Ryan Learning Center
The museum’s hub for learning and creativity
Find us on the first floor of the museum’s Modern Wing. Turn left after you enter at 159 East Monroe.
About the RLC
The Ryan Learning Center (RLC) is the museum’s hub for learning and creativity, a place where you can find art-making and interactive experiences all the time.
Whether you’re visiting as a family, as part of a school group, with friends, or on your own, there’s something in the RLC for you. Find out what you can do.
What is weaving? What does the process entail? Teens are invited to learn basic weaving techniques, explore unconventional materials, and create a work of their own in this studio workshop inspired by Threaded Visions: Contemporary Weavings from the Collection.
Saturday, March 23 | 1:00–3:30
Make With Us
Families, teens, and visitors of all ages—you are invited to come by the Ryan Learning Center’s Art Exchange every day the museum is open to find creative activities and inspiration. Please note that the Art Exchange cannot accommodate visiting student groups.
The Artist’s Studio
Take part in a studio project inspired by a work of art in the museum’s collection or a special exhibition. Designed by museum educators and artists, these activities are accessible to children but just as satisfying for adults.
Our current activity, Formtastic, is inspired by Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan. Create a sculpture by experimenting with paper and fabric and exploring wrapping, tying, texture rubbing, and sewing.
Want to create your own very own museum tour? Visit the JourneyMaker kiosks in the RLC and design a personalized gallery adventure full of fun ideas for looking and responding to art together. Choose from eight different story lines, select your works of art, and print your guide—and then head out to the galleries. You can also make your guide before you arrive.
Generous support for JourneyMaker is provided by the Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Experience With Us
The Ryan Learning Center is a sensory-rich space with areas for exploration and play, including spots for building, reading, imagination, and hands-on discovery. It’s also a place where we showcase the creative work of young artists.
The Multisensory Gallery
Look, touch, and listen to the diverse range of materials that artists use to create their works of art. Plus, try your hand at a pattern-rubbing station featuring patterns inspired by objects in the collection. Located adjacent to the RLC entrance, the Multisensory Gallery is accessible whenever the museum is open.
Dive deeper into your sensory exploration by listening to audio stops available through the Art Institute’s free app. You’ll find us at stops 51–54 and 56.
Art + Science: A Horse of a Different Color
Put on a lab smock, grab a research guide, and play your way through this interactive installation exploring how museum conservators use art and science to care for works, like the two historic carousel horses on display.
This project is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OISE 1743748.
Learn With Us
Whether you’re ready to plan your visit or want to dive deeper into programs and resources for learning with the museum, we have tips and tools for you below.
Explore accessible resources for your classroom, find support from experienced museum educators for integrating works of art in your teaching, and learn more about professional development opportunities.
Meet new people. Look at art. Make art. Be inspired. Find out how to get involved in internships and programs designed by teens, for teens.
With free admission for kids under 14 and Chicago teens under 18, the Art Institute is the perfect place for a creative outing with the whole family.
K-12 Student Groups
The museum is a great place for you and your students to learn. Choose from a wide variety of museum experiences that support classroom learning and meet students where they are.