Illinois Art Station 2019 Youth Mural Project Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Beginning in spring 2021, Illinois Art Station will offer two new programs designed to engage older children with the visual arts: smARTs Lab and Arts in Action. Both programs will use the visual arts as a central point for developing conversation and engagement with larger topics and themes. Geared toward youth ages 11 to 14, smARTs Lab will focus on the ways art intersects with math, science, and other disciplines. For teens ages 15 to 18, Arts in Action provides an opportunity for participants to build understandings of current social issues and use art to communicate ideas, develop conversation, and raise awareness.

“We are excited to bring IAS’s unique programming to middle and high school aged youth,” said Executive Director Laura Jaster. “smARTs Lab and Arts in Action will allow youth participants to use art as a means of exploring a variety of ideas as well as comment on those ideas through the creation of original works of art.”

Illinois Art Station - smARTs Lab Logo
Illinois Art Station - Arts in Action Logo

The inaugural year of smARTs Lab and Arts in Action will be offered in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal with future programming occurring on site at IAS’s new location along Vernon Avenue in Normal. “It is wonderful to be able to partner with the Boys and Girls Club,” says Jaster. “We are looking forward to working with their teens and we can’t wait to share the work they create.”

smARTs Lab and Arts in Action will be offered in multi-week sessions each in spring, summer, and fall with work created during these programs being displayed in featured exhibitions at Illinois Art Station in their gallery and online at

For more information about smARTs Lab and Arts in Action, please contact Laura Jaster at