The Art Gallery and Museum provides fun and interactive learning programmes to suit school groups of all ages. School visits are tailored to meet the needs of students through facilitated discussions, hands-on activities and engagement with real experiences. Contact our educator to book your visit.

What's on this term


Suffrage in Stitches

Exhibition: Suffrage in Stitches

Curriculum Links: Social Sciences, History, Visual Arts

Dates: 02 December – 18 February 2024 (Term 4 Week 7 – Term 1 Week 2)

Time: 60-90 minutes

The Women’s Suffrage Petition led to New Zealand becoming the first country in the world where all women gained the right to vote in general elections, thanks to the many women who created, organised and signed the petition.

The 300 metre textile work displayed in the Suffrage in Stitches exhibition remembers ordinary people in our history who did this extraordinary thing. Suffrage in Stitches has provided the opportunity for 546 individuals, families and groups to display their art regardless of their education, background, age or experience/skill level.

Your students will:

Explore | The significance of the women’s suffrage petition in New Zealand women gaining the right to vote in 1893

Learn | About the Ashburton women who signed the petition

Create | Create an embroidered textile panel that tells part of the story of this historic moment in New Zealand history


Marian Maguire, The Enlightenment Project (expanded)

Exhibition: The Enlightenment Project (expanded)

Curriculum Links: Social Sciences, History, Classics, Digital Art

Dates: 21 February - 14 April (Term 1 Week 4 – Term 1 Week 11)

Time: 60-90 minutes

The Enlightenment Project (expanded) by Christchurch-based artist Marian Maguire aims to make sense of this important age of European history and the worldwide reverberations that resulted. This exhibition builds on the initial showing of The Enlightenment Project in 2022. Maguire has created additional works which extend into prehistory, reflect on current reality, and provide a counterpoint to the Western worldview.

Explore | A fresh view of our history and worldview from classical antiquity through to the Age of Enlightenment

Learn | About the curiosity and invention in past centuries that influenced the world as we know it today, including here in Aotearoa New Zealand

Create | An artwork that explores these ideas using drawing, stamps and printed material


A New Era: Ng King Bros. Chinese Market Garden

Exhibition: A New Era: Ng King Bros Chinese Market Garden

Curriculum Links: Social Sciences, History

Dates: 26 February - 12 May (Term 1 Week 5 – Term 2 Week 2)

Time: 60-90 minutes

The Ng King Brothers Chinese Market Garden site on Allens Road is set to open to the public as a community heritage park. Now a post-1900 archaeological site listed as a Category 1 Historic Place by Pouhere Taonga Heritage New Zealand, this market garden settlement operated from the early 1920s until 1964 and was the largest Chinese community in the South Island at the time. We are excited to celebrate this with an exhibition about the site's important history, including the display of objects recovered during its restoration.

Explore | The significance of this site and the impact of the settlement on the wider Ashburton community

Learn | About 20th Century Chinese immigration to Aotearoa New Zealand through the story of the Ng family's move to the South Island and Ashburton

Create | By planting various seeds in pots, classes will create their own market garden to grow at school


Sharing Histories | Gifts of 2023

Exhibition: Sharing Histories | Gifts of 2023

Curriculum Links: Social Sciences, History

Dates: 19 February - 07 April (Term 1 Week 3 – Term 1 Week 11)

Time: 60-90 minutes

Explore some of the treasured objects, archives and photographs that were generously donated to the Ashburton Museum and Historical Society in 2023. Sharing Histories showcases some of the most special and fascinating museum acquisitions of the previous year and explores why they are significant to Hakatere Ashburton.

Explore | The local stories associated with items we collected in 2023

Learn | About the process involved in collecting and storing items in a museum

Create | Examine and discuss a variety of objects and decide which items you think the museum should collect

Jo Burzynska wbotanicals

Jo Burzynska, Scents Take up the Ringing

Exhibition: Jo Burzynska, Scents Take up the Ringing

Curriculum Links: Science, Visual Art, Technology

Dates: 02 March - 21 April (Term 1 Week 5 – Term 1 Week 10)

Time: 60-90 minutes

Zonta Ashburton Female Art Awards 2023 Premier Award winner Jo Burzynska is a Lyttelton-based multimedia artist, wine writer, researcher and curator. Her work in these areas has increasingly converged in the production of multisensory art and the design of immersive environments.

