The museum works together with artists, community members, and other area organizations to develop exhibitions, from drafting exhibit content to facilitating outreach and related programming.
- Think Big: The Artists of Autism Services (2017) was a main gallery exhibition featuring works created within our museum classroom by adult artists with Autism from the Arts Work program of Autism Services, Inc. based in Buffalo. The exhibition was partly inspired by works in the museum collection artists engaged with.
- Gather Together: Quilting Niagara (2020-21) was an exhibition, program, and digital multimedia series developed in collaboration with the Kenan Center and Kenan Quilters’ Guild, centered in Lockport.
- Shadow Selfies (2017) was an installation of over 100 silhouettes in vacant storefront and building properties on 3rd Street in Niagara Falls, in partnership with Niagara Falls’ Department of Community Development.
Our public programming provides opportunities for intimate discussion and insightful learning, working closely with presenters to develop, implement, and lead programming.
- Why Restore the Niagara Gorge? (2017) was a panel discussion which brought together representatives from Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper panel discussion, the WNY Land Conservancy, Niagara University, and artist Thomas Kegler for a presentation that touched on stewardship of the Niagara Gorge, the relationship between art and the environment, and more.
- Meet Me at the CAM is a long running Art History lecture and film series targeting lifelong learners, providing a space of education and discussion on topics ranging from the influence of travel on Thomas Cole’s landscape works, the creation of illuminated manuscripts, artistic depictions of Niagara Falls, and more.
- Strung Together: Zither Encounters (2018) was a folk arts program highlighting three traditional musicians from three different local communities (Turkish, Chinese, and Irish) who play a zither-type instrument. The presenting musicians worked together to develop the theme and roundtable structure of the program.
As a public museum, the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University provides hands-on art opportunities for visitors of all ages.
- Art Express is a series of family workshops for ages 6-12 where participants read a story, explore the museum, and create an art project inspired by a work on display.
- Folk Art Workshops provide opportunities to learn more about a folk art tradition practiced locally in a class setting led by the artist. Past workshops have included Turkish Paper Marbling (ebru), Japanese calligraphy (shodo), Tuscarora beadwork, Polish paper-cuts (wcynanki), and more.
- Kids n' Art is our summer camp for kids ages 5-12, providing an enriching art and theater experience. Campers participate in storytelling, theater games, and art projects inspired by the museum’s collection. Each camp week closes with a final theatrical performance by the campers and a display of artworks created that week. Guided instruction is provided by our resident teaching artist, students from Niagara University including the Theatre and Fine Arts Department and NURT (Niagara University Repertory Theatre), local artists, and professionals from the Castellani Art Museum.
Art education programs for K-12 area school districts include guided tours of recent exhibitions, presentations by staff at the museum, gallery scavenger hunts, and more.
- Writer's Studio Bookmaking Program Series (2017-18) was a series of programs developed in collaboration with the College of Education’s Family Literacy Center at Niagara University. The center provides a valuable community resource for diagnosing and remediating reading difficulties, while also facilitating literacy development through small group activities centered around creative writing. Participants in the center’s Children in the Writer's Studio program visited the museum to engage in an interactive setting, where museum staff provided the opportunity to dream, explore, and create their own written masterpieces. Students in the program also created their own handmade books in a series of art workshops, led by the daughter of our museum founder, Carla Castellani. Their unique written stories were then encapsulated in the handmade books, which were displayed in the museum for their friends and family to see during a year-end celebration of their accomplishments.
- Professional Development for Local Educators (2016-17) was a partnership between the museum and the Niagara Falls School District to create professional development opportunities for teachers of all subject areas. Teachers learned about the museum’s customizable tour programs for students in grades K-12, with sessions focused on visual thinking strategies, content specific museum tours, and hands-on art making opportunities for students. The museum provided behind-the-scenes access to its collection of more than 5,000 artworks, with a focus on major artists such as Calder, Dali, Picasso, Miro, and Warhol. Educators also learned how to use artworks in the collection as primary sources, including our significant historic Niagara Falls print collection.