Visit CAL!

As a community art gallery exhibiting works in a wide range of media by local living artists, Columbia Art League can be a valuable resource for PreK-12 classroom educators and university faculty and students. Exhibition themes and artwork content provide compelling cross-disciplinary connections with visual art, language arts, social studies, art history, cultural studies, and many more classroom subjects. See Exhibitions.

Gallery Visits

School and university classroom groups can schedule a visit to the CAL gallery during open hours Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm, Saturday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, or can arrange a visit during other times that are convenient for the group. These visits can be self-guided, or educators and group leaders can request a Group Welcome/Gallery Introduction by the Education Director or Executive Director, when available.

PreK-12 classroom groups are encouraged to divide into smaller groups of 5-6 students with chaperones. Since artworks are one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable artist creations, it is important for group leaders to implement proper classroom management to ensure the safety of the objects. Students should be prepared for gallery visit experiences with the understanding to "look with their eyes, but not with their hands." Educators are encouraged to have students participate in individual or small group written assignments or sketching exercises during their visits.

Gallery Studio Workshops

Educators or group leaders for community organizations can schedule a Gallery Studio Workshop, which includes looking at art in the gallery and art-making in the studio classroom. Because of space, CAL can accommodate groups of up to 15 children or teens at a time. The price for Gallery Studio Workshops ranges between $50-$100 per group, depending on materials requested and the size of the group.

Possible Gallery Studio Workshop topics include focus on a particular medium (drawing, painting, sculpture), or a thematic approach (exhibition topic, elements of art, narrative art), or can be tailored to the group. CAL Artist/Educators use Visual Thinking Strategies© to engage children and teens in viewer-centered discussions of works of art. The Visual Thinking Strategies are designed to promote visual literacy and aesthetic development, as well as students’ analytical and critical thinking, and oral communication skills. For more information on VTS, please see

Classroom Pre-Visits

CAL Education Director Karen Shortt-Stout makes periodic classroom visits to area schools upon request. She participates annually in Columbia Public Schools’ Career Days at Gentry, Lange and Smithton middle schools, “Russell University” at Russell Elementary, the Gifted Center’s Summer Opportunities Night and programs at CAL Partner-in-Education Lee Expressive Arts School. She also makes presentations to university classes on arts careers and marketing the arts. Karen can work with classroom teachers to discuss curriculum connections and lead a classroom pre-visit session prior to the school group visit to CAL’s downtown gallery. 

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Shortt-Stout: 573-443-8838 or Karen.