For Youth

I have learned that my students have multiple modalities and ways to express themselves creatively. I have been able to use the techniques and Art Encounter’s vocabulary into my day-to-day lessons. The students have found a variety of ways to express their artwork versus just doing the ordinary or expected thing to do. They have found their inner artist and creativity!”
– Janet Torres, teacher- Haugan School


Art Encounter’s work with youth in schools is the cornerstone of our education programs. With our innovative approach to teaching art appreciation across curricula, our in-school programs have demonstrated proven ability to promote critical thinking and creativity and expand students’ understanding of their world through discussions of original art brought to the classroom. We offer both customized and set programs that provide fine arts instruction as well as integrated instruction with language arts and math.


ARTiculations is an integrated eight-week residency program that fosters appreciation for the visual arts and builds art vocabulary and art-making skills, while concurrently connecting to language arts and writing goals. Over two months, third and fourth grade students investigate real works of art using the Art Encounter discussion method, create their own original art using a variety of artistic media, and write about their artwork in personal art journals. Art Encounter’s teaching artists engage the students in an interactive dialogue that helps the children articulate their perceptions and understand different points of views, and lead hands-on activities that stimulate their imaginations and deepen their understanding of artistic concepts. Between sessions, students write about their artwork in forms that include poetry, descriptive and creative writing, helping them translate their visual perceptions into words. The project concludes with a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago to see famous artworks that further demonstrate the concepts learned in the classroom.

The Language of Art

The Language of Art is a condensed version of ARTiculations, designed to take place over three sessions. The program that focuses on looking at artworks, creating original student projects in response to that work, and writing about those student projects tailored to the teacher’s curriculum. Over the course of this program, students develop skills in multiple areas of literacy and art appreciation, and connect to their classroom community through self-reflection and project sharing.


Insight/On-Site focuses primarily on art discussion in one or two single visits to schools. Teaching artists lead lively interactive conversations of original art that they bring to the classroom. Students explore a variety of artistic approaches to the themes of People and Places. The artwork we bring includes paintings, fiber works and prints, representing artists of diverse ethnic heritage.


MathART is an eight-week residency for 5th graders modeled after ARTiculations, but with a focus on teaching grade-level mathematical concepts through art explorations. Each session, students investigate original artworks based on mathematical relationships, and do hands-on activities that require working with those math concepts. Through this integrated process, students have another pathway to understanding theoretical and practical applications of problem solving.

Our outreach programs have maintained long partnerships with the following schools:


• Courtney Language Arts Center
• Dewey Academy
• DeWitt Clinton Elementary
• Gale Math and Science Academy
• Goethe Elementary School
• Haugan Elementary
• Kingsley School (Evanston)
• Langford Academy
• Manierre Elementary School
• North River Elementary
• Oakdale Elementary
• Oakdale School (Waukegan)
• Orrington School (Evanston)
• Otis World Language Academy.
• Washington School (Evanston)