… of redhanded
So how did I come to choose ‘redhanded’ as a professional signature? I wanted a name that would embrace a broad spectrum of work — from art-making to all kinds of writing, and teaching and facilitating in multiple contexts. Given this diversity, I realized I’d be hard pressed to sum up my creations and services; rather I should describe my approach. Passionate. Expressive. And, above all, implicated. To the elbows. To the eyebrows. To the ends of the earth, when the occasion arises.
The perfect term: redhanded.
Redhanded, I am fully committed to my projects and enjoy using my skills, experience, and insight in the service of work that makes a difference in people’s lives. Work that is original and responsive – to the needs of my students, my colleagues, my community and professional contacts and to those who take in my creative and pedagogical creations.
I came up with ‘redhanded’ not long after creating Bog Fragment 7: The Touch of You, an artwork that includes the image of a red hand that has since become my visual signature.
… of me
I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec – Canada’s cosmopolitan, bilingual city. An Anglophone by birth, I was fortunate to do a good portion of my schooling in French, which gave me a profound love for the language as well as communications skills I continue to rely on in my work. Right from the get-go, I seem to have been drawn to literature and the arts. I always had my hands in something – frequently a knitting, embroidery, or painting project. I used to ask my friends and neighbours to pose for me, but our Siamese cat was a favourite subject, too.
As a young adult, I went to Toronto to attend the University of Toronto, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts (in English and Art History). I made friends and fell in love with the cultural diversity of the city’s population (reportedly the most ethnically diverse in the world) and with its vast ravine system – wild gardens of retreat veining through the city sprawl. I lived happily in Toronto for two decades.
After U of T, I pondered a career and decided that film and television would combine my beloved literary and visual interests. Good choice? Yes, the media have been very rewarding, particularly on the writing side. To give the visual arts more presence, after a decade of work I left my full time job for freelance writing and advanced art training. I enrolled at the Ontario College of Art (now the Ontario College of Art and Design University) and achieved an Honours Diploma in Fine Arts (Drawing and Painting). I’ve since earned a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from Concordia University, Montreal, and a PhD in Education from York University, Toronto, exploring visual arts as a mode of knowing. My dissertation is entitled Finding Home: Knowledge, Collage, and the Local Environments and was the first work of doctoral research at York University to be centred in creative art.
In 2008, I returned to Montreal for a position in the Department of Art Education within Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. I am currently the Concordia University Research Chair in Art + Education for Sustainable and Just Futures (2021-2026) and Professor of Art Education. I love my work within this vibrant community of artists, scholars, teachers, students and profoundly appreciate their contributions to my continuing investigations of visual art as a mode of knowing – which takes the form of ‘research/creation’ or artwork that has a research agenda. I’ve found a happy home in Pointe-St-Charles, a quartier défavorisé or neighbourhood in need, just a short bike ride south of the downtown campus. Historical, post-industrial, gentrifying, green and a mix of Francophone, Anglophones and Allophones (other language speakers), the Point is a complex space that suits me perfectly. I’ve created artwork, developed community projects and occasionally had the opportunity to site my university teaching here, through the Right to the City initiative.
My full résumé is available here.
Hobbies? Building a multi-faceted artistic and academic career is demanding, but I make as much use of my personal time as I can. Whether with family and friends or on my own, I enjoy walking and biking, taking in contemporary dance and opera (particularly Mozart and 20th century), yoga, knitting, reading – and just about anything that includes my wonderful dog, previously Auggie (1998-2009) and now Baloo (2009 – ). I volunteer with dog rescue groups, specifically Standard Poodles in Need Rescue and Rehome, Freedom Drivers animal rescue transports and other efforts to relocate good animals in need to rescue and foster homes within and outside Quebec.
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