map related questions that unfold such as how folks come to inhabit different lands.
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Exploring Fantasy World Building workshop
Exploring Real Space, Scale and Planning workshop
Exploring Maps with Our Bodies workshop


Our January ArtStarts Explores theme is String! If think about it, you probably have a piece of string on you right now! From clothing and sewing, to jewelry, to binding and organizing, string has so many uses, and is available in so many varieties. Whether it’s a thin thread, or a multi-strand piece of cord, string is a multi-purpose material and tool that offers us so many different avenues to explore!

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Watch theme video
Exploring Drawing with String workshop
Exploring Painting with String workshop
Exploring Storytelling with String workshop


Another way of saying contrast is “opposition” or opposites, but you can also explore contrast through differences, tension, and even complimentary partnerships. In art, contrast can be an exploration of different colours, textures, materials, themes, ideas, and so much more!
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Watch theme video
Exploring Backgrounds
Exploring Depth
Exploring Halftones
Exploring Different Shades of Grey
Exploring Still-Life & Grey

Mark Making

Mark making can mean a lot of different things, but at its heart it’s really simple - it is you making your mark! Your gesture is unique to you because it’s you that makes it.

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Watch theme video
Exploring Opposites workshop
Exploring Words workshop
Exploring Expressive Marks & Non-Visual Contour Drawings workshop
Exploring Journaling & Mark Time Capsules workshop


If you joined us in April 2020, you know how much the format of our online series has changed! So, for Season 3, we explore previous themes, starting with FRAMING. We're adding workshops to our very first theme series that we started in spring 2020. You can also go back and compare these episodes to some of the first episodes in our archive. What has changed? What do you notice?
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Watch theme video
Exploring Compositions workshop
Exploring White Space, Depth and More workshop
Exploring Compositions with Frames workshop
Exploring What's NOT in the Frame workshop
Exploring Depth and Emphasis workshop


Circles don’t have any start or end, but to make a circle, you have to start somewhere. Try drawing different circles. What do you notice about where you start, and where you end? Do the ends and beginnings of your circle really disappear? What happens to ends and beginnings when you draw your circle fast or slow?

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Watch theme video
Exploring Drawing Techniques workshop
Exploring Different Perspectives workshop
Exploring Emotions workshop


Let’s take a chance! We encourage you to be brave and try new things, even when you aren’t sure how something will work out. Mistakes lead us to be creative problem solvers! Taking a chance gives us the opportunity to discover something we never would have. This week, we're rolling the dice, planning nothing, and seeing what happens when we just let things happen!
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Watch theme video
Exploring Mistakes and Rules workshop
Exploring Taking Playful Risks
Exploring Cards as a Chance Artmaking Tool
Exploring Reimagining Our Bodies


Have you ever taken a picture of a landscape? If you've ever taken or made a picture of a scene without a human in the picture, you probably have! Explore landforms, framing using nature, and consider how the land around us is just as interesting (and sometimes more so) than the people and animals on it!

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Exploring Landforms workshop
Exploring Different Perspectives workshop
Exploring the word "Natural" with Landscapes
Exploring Landforms within Landscapes
Exploring Participating with Landscapes


Grids are made up of a bunch of lines that cross each other to form a series of square or rectangles. They're a useful tool, and not just for art-making. They are used by photographers, architects, digital artists and programmers, city planners, mathematicians, and more. Once you start practicing using grids, you’ll start noticing patterns and systems that rely on grids, and recognizing how present they are are in your daily life!
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Exploring Lines and Patterns workshop
Exploring Copying with Grids workshop
Exploring Contortion Art with Grids workshop
Exploring Making Games with Grids workshop


The word collage means "to stick together" in French. While most people think collage is only for visual arts (sticking things on a page), if we think about it, we can stick together a lot of things. Different pieces of music can be stuck together to create new songs and musical styles; quilting is when we take pieces of fabric and sew them together. We explore the act of taking something apart and putting it together again in different ways - to help us learn new ways of looking and creating!

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Watch theme video
Exploring Without Glue workshop
Exploring Mashups workshop
Exploring Ready Mades with Collage workshop
Exploring Making Wordy Pictures workshop
Exploring Collage with Friends workshop


It's as easy as A-B-C. When we learn our letters, we're doing so much more than just learning to read! We're learning to recognize patters, to draw and communicate abstract ideas, and how to archive and record ideas and experiences. The Alphabet that we learn in Canada (using Latin, or Roman letters) are also only one kind of alphabet. This episode of Explores looks at our alphabet, alphabets used by different people and languages across BC and around the world, and even takes apart letters, only to put them back together in ways that go beyond reading and writing.
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Exploring Texture, Cyphers, and Letters workshop
Exploring Typography workshop
Exploring Alphabet Selfies workshop
Exploring Getting Ideas with Chance Games and Alphabets workshop
Exploring Acrostics workshop


Erasers are often used to fix mistakes - but they are so much more than that! Give your eraser a makeover, and start using your eraser as an art-making tool. In this episode of Explores, we rethink making "mistakes" and what it means to shift our thinking away from needing to hide or cover our mistakes by removing them altogether, and learn how to incorporate accidental marks into our creative process.
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Watch theme video
Exploring Mistakes workshop
Exploring Erasers as a Tool workshop
Exploring Mark Making with Erasers workshop
Exploring Erasers as Objects workshop
Exploring Anything but Erasing workshop


In ArtStarts Explores: Shadows, we look at the uses of light and opacity in creating different kinds of shadows! We ask questions like: How can our bodies become shadow makers and storytellers? And if we want to leave our shadows behind, how do we make them permanent?

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Watch theme video
Exploring Light Sources workshop
Exploring Opacity workshop
Exploring Storytelling with Shadows workshop
Exploring Drawing with Shadows workshop


Tracing can be used in so many facets of art exploration, from learning methods, to playing, to outlining, to finalizing your mark-making! We explore ways to incorporate tracing in our process.

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Watch theme video
Exploring Copies and Patterns workshop
Exploring Compositions and Deep Looking workshop
Exploring the Same but Different workshop
Exploring Drawing Techniques with Tracing workshop
Exploring the Tracing of Objects workshop