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Educational workshops at the LaM (Lille Art Moderne): Art unleashed

5 July 2016

In Lille, a museum is blithely doing away with borders: between artistic expression forms of the 20th and 21st centuries, between art and the public. A visit focused on the LaM Educational Workshops.

Because art should be more widely shared and practiced, the LaM Educational Workshops welcome groups of students, adolescents and adults to the LaM; on occasion, they relocate to a prison for the benefit of detainees. "In total, 25,000 students take these workshops every year, a number increasing since 2010, mainly within the region," explains Violaine Digonnet, in charge of school groups. Good news: attendance by secondary school students is increasing, especially if their teachers in the plastic arts have taken training at the LaM (5 free 2-hr. courses). "The interest generated encourages them to return for workshops with their students, a good way to strengthen artistic practice in the secondary school!" Violaine Digonnet emphasizes, preparing to let them explore the museum and create modules for themselves.

Which workshops?  

To foster this opening to Art, the choice of workshops is vast, structured according to age (from 4 years), the time of year, the current exhibitions within LaM's walls, often custom made. Typically, the 1:30 p.m. meeting includes a visit to a collection or an exhibition to encounter the works, followed by a workshop to build on the experience and express in an uninhibited manner.

Which educational methods?

The educational workshops are intended to reveal the masterpieces of art history by giving each person the opportunity to practice techniques similar to those of the greatest artists of our timeThe educational field is vast. "Depending on the meetings, we encourage individual or collective creative expansion, by either a directed or very free approach inspired by the Freinet method," explains Violaine Digonnet. "The philosophy workshops are different: visits not followed by workshops, during which the guide is no longer positioned as a transmitter of knowledge, but instead questions the children, invites them to express their critical thinking and to have confidence."

Some examples?

Masks - after having observed the portraits in the exceptional collections of  modern or contemporary art brut at LaM, the budding artists are invited to sculpt masks in 3D, using colored paper.
Frescoes - a large roll of Canson paper is spread on the floor for small children to trace the contours of templates with varied forms, superimposing them, before adding colors. These collective works are often spectacular!
Craft - salvaged materials find a second life in an artistic expression made of assemblies, in the manner of the art brut artist André Robillard.

Canson® paper: a truly versatile tool!

The LaM Educational Workshops have selected Canson paper "for their quality and for the diversity of colors, as well as the formats, textures and weights," indicates Violaine Digonnet. "To develop their creativity, we teach the participants of our workshops to redirect the use of conventional tools, a freedom we love that is characteristic of contemporary art.."The variety of this material allows for thousands of innovative uses. In sheets or roll, flat or in volume, painted in observing the fusion of colors or listening to the squeaking of the chalk, noisily wrinkled, torn, or carefully carved: each time, the sensory experience is different and offers new horizons, including for the teachers.


LaM, 1 allée du Musée
59650 Villeneuve d’Ascq

Tél. : +33 (0)3 20 19 68 68

Fax : +33 (0)3 20 19 68 99


Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. - (ticket counter closes at 5:30 p.m.)
Closed Monday - Closed January 1, May 1 and December 25.
Museum parking is accessible Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.