Education programs for students with intellectual disability

Starting with Art

Starting with Art is a free one-hour tour and workshop for Years K–12 designed to take children on a journey of discovery and adventure through the Art Gallery of NSW’s collection and selected temporary exhibitions. The program provides the opportunity to experience art through stimulating and engaging workshops and includes discussion, role-play and the use of sensory materials. Students are also given the opportunity to make artworks using a variety of materials.

Benefits for students

Provides an opportunity to:

  • engage directly with artworks
  • express themselves in a supportive environment
  • learn through visual and sensory experiences
  • build on the knowledge they have
  • create works of art with materials that are familiar and fun to use
  • build self-esteem
  • feel welcomed in the Gallery

Supporting resources

Pre- and post-visit activities are incorporated into this program. Pre-visit activities, including a viewing of the selected images before the visit, aim to provide students with preliminary familiarity and understanding of the works, which will enhance the exhibition experience. Resource material is provided at the time of booking


Exploring emotions in art

Discover how contemporary artists explore and depict human emotions.

Unpacking contemporary art

Connect with artworks in the contemporary galleries through close observation, discussion, open-ended questions, role-play and the use of sensory materials. Respond to the artworks by making your own 3D sculptural artwork using a variety of tactile materials.

A walk in the bush

Discover the flora, fauna and stories of the Australian bush through paintings in the Gallery’s Australian collection.

The body in sculpture

Learn about the materials and methods used by artists to portray the human form in three dimensions.

The nature of art

Explore the ways in which artists have used the natural environment as a source of inspiration.

Courtly magic

Journey into the past and meet a colourful cast of characters from history through grand paintings in the European collection.

Mastering Impressionism

Observe how important light and colour were to the French Impressionists and explore the tools they used to create their masterpieces.

Exhibition-specific tours

The Gallery also offers Starting with Art tours and workshops for some specific exhibitions. These are listed under Education for the relevant exhibition. See What’s on

1 hour
Max 8 students per group
Two weeks notice required
Bookings essential

Make a booking

For further information:
access programs coordinator
Tel 02 9225 1740

Supported by

Variety the children's charity


Sponsor message

Variety is proud to support the Starting with Art program. As a charitable organisation, which is dedicated to empowering children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs to live, laugh and learn, we see this education program aligning directly to our core mission and values.