I’ve always had a profound love of language and stories, for as long as I can remember. I was one of those kids who would stay up late reading under the covers. I did a BA in English literature and then started earning my living as a writer in education and broadcasting. And no matter how busy I am, I always have to have a book on the go. Now, as a writer, researcher, and scholar, I work on a variety of academic and contract projects, some described here.
My academic writing—published in books and scholarly journals or as exhibition catalogue essays, shared through conference presentations—explores thematics related to art and education, particularly my own studio-based and community-engaged practices. such as identity and belonging; memory, storytelling, and the cultural artefact; and spirit of place. I also inquire into visual art as a mode of knowing, interdisciplinary practices (including those that unite visual content and texts in a kind of collage) and the nature of interdisciplinarity itself.
I am particularly interested in the ways that storytelling (in the form of oral history narratives) can add meaning and impact to visual art, a confluence I am exploring through my personal research and my work as co-director of Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS).
Texts of my academic writing can be found on my site at academia.edu.
My contract projects include advocacy, research, education, and policy initiatives in arts, culture, broadcasting, and education, as well as creative work in television production. I am a member of the Writers Guild of Canada and the Editors’ Association of Canada. I’ve developed content for print, voice, television, and web.
While I can write a document of just about any kind, my specialty is developing lively texts for strategic communications-from the concept and research stage right through final drafts and design.
It’s important to me that my writing supports the values in which I believe: publicly funded, universally accessible arts, education, and social programs; meaningful and moving popular culture (particularly Canadian culture); powerful, expressive arts. I believe my writing helps foster an environment that welcomes and sustains creative expression (my own visual art as well as the work of others) as well as arts-friendly teaching.
- Scholarly writing such as
- “A History of Community Art Education at Concordia University: Educating the Artist-Teacher Through Practice and Collaboration” (2017), co-authored with colleagues and graduate students at Concordia. Studies in Art Education 58(1), 28-38;
- “Walking together: Shared authority and co-mentorship between two artists on the move,” co-authored with doctoral student Pohanna Pyne-Feinberg. Visual Inquiry, 5(3), 249-261. Special Issue: From Mentorship to Intellectual Partnership.
- “The ‘art’ of the Right to the City: Interdisciplinary teaching and learning in Pointe-St-Charles” (2016), co-authored with Cynthia Hammond and Emanuelle Dufour. Learning Landscapes, 10(1), 387-418.
- “Dog dreams: A collage reflection of love, loss, poodles, art and academia” (2016). In A. Cole (Ed.), Professorial paws: Dogs in scholars’ lives and works (pp. 176-207). Big Tancook Island, NS: Backalong Books.
- “Art, enchantment and the urban forest: A step, a stitch, a sense of self” (2014). In A. Sandberg, A. Bardekjian, & S. Butt (eds.), Urban forests, trees, and green space: A political ecology perspective, 307-321. London: Earthscan/Routledge.
- “Finding home: A walk, a meditation, a memoir, a collage” (2008), in the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 13(1), 12-24;
- “Unraveling art and language, silence and speech in the making of Unwearable clothing” (2007), in J.G. Knowles, A.L. Cole, L. Nielsen, and T.C. Luciani (Eds.), Visual research: Making the strange visible (pp. 89-105). Halifax, NS: Backalong Books & The Centre for Arts-Informed Research;
- “Pieced together: Collage as an artist’s method of interdisciplinary research,” (2005), in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods 4 (1), Article 3.
- My most extensive scholarly work to date is my dissertation, Finding Home: Knowledge, Collage, and the Local Environments (2007), comprising a full-length text that interweaves memoir with theoretical discussion and research, as well as a mixed media visual art installation. More on the artwork of Finding Home here.
- Popular articles such as
- Map as theory, theory as map: Meditations from the middle of the journey (2013). POIESIS XV: A Journal of the Arts and Communication, 174-186.
- Amor PHAT-T: Walking Auggie Home (2007). POIESIS IX: A Journal of the Arts and Communication, 116-123.
- “Educational Television in Canada: ‘Television that matters'” (1999), included in an expanded French-language version of Educational Television: What Do People Want? (Télévision Éducative : que veut le public?) Coordonné par Michèle Cohen et Manfred Mayer, 2000);
- “Through the Looking Glass: Adventures in art and neuroscience” in Matriart: A Visual Arts Magazine 6 (2 & 3) (Special double issue on “Women’s Body, Women’s Health”), 1996;
- “Working With Images: Healing in Artistic Practice and Depth Therapy”, Matriart, Fall 1993.
