Friday Family Arts: My Surrealist Elephant

Activity example courtesy Austin Kwidzinski.

Inspired by our regular Sunday Family Arts (SFA) program, The Reach invites you to join us for a live art making session with instructor Austin Kwidzinski in this first installment of Friday Family Arts.

Be inspired by surrealist painter Salvador Dali and learn to create your own dreamy scene that features an elephant with a lots of personality!

This was a virtual session that was streamed through Facebook Live on Friday, July 10 at 1:30pm. You can watch it by clicking the button below.

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This 25 minute session is for all ages and is most fun working in pairs or groups. Young children should work together with adults or older children.

The Elephants (1948) by Salvador Dali.


Have you ever had a dream that seemed totally real until something weird, wacky, or “over-the-top” happened? Surrealist artists like Salvador Dali were interested in painting their dreams and nightmares to create images that combined fantasy with everyday life.

In 1948 the artist Salvador Dali created this painting, called The Elephants. It is a great example of the art movement called Surrealism. Notice how the Dali painted the elephants’ bodies realistically, and then decided to stretch out their legs so that they look more like stilts than real elephant legs. How surreal!

Kids who are interested in learning more about the artist Salvador Dali and the art movement Surrealism can click here to watch a short, fun video from Tate Kids called “What is Surrealism?”


We’ve designed this activity with materials that you probably already have around your house. If you plan on purchasing materials in advance, some art and craft stores offer curbside pickup for items (e.g., Dollarama, House of Fine Arts, or Michaels in Abbotsford).

Materials needed per participant:

  1. Construction paper (8.5”x11” is a good size)
  2. Fine-tip black marker (Sharpie or similar) / thick black pen
  3. Pastels
  4. Pencil
  5. Sharpener
  6. Eraser



Instructions for setting up your at-home art making station before the class begins:

  1. Cover any surfaces you don’t want to get paint on and consider wearing an apron to protect your clothes from black paint/ink.
  2. Set out your paper and materials.
  3. Place your computer/phone in front of your workstation so you can follow along as Austin teaches the class.
  4. Tune into Facebook Live on July 10 at 1:30 pm, by visiting For instructions on how to watch Facebook Live Videos, click here: Once the event is over, you can find the video on our YouTube page.

Share your creation with your social media following. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram (@thereachgallery) and Twitter (@TheReach) and use the hashtag #TheReachAtHome.

Thanks to the generosity of the Prospera Credit Union we are able to offer this program for free!



If you use this free resource with your students at school / at home, we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to Diana Hiebert (Curator of Learning and Community Engagement at The Reach) at, with your comments including the number and age range of participants. This statistical information is important to us as a not-for-profit organization and will allow us to continue offering this kind of content.