School and youth groups can explore the Art Centre’s collection and current exhibitions on an interactive visit. Guided visits are led by the Art Centre’s Education Coordinator and  practicing artists.  All groups must register at least three weeks in advance.

Tours stress critical thinking, observation skills, and creative evaluation through close examination and discussion of works of art and meet the Ontario Curriculum.

To book your students please contact Sherri Howard, Program Director email

We take comfort in the fact that donors appreciate the importance that art education can have on children and that equal exposure to the wonders of art should be given to all students, whatever age group and whatever their family backgrounds could be, because one never knows where talent might be hidden. 

We are deeply grateful for  their continued support. 

Inspire a Student Donors:

Carolyn and Gary McLeod

Williams Funeral Home

Port Stanley Lions Club

Lions Club of St. Thomas

Centennial Sports Club

Optimist Club Talbot Trail

Dr. Wood and Mrs. Monique Wood

Optimist Club of St. Thomas

Elgin Contracting and Restoration

Kinsmen Club of St. Thomas

The Rotary Club of St. Thomas

Why Promote Art Education?


Art education develops self-esteem, appreciation of the work of others, self-expression, cooperation with others, and critical thinking skills, skills vital to the success of our future leaders --- our children.

A well-developed program of making and studying art serves many functions. They help students better articulate their perceptions and shape coherent responses to their experiences. When children learn to appreciate form and colour...when they learn the importance of fashioning their own images of the world around them, they achieve greater discipline and self confidence.

Too often, the value of participation in the arts is underestimated. The arts enrich our lives and enrich our learning. And the arts are a valuable learning tool that reinforces the other disciplines, like reading, writing, social studies, even science and math.

The St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre is a non-profit organization that encourages and facilitates the visual arts in St. Thomas and Elgin County.  It is our goal to “enrich the human creative spirit through nurturing and supporting the visual art”.

At the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, we want every child to experience how to express themselves artistically by learning to value themselves from within. The Art Centre believes that every child and student is talented and capable of growing through an art experience. Every student will benefit from a quality art experience, especially one that combines gaining knowledge, developing skills and providing opportunities for self expression. Many children throughout our community may never have this opportunity - as financial constraints at home and in their schools make it impossible.

The Art Centre is dedicated to developing young artists. The “Inspire a Student” program is an inexpensive way to provide St. Thomas and Elgin County students with an experience that many of them would not be able to afford without the generous support of community businesses. The cost for sponsoring a student is $3.00 (cost of materials) and  your donation of  $300.00 will support 100 students! 


For more information please contact us at 519 631-4040 or email