- Catalogues and personal essays related to my visual art practice, including
- The ethics of accessing wild city spaces (2015, September 21). Wild City Mapping. [Invited blog post]
- “Modes of knowing and artistic practice: of beauty, bog bodies and brain science,” MFA independent study thesis (1995); and
- “Family stories and family snaps: word and image in The Heirloom Series” (1995)
- Essays such as grapes, ghouls, ghosts and green moonlight, relating to Terra Incognita, an exhibition of the photographs of Rose Kallal and Normand Rajotte, co-curated with Marsha Wineman, Gallery TPW, Toronto (1999)
- Conference presentations such as these recent contributions:
- “The ‘Right to the City:’ Interdisciplinary, Place-based Art Education.” Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the National Art Education Association. New York, NY, March 2-4, 2017.
- “Re-imagining a peace intervention: Sensually/socially engaged art and learning in the Museum.” A collaborative panel with students Emma Harake, Amina Jalabi, Jacob Le Gallais-Morrice, BJ McCarville and Melissa Tamporello at the Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. Montreal, QC, October, 2016.
- “Glorious matter, engaging the senses.” A panel presentation by artist-researchers in the Textiles & Materiality cluster of Milieux, the Concordia University Research Centre for Art, Culture and Technology, also including MJ Daines, WhiteFeather Hunter, Donna Legault, Gen Moisan, and Kelly Thompson. Panel at the Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. Montreal, QC, October 2016.
- “Teaching/Learning/Living Post-Industrial Ecologies: Roundtable on Concordia’s ‘Right to the City’ Initiative.” Collaborative roundtable also featuring Emanuelle Dufour, Jacob Le Gallais, Cynthia Hammond, Christine Swintak, Gillian MacCormack, Steven High, Ted Little, and Eric Craven, at the Association for Critical Heritage Studies Conference. Montreal, QC, June 6, 2016.
- “Cartographies of the self: Self-portrait of the artist as an urban dog walker.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative. Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, May 8-9, 2015.
- Wayfinding in the urban forest. Paper presented at the Conference in association with the 5th International Triennial of Textile and Fibre Arts (April 22-June 10, 2015). National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Riga, Latvia, April 24, 2015.
- “The urban forest as botanical garden: Connecting art, story and education for eco-citizenship.” Paper presented with Adrina Bardekjian at the Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century. Organized by the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre (Concordia University) in Montréal, QC, October 23-25, 2014;
- Nel mezzo del cammin: Canal de Lachine. Paper presented at the conference on Deindustrialization and its aftermath: Class, culture and resistance, jointly organized by Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling and the Scottish Oral History Centre at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Montréal, QC, May 1-4, 2014.
- Research reports (within the university) on projects related to new teachers’ experiences (as research coordinator for Tracking graduates’ success in the teacher job market and experiences in teaching, Parts 1 & 2, Faculty of Education, York University, 2003, 2004) and on teachers’ implementation of the arts in their classrooms (as graduate research assistant for Beginning teachers’ prospectives and constructions of social equity and social difference: Implications for teaching practices (in universities and in schools), N. Norquay, Faculty of Education, York University, 2003).
- Research reports (for institutional and government clients) on
- principles and practices in art education (Ontario’s Ministry of Culture, 2005);
- bullying of classroom teachers (James Matsui Research and the Ontario Elementary Catholic Teachers Association, 2005);
- French broadcasting worldwide (TVOntario, 2001);
- educational broadcasters’ use of new technologies (ACCESS Television, 1999);
- the North American market for multi-media educational software (Leto Consulting, 1998);
- Communications and advocacy campaigns, as well as brochures and promotional materials, for example, emphasizing the social and cultural importance of public funding to Ontario’s citizens, artists, and arts organizations (Ontario Arts Council, 2000-01); promoting continued public funding to TVOntario at the time of its government review (1998); for DirecTV, direct-to-home satellite television (1994); the Elmer Iseler Singers’ season of performances (1996); the launch of TFO, TVOntario’s French-language educational television service (1987); and TVO’s 15th anniversary celebrations (1985)
- Scripts for educational children’s dramas (TVOntario’s Galaxy Classroom, 1999-2000); on-air Membership fundraising campaigns (TVOntario, 1992-2002); and TVO’s infomercial for children’s merchandise (1998)
- License applications for television services — policy and public relations documents describing the scope of service for proposed new digital television channels, DocsTV, Book Television, The Law and Order Channel (2000), and Canadian Learning Television (1993); and for the license renewal for TVOntario (1991), Ontario’s public service, educational broadcaster
- Corporate documents such as Actrascope,the 32-page magazine for members of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) (1992); TVOntario’s corporate plans, annual reports (1993-94, 1995-96,1996-97,1997-98), and government funding submission (1990)
- Speeches emphasizing the importance of training in the business of the arts, for the Cultural Human Resources Commission (CHRC, 1995); celebrating TVOntario’s 25th anniversary, for chairman Peter Herrndorf (1995); and presenting alternatives to media violence, for Joan Pennefather then chair of the National Film Board, with VIVA Associates (1993)
- Fundraising documents for cultural and enviromental organizations, various translations (French to English)
If you would like further information on these projects or works in development, or to propose one on which we might work together, please contact me.
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