Education Opportunities

K-12 Group Experiences

For K-12 school groups, we offer museum experiences twice each year. The visits are free, and public-school bussing can be reimbursed by the museum. Students are provided the opportunity to learn through looking at and discussing fun, colorful, and original works of art. With each guided experience, we hope to cultivate in students a willingness to explore their worlds with curiosity, close looking, and active participation.

K-12 Tours


  • Visits are scheduled for two weeks each in May and November/October.

  • Scheduling opens at least one month prior to the scheduled dates. Teachers should watch for a letter sent to school administration, art teachers, and teachers who have previously booked tours notifying them that scheduling is open.

  • Contact the secretary in the School Art and Design at NMU at 906-227-2852.

  • All scheduling is done on a first-come, first-served basis once the window is open.

Visit Logistics

    • Visits are 1 hour long.


    • Volunteer docents guide students through the museum and facilitate discussion.


    • Groups are limited to 30 students, and each group is divided into two groups for the duration of the visit.


    • All tours start with a brief orientation about the museum and proper museum etiquette.


    • Spring tours: students explore the Children’s Exhibition for half of the time, and the permanent collection exhibition for the other half.


    • Fall tours: students explore a rotating exhibition for half of the time, and then head to the back for an art activity related to the visit.



    • Entrance is the first entrance to the Art and Design building as you enter the lot.


    • There is no food or drink allowed in the building, including the lobby, per University policy.


    • We strongly encourage teachers to view the exhibition prior to the tours.


    • Contact Collections Curator, Sydney Sarasin, at or 906-227-2136 with any questions.


  • Are you interested in leading students through the museum and related activities? See our Docents page.

Curriculum-Specific Tours & Class Visits

The University Art Museum is a research resource for students, faculty, and the community. Members from the NMU community and beyond can examine diverse examples of original artwork on display and in the permanent collection. 

Class Visits to the Museum Can...

  • Sharpen visual literacy and critical thinking skills. Begin your class tour with an introduction to looking at art. Students will analyze and discuss the essential components (the artist’s use of line, design, shape, color, etc.) of several works of art. Explore how formal elements affect our understanding of the artwork. Visits culminate in contextual and social discussions about the artwork.

  • Enhance observation skills. Students from all disciplines (nursing, writing, administration, accounting, and cosmetology, to name a few) can utilize artworks on display to become more observant. Tours focused on careful observation allow students to become more engaged in the practice of looking in their studies and careers. 

  • Reinforce concepts from the curriculum by examining topics in a multi-dimensional way. Expand on topics presented in class by providing students with a richer understanding of the social, cultural, and historical context of ideas, movements, or regions.

  • Inspire students to pursue creative thinking and problem-solving. Catalyze original ideas in creative writing, social work, history, business, math, design, art, and numerous fields of study through engagement with original works of art.

  • Create a foundation for future scholarly research utilizing original works of art. Expand class discussions beyond the classroom to encourage cultural exploration through material examination. 
Class Tours

Self-Guided Tours

Classes are welcome to visit the museum during regular museum hours. If you would like to schedule a self-guided tour, please schedule by emailing at least two weeks in advance.

Staff-Guided Tours & Discussions

Each semester the DeVos Art Museum offers several new exhibitions. Experienced staff will lead tours and discussions about works of art on view. Curriculum-specific tours are available. If you would like a staff-guided tour, please schedule by emailing at least two weeks in advance.
Community Tours

Community Tours

Interested community groups may reach out to schedule a free, guided tour of the museum. Scheduling is based on the availability of museum staff and limited to current hours of operation of the museum. The tours are flexible in length, level of visitor participation, and focus, and they are designed for visitors of all ages and prior experience with art. Reach out to Director, Emily Lanctot, to schedule your tour today at or 906-227-1481!

Please view the details under “Visit” for more information on the museum.

Family Tours

Family Tours

The museum periodically schedules family programming. To stay up to date on upcoming events, contact us to add your name to our email list and be the first to know about scheduled programming. Family tours are also available by appointment based on the availability of museum staff and during current hours of operation. Contact Collections Curator, Sydney Sarasin, at or 906-227-2136 for more information.

Please view the details under “Visit” for more information on the museum.