Our school tour program combines educational exhibition tours with hands-on art activities for students of all ages. Our exhibition tours allow students to engage with art by artists from our community and beyond.  The group discussions in these tours provide students with a shared learning experience while exercising creative and critical thinking. The hands-on art activities provide a fun, creative extension to the students’ learning experience, while helping them develop specific artistic skills and visual literacy. The Art Center’s diversity of exhibitions and educational programs support various disciplines in the Ontario Education Curriculum. We strive to create meaningful experiences for students and teachers.

Guided visits are led by the Art Centre’s Program Director and  practicing artists.  All groups must register at least three weeks in advance.

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

Inspire a Student Donation Program

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 2018-19

Kinsmen Club of St. Thomas

Carolyn and Gary McLeod

Williams Funeral Home

Elgin Contracting and Restoration

Talbot Trail Optimist Club

Optimist Club of St. Thomas Bingo

Malcolm and Monique Wood

Optimist Club of St. Thomas Bingo

Centennial Sports Club

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