Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

young females admiring artwork in an art gallery young females admiring artwork in an art gallery

The Art of Seeing™

Perception and Resilience through Visual Art

Learn to see. See to learn.

The Art of Seeing™: Perception and Resilience through Visual Art

The Art of Seeing™ is a visual literacy program developed in partnership between the McMaster University Department of Family Medicine and the McMaster Museum of Art to enhance and support professional growth and self-care. Learning to look at visual art is a means to better understand ourselves and others.

Program participants will develop skills to enhance and support professional and personal growth with an emphasis on wellness, resilience and humanistic leadership. Art is a way to tell our stories. It helps us understand how we fit into our cultures, communities and workplaces. 


Leveraging works of art as the basis for learning, each course will help develop greater skills in:

  • Perception
  • Creative and critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Active listening
  • Compassion
  • Innovation

Program Features

The Art of Seeing™ program reinforces collaboration with a diverse group of professionals. With three unique sessions hosted at a variety of Hamilton art galleries and museums, students will have the opportunity to learn about themselves and others through the medium of visual art. Each session is three hours in length. 

Learning Outcomes

  • To experience the histories, philosophies and frameworks behind community development and community engagement approaches. 
  • To explore diverse urban contexts.
  • To identify and use values of leadership.
  • To acquire skills in observation, communication, active listening, empathy, compassion, creative and critical thinking.
  • To identify and create professional connections and networks for community engagement through:
      • Formal analysis and interpretation of visual art that builds capacities in description, observation, communication and object-based problem solving in a group context.
      • Sharing of personal experiences in a safe space where the neutral subject matter is visual art.
      • To explain why and how art galleries and museums have shifted to more socially-minded exhibitions and programs.
  • To describe how art galleries and museums now include artwork that chronicles the histories of underrepresented groups and work of artists whose work addresses contemporary social issues of our time.
  • To recognize and identify our personal histories, cultures and biases based on geography, socioeconomic situation, education, health and how we see power, identity, privilege, and equity.
  • To take part in community-based learning beyond the classroom and workplace.