Cameco Creative Connections or commonly known as C3 is a space located within the Art Gallery of Northumberland (AGN) in downtown Cobourg.  The space  is open 5 days a week for families to drop in and was launched during the summer of 2017 after being sponsored by Cameco. Cameco Creative Connections uses the phrase play, create, learn as it’s slogan and its goal. As C3 is attached to the Main Gallery of the AGN it is a place to discuss visual art and learn about the creative process. Additionally, the space promotes creativity through play based learning. Through access to books and contemporary, non-representational toys children can enhance their experience and foster their creativity through play. This contemporary space uses bright and minimalistic furniture that allows for flexibility and is appealing to a variety of age groups. As the space is currently used as a drop-in space it allows for families and children of all ages to explore art and create together.

Art Based Programming

The AGN has created art based programming that uses the Ontario Art curriculum in order to connect with Ontario schools. The program was developed by the Family Porgramming Facilitator Rachel McHolm a Concurrent Education Student from Sir Wilfrid Laurier/ Nipissing University. The program has been developed in two sections in order to best enhance student learning. The first section of the program is to be completed in the Main Gallery of the AGN. This will allow for learners to analyze art featured in the current exhibition happening at the gallery. Through this part of the program a facilitator will engage learners through open-ended and deep-thinking questions. As well this part of the program is adaptable for artist, curator, and director lectures in which learners will be invited to ask questions related to working with art. This part of the program will also feature activities that will relate to the discussions in the gallery and use Visual Thinking Strategies to further analyze visual works. This will then allow learners to discuss art that is featured in their community and apply their learning through creating their own piece. As well this space will allow for educators to engage their learners in discussions that connect with the Ontario Art Curriculum and bring the experiences from the classroom into a community space. Through viewing pieces from the exhibitions featured at the AGN learners will be exposed to a variety of mediums and artists thus allowing them to further their art based education.

Interactive Programming in C3

The second aspect of the Cameco Creative Connections program focuses on the C3 space in the gallery. As this space includes art based resources it allows learners a place to explore art in an interactive way. Through using connector rods to create sculptures, reading about famous artists, and working with a variety of blocks learners are able to discover elements of design through play. As well using art based materials for activities learners are able to apply their knowledge of elements of design and use their creativity. For instance, learners can use magnification blocks to discover different perspectives or coloured bead blocks to learn about movement and colour. This may apply to an activity led by a facilitator in which learners may create a piece of art using a variety of art based materials such as pencils, crayons, or pastels. By allowing children to explore through play they can foster their creativity and learn more about visual art.