Explore | The combined smell and sound elements in Burzynska's Scents Take up the Ringing exhibition

Learn | About our different senses and how they impact our response to the world around us

Create | Using sound and smell, make a scented wind chime

Permanent programmes

Tinwald school Mountains to sea-1

Hakatere Ashburton History

A skim through the evolution of the district since the beginning of time.


Ng King Bros. Chinese Market Gardens

A new opportunity to visit and learn about life at the Ng King Brothers Chinese Market Garden Settlement.

Ashburton Borough living on the land-9

Living on the Land: Tākata Whenua o Hakatere

Learn about the area as it was used by tākata whenua.  Explore mahika kai, tools and aspects of living.

Tinwald school Mountains to sea

Mountains to Sea

From the Kā Tiritiri o te Moana Southern Alps to the Canterbury Bight, explore the unique landscape of our area.

St josephs Museum scavenger _ bugs-20

Liquid Gold: Water

Water has had a huge impact on all aspects of the Canterbury Plains Kā Pākihi-whakatekateka-a-Waitaha. Learn about and explore how water has moved throughout the district.


Working the Land: Economic Development

The evolution of Ashburton town was swift. Learn about the people who built their dreams here.


Exploring Drawing

Charcoal | Pencil | Pen + Wash

Taking inspiration from artworks in our collection such as Trees, Kakahu River by D. Waddington, explore a variety of drawing mediums and techniques.


David Elliot Style Illustration


Learn about how David Elliot’s animals and fantastical creatures come to life on paper with imagination, expressive strokes and
subtle colour combinations as we see here in Cover illustration - 100 New Zealand Poems for Children by David Elliot.


Exploring Printmaking

Intaglio | Woodcut | Screenprint | Lithograph

A selection of prints from our collection, including Many Uncoded Factors by Michael Armstrong which showcase and highlight different types of printmaking. Start a printmaking journey making monoprints. This can lead on to printmaking workshops.


Experimenting with Paint

Oil | Acrylic | Watercolour | Mixed Media

Experiment with various painting approaches and media through looking at paintings from our collection like Rain Man Over Ashburton by Euan Macleod.

Tell us your interests

Do you have an idea for a learning programme at Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum?

Our educator can design a creative learning experience tailored to the needs and interests of your early childhood, primary and secondary school groups. Simply, contact us with your idea and we will work together to create a programme for your students.

Planning a visit

All materials for workshops at the Gallery and Museum and at schools will be provided unless stated otherwise. School visits will require schools to provide a projector and full classroom space.

For visiting the Gallery and Museum, we recommend organising an adult to student ratio of:

– 1:5 for Years 0-3

– 1:8 for Years 4-8

– 1:15 for Years 9-10

– 1:30 for Years 11-13

If would be helpful if teachers are able to carry a class register in the case of an emergency.

Arriving at the Gallery and Museum:
The Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum is located on 327 West Street. The Gallery is situated on the first floor and the Museum is on the ground floor. If you are planning to arrive before 10:00am, please inform a Gallery and Museum staff member so they are able to let you into the building. The doors automatically open at 10:00am. For everyone’s enjoyment please ensure that students demonstrate respect to our other visitors.

Help us protect the exhibitions at the Gallery and Museum:
If possible we would advise leaving bags at school, however, if necessary bags can be left in the Learning Centre on arrival. Food and drink are not permitted in the Gallery and Museum spaces. However, food can be consumed in the Learning Centre area if needed. No pens or sharp objects are allowed in the Gallery and Museum spaces. Please let the Gallery and Museum staff know if you wish to photograph the artwork, teachers are more than welcome to take pictures of their students in the Gallery and Museum spaces and Learning Centre. Please emphasise to students the importance of not touching any artworks or objects on display. We don’t mind talking and noise in the Gallery and Museum but for safety reasons, we do not allow running in the foyer or exhibition spaces.

Risk Assessment and Management (RAMs):
Please download and read.

Gallery and Museum staff love documenting school visits so please advise us if your students do not wish to be photographed.

Book a visit