Yeast Canvas Kit™: Create living paintings

Kit size

Create 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, genetic engineering, and an exciting new branch of art called BioArt. That's right! You can make art with yeast! This kit lets you use colorful yeast to make some beautiful living art.

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! 


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.

(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!

The recommended equipment for this experiment is a 37 °C incubator (or a 30 °C incubator for the yeast version). The incubator is recommended for the best result but not required. If you want, you can build you own DIY incubator by following this youtube tutorial. We have thermometers available if you do decide to build your own!

This kit is compatible with the DNA Playground's built-in incubator and Amino Lab's 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.

Shipping Times

Experiment kits are shipped 1-5 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! ☺︎ 


The experiment kit(s) must be refrigerated upon arrival for best shelf life. If your experiment kits stay at room temperature before you collect it from your mailbox/mailroom/etc, that's ok! As long as kits do not freeze, and they are stored in a refrigerator if you are not using it right away, there's no need to worry. If you do not have access to a refrigerator to store your kit, use it as soon as possible, and place it in a cool dark place until use.

For any questions, don't hesistate to reach out to us - help (at)

*Customers outside of North America*:

If we suspect your country has regulations on genetically engineered cells, your colored cells will be substituted with cells that naturally produce pigments (yellow & white) to meet shipping and import compliance. If you are keen on getting more colors, you can order an Engineer-it Kit and complete the genetic engineering of cells in a location that is approved by your government. This is a solution that works because the Engineer-it Kit will ship with no genetically engineered products (which meets import compliance), and YOU will complete the engineering steps (in an approved space). 

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