We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Art Pathways

Two students sit on a bench with pencil and paper

Art Pathways, 2022, Doonside Technology High School

A person sits at a table with a cardboard structure in their hands and looks up smiling at another person leaning towards them

Art Pathways, 2022, Doonside Technology High School

Students in uniform around tables with art-making materials

Art Pathways, 2022, Blacktown Girls High School

Four smiling students in uniform

Art Pathways, 2021, Birrong Girls High School

Mitchell hs

Art Pathways Plus, 2019, Mitchell High School

Mitchell hs

Art Pathways Plus, 2019, Mitchell High School

Mitchell hs

Art Pathways Plus, 2019, Mitchell High School

Robert Townson hs

Art Pathways Plus, 2018, Robert Townson High School

Eagle Vale hs

Art Pathways Plus, 2018, Eagle Vale High School

Eagle Vale hs

Art Pathways Plus, 2018, Eagle Vale High School

Thomas Reddall hs

Art Pathways Plus, 2018, Thomas Reddall High School

Liverpool bhs

Art Pathways Plus, 2017, Liverpool Boys High School

For some students it was be their first visit in a gallery. I think understanding that they can walk through those doors and that this is a place that they are allowed to be and exist, that it’s free, it’s open, it’s available, that it’s not just one particular thing (we looked at multiple different exhibitions and genres), I think that to them it’s an eye-opener.
Teacher from a participating school

Art Pathways is an Art Gallery of New South Wales initiative to support schools in Greater Sydney by removing barriers to access, empowering students and teachers to deepen their engagement with art, artists and ideas.

  • History and development


    The Art Pathways program began in 2015 and provided learning experiences connecting the Art Gallery directly with schools in Greater Sydney. The aim of the program was to provide access to the Gallery’s collection and resources for low SES school communities, including Indigenous students and students with disability.

    Our numbers in art have gone up since then. We can see the effect it’s had. Our relationships with the students improved … we were able to work with them on a different level. 
    Teacher from a participating school


    The program was expanded through Art Pathways Plus, working directly with Greater Sydney arts centres: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Campbelltown Arts Centre and the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

    Students were able to understand why and how we make art, and the overall purpose. They are learning to express themselves through critical thinking and developing questioning skills. 
    Teacher from a participating school


    Despite major challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to successfully adapt and deliver the 2020–22 Art Pathways program onsite, offsite and online. These experiences, and our learnings from them, have been critical in informing planning and priorities, allowing us to better support schools and our colleagues at Greater Western Sydney art centres in digital and participatory learning.

    I wanted to say a big thank you to the team for organising the online incursion. We are very lucky to be given the opportunity to involve the boys with a new experience of having an interactive classroom for the first time and I really appreciate it.
    Teacher from a participating school

  • Impact

    Approximately 12,000 students and teachers have participated in the Art Pathways program since its inception.   

    This program was a great opportunity for students to get out and see real art, experience an exhibition and the chance to work with artists. It was a chance to put things into perspective for them and make links with their class artwork.   
    Teacher from a participating school

    Independent evaluation reports were conducted for the 2015–16, 2017–19 and 2020–22 Art Pathways programs.


     As a result of this evaluation, we found that students:

    • reported a high satisfaction with their involvement in the program

    • valued their interactions with education staff and artist educators

    • felt the program activities opened their eyes to the myriad of ways that they can ‘make art’ beyond just drawing and painting. 

    Art can be simple, it doesn’t have to be big, huge, magnificent, complex. When I think of art, it’s just basically being creative and using your imagination.  
    Participating student

    One of the highlights of the 2022 Art Pathways program was the workshops for The Aquilizan Studio: Making it Home, where students created their own ‘dream homes’ from recycled cardboard. They focused on both construction and detail, working at large communal tables surrounded by the studio practice of artists Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan. This unique environment fostered opportunities for collaboration and encouraged exchanges between individuals and groups, including discussions of identity, pride and connections to place, family and culture.

    The most valuable experience from today has been seeing students making artworks who don’t usually engage. One student has already asked me when we will come back.
    Teacher from a participating school


    We found that teachers:

    • identified an increase in student confidence, interest and self-esteem 

    • saw the program promoting teamwork and collaboration

    • felt working with practising artists informed their own ways of working and exposed students to authentic experiences. 

    The connections with the artists, educators and Art Gallery are invaluable to our students. They inspire our students to set goals and follow their passions. 
    Teacher from a participating school

    The move to digital adaptations during the 2020, 2021 and 2022 programs generated unexpected benefits for teachers, such as:

    • a closer connection between the teachers and Art Gallery staff

    • flexibility in delivery and content, including developing five partially online courses

    • developing innovative online learning resources to build teacher confidence and inspire their students’ growing engagement with art.

    The Art Pathways program has enabled me as a teacher to draw and extend on the resources and the program that the Gallery educators provide. The offsite school visit enlivened the students and made them very aware of different ways of making artworks. This also gave them an understanding of artist practice. The whole experience has been very exciting for the students, they have looked forward to every step of the program this year.
    Teacher from a participating school

    Art centres 

    We found that art centres:

    • identified that working with the Art Gallery was a valuable experience, with added benefits of learning from each other

    • grew the number of schools beyond those that currently visit 

    • were able to make new connections, and re-connections, to encourage future school visits, as well as increasing student access to different art forms on offer. 

