Art Studio

About Art Around You:

Every AAY usually starts with a guided tour of the current exhibition at University Galleries, which allows students to explore and interact with local artists in a new and profound way. It also provides inspiration for a special art making activity that happens after the tour at the Children’s Discovery Museum. The art making that occurs after the tour further expands on the media and ideas used by the artists students learned about. Each session of AAY focuses on a “spotlight artist(s)” to inspire our art making. This program is made possible by the MIRZA Arts & Culture grant funded by the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation and our continued collaboration with Illinois State University’s University Galleries.

For this special, online art making activity there will not be a guided tour included, but University Galleries is now open for in person viewings of the exhibitions! We strongly encourage visiting the gallery to get the full experience before or after making the artwork in this lesson. Please visit to schedule your visit online or call (309) 438-5487. You can also view images of the exhibition on the University Galleries website.

About the Current Exhibition:

Making Our Space: Members of the Peoria Guild of Black Artists is a group exhibition featuring fourteen members of the ever-expanding Peoria-based artists guild, often referred to as PGOBA. The artist collective was organized in June 2020 following the murder of George Floyd — and in response to nationwide uprisings and the Black Lives Matter movement — to focus on celebrating and uplifting the voices of Black artists in Peoria, Illinois. This exhibition explores Black identity, Black joy, and Black community through painting, drawing, graphic design, illustration, printmaking, photography, video, performance, and poetry.

Joyful Marker Printmaking

This artmaking activity will combine some of the focuses and media used by the PGOBA in this exhibition including printmaking, poetry, and joy. You will be creating a marker print with simple materials about something that brings you joy and then create a fun, Haiku style poem to go with it.


  • 2 pieces of paper the same size (thick paper works best)
  • plastic food storage bag (same size or bigger than your papers)
  • regular markers (just not permanent/dry erase)
  • a spray bottle with water
  • another piece of paper for a poem
  • pencil
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Art Around You

a button linking to the registration page

Family Paint Nights

a button linking to the registration page

Pre-registration is required. There will be no ticket sales at the door. This to maintain safety and program quality. Thank you for your understanding. 

Art Around You: Exploring Contemporary Art in the Community  

Join us for an in-person, hands-on art exploration experience!  As a class, take a live virtual tour of University Galleries led by their staff and then explore new art styles and media as you create your own artwork inspired by the tour. 

Registration closes 7 days in advance of program and will need a minimum of 5 students to run. All participants are required to wear a mask for the entirety of the program. Students will each have their own table and set of supplies- materials will not be shared with other program participants. A current Child Participation form and COVID-19 Waiver form are required for participation and can be printed, filled out and brought in or filled out upon arrival. 

Age: 7-10 years old

Cost: Free with pre-registration thanks to a grant from Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, Inc. (IPCF) 

Date  Time Exhibition 
Family Paint Night:
Join us for a fun opportunity to create and paint together as a family! Each family ticket (one adult & one child) includes two canvases that you will keep. All art supplies needed for the activity are provided and guided instruction is given. No prior painting experience is required!

All participants are required to wear a mask for the entirety of the program. Classes will be limited to 5 adult/student pairs in each group. Each program will need a minimum of 2 adult/student to run

Ages: Children in grades K-5 and adult
Cost: $35 Members / Museums for All
          $40 Non-Members
Cost Beginning June 1:
$36 Members / Museums for All
$41 Non-Members
Date Time  Theme 
July 8  6-8 p.m. Summer Firefly Jars Canvas Painting 
Aug. 12 6-8 p.m. Marshmallows Over a Campfire Canvas Painting 
Our Art Studio is a permanent exhibit, included in your trip to the Children’s Discovery Museum. The Art Studio follows a TAB (Teaching Artistic Behavior) model and offers 9 different art media centers that follow a fun and engaging theme! Each center has a hands-on, guided art project to create or interactive art activity- great for all ages and stages! The projects explore all types of art materials and subjects and include detailed, visual instructions to guide you each step of the way. The Art Studio center art projects and theme are changed monthly, so there is bound to be something new to explore each visit. Check out the Art Studio on the 3rd floor of the CDM near the elevator and see what you can create today!