The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands’ education programs have gotten off to a busy start already this school year with a number of visits from local schoolchildren.

Year 3 students from St. Ignatius took in a field trip to the National Gallery on Wednesday, Jan. 4. The students toured the gallery’s temporary exhibition, Speak to Me – Understanding the Language of Art, where they learned about symbolism, and had fun completing the “Paladin’s Quest” floor puzzle art installation by Aston Ebanks.

They then headed to the Susan A. Olde Art Studio to put their newfound knowledge of symbolism to use by creating self-portraits incorporating personal symbols to reflect their individual identities.

After the visits, the students continued working on their pieces at school, and proudly displayed their work in the hallway for all to see.

The following week, the gallery welcomed 97 George Town Primary students in Years 3, 4, and 6, who experienced different tours and educational activities.

On Tuesday, Year 3s enjoyed a Minds Inspired Active Learning Series tour of the gallery’s permanent collection and gathered to paint watercolor turtles at the art studio.

Then on Wednesday, Year 4 students had fun touring the Deutsche Bank Sculpture Gardens and the gallery’s permanent collection to learn all about Cayman’s ecosystems.

On Thursday, the school’s Year 6 students toured the Speak to Me exhibition, then took part in the self-portrait exercise at the art studio.

“The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is a fantastic resource for students and teachers. Tours can be customized to fit school curriculum goals, and hands-on educational activities make memorable learning experiences. Tours are free and come with additional resources for teachers to bring back to the classrooms,” said the gallery’s communications and public engagement manager Kaitlyn Elphinstone.

“Grants to assist with transportation are available, making art and lessons in the culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands accessible to all schoolchildren.”

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