    Blacktown Arts truly values this partnership and the learnings gained. The partnership has been instrumental for us to continue our dialogue with local high schools to engage them in our program. 
    Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

  • Artists

    The Art Pathways program utilises a best-practice approach of strong collaboration between education experts and artists.  

    Students working with artists increase their understanding of artmaking, art skills and concepts, as well as the professional arts world. Students show heightened enthusiasm and confidence when working with artists, acquiring greater personal and social learning.  

    Teachers also benefit, showing increased confidence, improved artistic abilities and greater understanding in and enthusiasm for art and ideas.  

    The Gallery artists and educators always make our students feel so special, valued and welcomed. The artists make connections with our students that encourage and promote risk-taking in their artmaking.  
    Teacher from a participating school

    Lead artists 

    • 2017 Louise Zhang 

    • 2018 Marion Abboud 

    • 2019 Marikit Santiago 

    • 2020 Shireen Taweel

    • 2022 Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan

    We had such a great time and the boys gained instant rapport with the educators. This is very rare. The students who did not attend heard how fun it was and they were asking me about it!
    Teacher from a participating school

  • Schools

    The kids who came to the program loved it – I can’t even express how much they loved it – how much they got out of it – they were buzzing from it. They talked about it for weeks afterwards.
    Teacher from a participating school


    Bankstown Girls High School, Bankstown Public School, Blacktown Boys High School, Bonnyrigg High School, Chester Hill High School, Fairfield Public School, Strathfield South High School, Wiley Park Girls High School, Doonside Technology High School, Villawood North Public School, Dawson Public School, Campbellfield Public School, John Warby Public School, Thomas Reddall High School, Eagle Vale High School, Thomas Pattison School, Rowland Hassall School, Condell Park High School, Holroyd School, Cambridge Park High School 


    Wiley Park Public School, Auburn Girls High School, Fairfield Public School, Bankstown Girls High School, St Johns Park High School, Arthur Phillip High School, Doonside Technology High School, Bankstown Public School, Villawood North Public School, Airds High School, Blackett Public School, Thomas Reddall High School, Hilltop Road Public School, St Marys Public School, Cambridge Park High School, Nepean High School, Holroyd School, Rowland Hassell School, ASPECT Western Sydney

    2017: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

    Art Pathways (primary schools): Liverpool West Public School, Miller Public School, Holdsworthy Public School, Lurnea Public School, Warwick Farm Public School, Ashcroft Public School, Busby Public School, Casula Public School, Sadleir Public School  

    Art Pathways Plus (secondary schools): Hoxton Park High School, Miller Technology High School, Lurnea High School, Liverpool Boys High School, James Busby High School, Leumeah High School, John Edmondson High School 

    2018: Campbelltown Arts Centre

    Art Pathways (primary schools): John Warby Public School, Campbelltown East Public School, Bradbury Public School, Ambarvale Public School, Sarah Redfern Public School, Thomas Acres Public School, Rosemeadow Public School, Campbelltown Public School, Camden Public School, Blairmount Public School

    Art Pathways Plus (secondary schools): Campbelltown Performing Arts High School, Thomas Reddall High School, Eagle Vale High School, Ambervale High School, Sarah Redfern High School, Robert Townson High School 

    2019: Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

    Art Pathways (primary schools): Walters Road Public School, Seven Hills West Public School, Seven Hills Public School, The Meadows Public School, Blacktown South Public School, Doonside Public School, Bidwell Public School, Blacktown West Public School, Blacktown North Public School 

    Art Pathways Plus (secondary schools): Doonside Technology High School, Blacktown Girls High School, Blacktown Boys High School, Mitchell High School, Rooty Hill High School, Seven Hills High School, Evans High School 

    Bidwill Public School, Bonnyrigg High School, Bossley Park High School, Cabramatta High School, Cecil Hills High School, Fairfield High School Intensive English Unit, Fairvale High School, Westfields Sports High School


    Birrong Girls High School, Chester Hill High School, Granville Boys High School, Leumeah High School, Lurnea High School, Sefton High School


    Blacktown Girls High School, Bossley Park High School, Cambridge Park High School, Chifley College Mount Druitt Campus, Condell Park High School, Doonside Technology High School, Granville Boys High School, James Busby High School, Lurnea High School, Lurnea High School Intensive English Centre, Mitchell High School, Rowland Hassall School

    Walking into the Art Gallery was out of my comfort zone because I’ve never seen anything like it, but out of my comfort zone in a good way. It’s hard to describe because there isn’t another place like it. It’s so unique and different and fun.
    Student from a participating school

Our students always feel included and connected with the Gallery and look forward to returning time and time again.
Teacher from a participating school

The Art Pathways program has been made possible through the generous support of the Crown Resorts and Packer Family Foundations since 2015.