School of Art & Design

Arts Umbrella Art & Design
Get Inspired with Art & Design

In our Art & Design classes, young people learn how to develop ideas and reflect on the world around them. We offer programs across a wide range of visual and media arts–ensuring that students first develop a strong foundation before moving on to more advanced techniques, no matter the age at which a young person first encounters their artistic practice.

Our faculty bring professional-level instruction to every class across all Arts Umbrella locations. We offer a rich curriculum for students at every level, including mentorship for those seeking to expand their artistic practice. Experience-based learning is at the core of our program objectives. This means that as young people learn new skills and techniques, they will put them into practice in a way that develops their individual creativity. Student engagement—through classroom discussion, critique, and exhibition-making—helps children and youth develop real-world skills such as communication, confidence, and discipline.

Placement in our Sessional Art & Design programs is based on age, and with small class sizes and instructors and assistants in every studio, dedicated students will be able to make personal advancements within their chosen artistic discipline. Our faculty and Student Services team are also prepared to make recommendations for new programs to further develop and expand a young person’s artistic practice, whether they enjoy Drawing & Painting en plein air, sculpting in the pottery studio, or delving into new media in the Moffat Media Arts Hub.

Our Advanced Classes are designed for young people who want to push, inquire, and develop a more in-depth practice. For young people who demonstrate an interest in post-secondary study in the creative sector, our Scholarship Programs—developed alongside program partners—provide access to experts and professionals in industries such as architecture, animation, and contemporary art.

Artistic Leadership

Patrick O’Neill
Audain Artistic Director
Patrick O’Neill is a research-based multidisciplinary artist of settler descent born and raised on the traditional, unceded and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples – the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations (Vancouver, Canada). He is a recent graduate from the renowned Royal College of Art in London, UK where he received his MA in Contemporary Art Practice (Critical Practice) in 2021 with distinction for his dissertation work titled, A Habit of Haunted Spectres.

He works across performance, 3D rendering, video, writing, and sculpture to create works that invoke humour, play and criticality. His work has been shown internationally in group shows including in Vancouver, Amsterdam, Cardiff, and London and is held in a number of private collections. He is a founding member of London-based artist collective, Waste Authority, which hosts gallery and web-based workshops focused on critical sustainability through experimental and collaborative filmmaking, writing, and performance exercises.

Prior to being named Audain Artistic Director of Art & Design at Arts Umbrella in 2021, Patrick had worked for nearly ten years as an arts educator throughout a number of major organisations in Vancouver, BC – including at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Polygon Gallery, and Arts Umbrella previously where he began as an assistant in 2011 to eventually became an instructor across a number of art & design disciplines. He is thrilled to lead the direction of Art & Design across all ages at Arts Umbrella to protect the safe, inclusive and expansive learning for young artists in the Vancouver community.

Audain Artistic Director, Art & Design

Meet our Faculty

Visit artsumbrella.com/our-team to get to know our Art & Design instructors.

Support Arts Umbrella

Arts Umbrella donors, volunteers, and sponsors share the same belief: that arts education can transform a child’s life. Whether attending an event, making a monthly gift, or donating time, our supporters are vital to helping us inspire creativity for good through the arts.