Although visual arts teachers have free access to high quality online artwork images offering them immense teaching resources, making meaningful use of them remains a pedagogical challenge. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the transition from face-to-face to online teaching caused an immediate need for teachers to enhance their digital competencies and technological capability for planning and delivering a blended art curriculum. Herein, I propose a ‘teacher-curator pedagogy’ via a study in six primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong to assess its effectiveness. The study took place in the academic year of 2021-22 with 331 student participants. The proposed pedagogy puts visual arts teachers in the role of ‘digital curators’ who create virtual exhibitions for teaching art appreciation and artmaking. This paper addresses the theoretical framework, implementation strategies, and the results of the study highlighting its effectiveness, impact and limitations on teaching when using teacher-curated virtual exhibitions in both physical and virtual learning contexts. It was found that the technological capacity and confidence of the teacher participants was enhanced through the use of online resources and virtual exhibition tools. Making use of the 3D presentation of exhibits in themes and context through digital content curation, the teachers engaged students with deep interaction through the blending of online and face-to-face teaching. However, the proposed pedagogy was limited by the high demand of training and preparation work, hardware and software support, and difficulties in assessing and monitoring learning beyond class. Copyright © 2023 The Authors.