Photo: Stephen Lam

Art Express

Designed for grades K–6, this program brings Museum Guides to the classroom to lead a hands-on art activity exploring a featured artist and artwork from the museum’s collection. During each session, Museum Guides use posters or projected images to introduce students to works from SFMOMA’s collection, along with a book carefully selected to align with the featured artist or a video from the series The Country Dog Gentlemen Travel to Extraordinary Worlds. Art Express aims to build on classroom learning: it addresses ELA Common Core State Standards, including critical-thinking and analytical skills, while developing content knowledge. The program is free of charge.

Art Express is generously supported by Deborah and Kenneth Novack.

Building Blocks of Art (grades K–2; length: 45 minutes)

Learn how artists use the basic art elements—line, shape, and color—to create dynamic works of art. Josef Albers, Henri Matisse, or Piet Mondrian may be featured.


A Sense of Place (grades K−6; length: 45 minutes)

How do artists represent the world around them? Discover how modern masterpieces were inspired by their surroundings. Georgia O’Keeffe, Diego Rivera, or Joseph Stella may be featured.


Face to Face (grades K−6; length: 45 minutes)

For centuries, artists have depicted people in their art. Sometimes the people represented are the artist’s friends or family; other times they are strangers or celebrities; and, of course, the artist’s own face is always an available subject. Frida Kahlo, René Magritte, or Andy Warhol may be featured.


Transforming the Everyday (grades 3–6)

Artists often incorporate elements of the everyday into their art, infusing objects with new and symbolic meaning in order to represent themselves or issues they want to address. Louise Bourgeois, Jackson Pollock, or Robert Rauschenberg may be featured.