School Tours

Students explore the ICA’s architecture, special exhibitions and/or the permanent collection with a guided tour, then delve into their own hands-on investigations and problem-solving with a related art making activity in the Bank of America Art Lab. Organized around themes exploring ideas, materials and processes in contemporary art, architecture and design, these combined Tour + Art Lab programs are offered in two-hour blocks (approximately one hour gallery visit and one hour Art Lab.) This combined program is offered on the following days
and times. Three weeks advance notice is required to schedule.

Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
10 am – 12 pm, 11 am – 1 pm, or 12 – 2 pm
Thursdays only, 4 – 6 pm (for after-school groups)

To book these tours, please return to the Group Visits page, fill out the registration form and return it to the Tour Program Manager as instructed. Please note that the form must be recieved at least 3 weeks prior to the tour date.

Art Lab Themes

Note: Tours work with a varied selection of artworks from the ICA permanent collection and special exhibitions unless otherwise specified when scheduling. Typical tours have the chance to visit multiple museum galleries and make comparisons.

Introduction to Contemporary Art and Ideas
Through both a guided tour and hands-on art making investigations, groups find out more about how and why contemporary artists use traditional materials in unusual ways or choose to use non-traditional materials to create astonishing, moving artworks. Through conversations with peers and ICA tour guides, groups discover numerous ways artworks currently on view—the exhibitions in our galleries change frequently--speak to us and relate to the everyday world. In the Bank of America Art Lab, students work individually and/or collaboratively to solve problems, draw on symbolic language, and strengthen both visual/verbal expressions while engaging directly in “the creative process.” Simultaneously students are encouraged to reflect about larger questions related to contemporary art and ideas.

Architecture and Design
Our building is unique. Step inside and learn about the architects’ design for this work of art. Notice the architects' choice of materials--inside and outside, discover their solutions for practical and engineering challenges, and gain an appreciation for how our museum relates to its surroundings and to the city of Boston as well as how the architects built in design features to respond to ever-changing exhibitions. Coupled with a guided tour, students will be challenged to work hands-on with design concepts on a smaller scale in the Bank of America Art Lab. This program is adaptable to serve introductory groups as well as more advanced students who have previously studied architecture and design. In addition to design projects, students are encouraged to reflect about larger questions related to urban planning, architecture, and civic life in today’s world.

Materials, Meaning and Process
What does it mean to be a contemporary artist? How does contemporary art reflect the culture in which we live? What is the definition of art? Take a close look at works currently on view by a variety of artists with attention to choices of materials, meanings inherently related to those materials, and ways the creative process plus works of previous artists contribute to the mix. Groups will work collaboratively and/or individually in the Bank of America Art Lab, using a variety of tools and materials to create collage and/or installations. Ideas and concepts of artist’s whose works are currently on view will be explored. Emphasis is on investigation, visual and verbal expression, and creative use of materials.



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