Faculty Resources

Engaging with art can cultivate our capacity to ask questions and to see and think differently.

Ackland staff work with faculty to develop in person and virtual sessions and resources that broaden their scope of inquiry and develop their students’ academic skills. For some, examining art enriches the study of a cultural or historical moment. For others, it strengthens students’ ability to analyze primary sources and expands their visual literacy. For some classes, works of art can also make abstract concepts clearer and more concrete, while for others still, it can elicit creative responses in different art forms.

Regardless of your field of study, teaching with art at the Ackland can promote immersive attention, active learning, and curricular innovation.

Scheduling a Class Session

A professor gestures toward a painting of a woman while students look on

This fall, Ackland educators will teach small group sessions in the gallery, help develop assignments and activities for students to complete on their own and in small groups, and continue to develop synchronous sessions and asynchronous resources that support faculty learning objectives. We also encourage you to lead the class sessions yourself, and will gladly provide digital images and advice to ensure that you have the resources you need.

Schedule your class Session

Creating a Class Assignment

Consider creating an art-based assignment that your students complete on their own. We can help you develop individual or group projects using our online collections and teaching resources. In addition to assignments that support discipline-specific content and approaches, we can advise on ones suitable for building fundamental academic capacities, such as those emphasized in UNC-Chapel Hill’s IDEAS curriculum.

Request help creating a class assignment


Students sit back to back in an art gallery while writing on clipboards

Ackland Upstairs

four people look at a painting of a person's eyes. A question on the wall reads How are race and revolution pictured in the artwork on view?

Ackland Upstairs displays art specifically tied to courses taught at Carolina. Faculty and graduate instructors work together with Ackland staff members to select works of art that complement their teaching objectives and are not on view in the Museum’s other galleries. Each semester there are two eight-week installations that support class visits and assignments for up to six courses each.

View Past Ackland Upstairs installations

Request an Ackland Upstairs installation for your class

Teaching Workshops

For faculty and graduate instructors who want to learn more about teaching with art objects, we offer teaching workshops that focus on key principles and effective techniques. We can customize the experience to suit different needs and interests – for new graduate instructors, for faculty members, or for mixed groups in diverse academic fields.

Find out more about teaching workshops and request one for your group



People compare an image on a handout to an African sculpture in a gallery

Course Grants

Students look at prints displayed in front of a bookcase and write in notebooks

Each year the Ackland is pleased to offer one $5,000 grant to support faculty who integrate the Museum’s resources into a new or existing undergraduate or graduate course. Previous recipients include faculty teaching in: Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, Dance, Economics, Education, Music, and Philosophy.

Calls for proposals are circulated via UNC-Chapel Hill mass e-mail and posted here in February. Applications are due in April.

Academic Advisory Committee

The Academic Advisory Committee advises the Director on issues pertaining to the Ackland’s mission to support university teaching and research and it advocates for the Ackland within the University. The Committee addresses all issues that affect the use of the Ackland as a teaching and research resource for UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and students. Members include UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates. To learn more about the Academic Advisory Committee’s work, contact acklandlearn@unc.edu.

A group of people sit on stools talking in an art gallery with African objects