About the Koffler Gallery Education Program

Koffler Gallery’s education programs help students expand their creativity, develop their visual literacy and sharpen their communication skills. Interactive gallery tours prompt students to analyse the formal aspects and meaning of artworks, enabling them to share their own interpretations while gaining understanding of the intentions of artists. Tours are followed by in-gallery art-making workshops inspired by the works in the exhibition, giving students the opportunity to express their views of the world around them and their personal feelings, experiences and ideas.

Winter 2019

Exhibition Tour

Ghazaleh Avarzamani’s artistic practice encompasses a variety of artistic forms, including textiles, needlework, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and installation. Never Never Land, her first solo exhibition in Canada, expands on a recent body of work that examines the construction of experience-based knowledge and memory through games and playgrounds as formative devices that engage participants in a process of learning failure, progress and interactivity.

By exploring notions of endurance and erasure through the materiality of her work, Avarzamani aims to expose the paradoxical realities behind the surface of society and its traditions, educational methodologies and cultural utopias.


Activity 1: Game of Life/ Snakes and Ladders
This workshop will explore the life lessons imbedded within familiar board games such as the Snakes and Ladders and the original Game of Life. In groups, participants will be asked to collectively reimagine the rules and conditions of advancement, failure and success within the game of their choosing. By re-thinking the instructions and design of the game, participants are asked to reflect on their own perceptions of vice, virtue, accomplishment and defeat.

This activity will be followed by playing their newly created games along with discussion on how they changed the games to reflect their own values and understanding of life.

Activity 2: Failure Toss / Morality Play
This workshop will use collective game-play as a tool for addressing notions of failure and ethics. Two games will be played: Failure Toss and Morality Play.

Failure Toss provides an opportunity to explore students’ past challenges and shift their inner conversation from a sense of inadequacy to the valuable lessons learned. Participants are asked to create a list of the failures they have experienced and the wisdom they have gained. They will then be asked to discuss their perceptions of failure, their experiences with it, and how this has shaped their lives or brought them wisdom. Of the two personal lists, participants will be asked to choose either to discard one and keep the other, to keep both, or to throw away both, while given the opportunity to share which option they choose, why and how does that make them feel.

In Morality Play, participants will be presented with choices of different moral scenarios. In groups, they will be asked to decide what they think is a morally right response to the scenario selected. Participants will then be asked to defend their position and engage in a discussion where they will weigh their judgement against counter-arguments from other participants who may think differently. 

Ontario Curriculum Links

Elementary Jr. Level: Visual Arts (3-6)

D2.1 Interpret a variety of artworks and identify feelings, issues, themes and social concerns that they convey.
D2.3 Demonstrate an understanding of how to read and interpret signs, symbols and styles in art works.
D3.1 Identify and describe some of the ways in which visual art forms and styles reflect the traditions of a variety of cultures and civilizations.
D3.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the function of visual arts and artistic traditions today and in the past and of their influence on the development of personal identity and cultural ways of living.

Elementary Sr. Level: Visual Arts (7-8)

D2.1 Interpret a variety of artworks and identify feelings, issues, themes and social concerns that they convey.
D2.3 Demonstrate an understanding of how to read and interpret signs, symbols and styles in art works.
D3.1 Identify and explain some of the ways in which artistic traditions in a variety of times and places have been maintained, adapted, or appropriated.
D3.2 Identify and analyze some of the social, political, and economic factors that affect the creation of visual and media arts and the visual and media arts community.

High School: Visual Arts and Media Arts (9-12)

A1.1 Using a variety of strategies, collaboratively, to generate ideas and to develop plans for the creation of artwork (e.g. class/group brainstorming sessions, synthetic charts)
A2.2 Modify the elements and/or principles of an existing art work to achieve a particular intent and compare the effects of the original and modified work.
B1.1 Identify and describe their initial reactions to a variety of artworks.
B1.3 Identify and reflect on the qualities of their own art works and the works of others and evaluate the effectiveness of these works.
B2.1 Describe the role of the arts as a vehicle for both cultural expression and the individual expression of the artist, with reference to works from both the past and the present.
B2.2 Identify ways in which various art works reflect the societies they were created.
B2.3 reflect and explain how creating and analysing art works has affected their personal identity and values and/or changed their perception of society and social issues.

To Register:  Click here to access our online booking form

For more information on the Koffler Gallery public programs and tours, please contact:

Patricia Ritacca
Public Engagement Coordinator, Koffler Gallery
647.925.0643 x221

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