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™

Empathy, Perception and Resilience through visual art.

Learn to see. See to learn.


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.


To enhance and support professional growth, resilience and wellbeing. This workshop uses works of art as the basis for learning, enhanced by facilitated discussion and narrative writing, to develop greater skills in:

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

Learning Outcomes

  • To experience the histories, philosophies and frameworks behind community development and community development/engagement approaches. 
  • To identify and use values of humanistic 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.
      • 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.