Yeast Canvas Kit™: Create living paintings

Kit size
About the Yeast Canvas Kit™:

Create beautiful living paintings with colorful yeast! Great for science class, visual arts class, or as a fun and easy science and art exercise at home.

The Yeast Canvas Kit is a fun first step into learning about biotechnology, microbiology, genetic engineering, and an exciting new branch of art called bioart or agar art. That's right! With this agar art kit, you can make art with yeast! 

This 3x 30 minutes beginner-friendly activity will teach you or your students how to make & pour agar petri dishes, streak yeast, incubate it, and re-streak it to create unique art pieces.

Just like the original bacteria Canvas Kit, the Yeast Canvas Kit enables you to grow colored yeast to make art, all the while learning about this new organism. If you have done the bacteria Canvas Kit before, key differences you’ll discover firsthand include the incubation temperature and timing, texture and smell of the yeast, and its growth media. As the yeast grows slower than bacteria (36-72+ hours of incubation ), this kit can take up to a week to complete.

You can even visit the American Society for Microbiology Agar Art Competition for inspiration and a chance to enter your artwork & win! 


What will you learn?

For this art-meets-science project, you will:

1. Make your own "painting canvases," called agar Petri dishes; an important skill in the life sciences.
2. Create a 'painting palette' and incubate it to have ample paint to use
3. Paint or stencil the colourful yeast included in the kit onto three Petri dish canvases.
4. Incubate them in a warm spot, or an incubator if you have one
5. Like invisible ink, you won't see them at first, but as they grow and divide, they will become visible between 12-48 hours and change colour. Your painting will emerge!

The purple and pink pigment in the yeast paint comes from DNA that was engineered into the cells at our lab. The DNA itself was designed by the Dean Lab at Stony Brook University in New York. With this DNA, engineering the same DNA in two different types of yeast gives 2 different colours. Cool! You will learn more about the DNA in the instruction manual.

What's included?

(1) Canvas Kit in Individual or Group size: Sterile water, agar, sterile paintbrushes, Petri dishes (6 cm), colourful yeast tubes, stencils. The colours included are pink, purple and white.

• Individual Kits: An individual kit with all the ingredients needed for completing an entire science experience and getting 3 yeast art paintings. Great for an individual or a small group.

• Classroom/Group Kits: Eight individually packaged kits with the needed ingredients to complete eight entire science experiences and one shared resources bag containing the coloured yeast and inactivation bags, which are shared between all participants.

• Instructions: a manual with easy-to-understand vocabulary and step-by-step procedures and an online experiment simulation to practice with, teach you fundamentals, and guide you along the way. Available online. See the Resources tab for links!

What else is needed?

The recommended equipment for this experiment is a 30 °C incubator. The incubator is recommended for the best result but is not required since the bacteria will grow at room temperature. This does take longer, and produces colors that are more pastel than bright, but works all the same. You can also build your own DIY incubator by following our tutorial. Have a look in the resource section below for a link!

This kit is compatible with the DNA Playground's built-in incubator and our Classroom Incubator

Cleaning and safety supplies are not included in the kit. Necessary safety and cleaning supplies are latex or nitrile gloves, and a chlorinated bleach cleaner or a 10% solution of chlorinated bleach in a spray bottle (you can make this by adding 9 parts water to 1 part bleach in a spray bottle). You can add a Mini Safety Set to your kit which includes gloves and a reusable plastic apron to protect your clothes.

For more information about safety, set up and clean up, you can have a look at the instruction manual for the experiment linked in the Ressources section below, and at the "Practicing safe science" page.

Storage & Shipping

Shipping Times

Experiment kits are shipped 1-10 working days after you place your order. If you require yours for a specific date or event, please contact us before or with your order # so that we can try to make it happen for you! ☺︎ 


For the best results, and the longest shelf life possible, refrigerate the kit(s) upon arrival. You'll find a "Best by" date on the kit's label. This date assumes you've refrigerated your kit upon arrival.

For any questions, don't hesistate to reach out to us - contact us