Canadian First: Concordia opens International Art Hives Network Headquarters
Concordia University has officially launched its first-ever Art Hive on its Sir George Williams Campus — made possible thanks to the generous support of the Rossy Family Foundation. The art hive will also serve as the heart of the International Art Hives Network — a Canadian first in community-based inclusive spaces that advance wellbeing through art.
Art Hives are a vibrant and growing network of therapeutic art studios that strengthen communities far and wide by uniquely promoting community-generated innovation.
“They assure inclusive places in our communities and campuses where everyone is welcome to share ideas, make art, and participate in cultivating a responsive and caring world,” says Timm-Bottos, associate professor in Concordia’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies.
Launched seven years ago by Timm-Bottos, art hives are truly a grassroots movement — one that is deeply connected to Concordia. They encourage communities to come together for arts-based social gatherings that build real connections and a sense of community. They invite visitors to use their hands and connect with their own innate desires to create and express.
Timm-Bottos coined the term “art hive” and went on to found six successful art hives across North America, including Montreal’s first art hive, La Ruche d’Art St-Henri, which opened in 2010.
The network has since grown to more than 135 art hives across Canada and beyond, including 50 in Quebec — 35 of which are in Montreal.
“Concordia has watched the art hive network expand and deepen all these years through the work of Janis Timm-Bottos and her partners,” says Rebecca Duclos, dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “Having the headquarters housed at our university will allow new research, new activity and new communities to thrive."
Hands-on approach to community building
The latest National College Health Assessment — a survey of 43,000 Canadian university and college students — found that mental-health issues have significantly increased since the previous 2013 survey. Loneliness is on the rise in North America as social bonds continue to erode.
“Meeting spaces such as art hives — that are open to all — empower individuals to come together to create and participate, leading to improved well-being,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard. “Thanks to the Rossy Family Foundation’s support, we continue to offer our students and community rich learning experiences through which they can explore their true potential.”
The Rossy Family Foundation’s support has helped establish Concordia’s first campus art hive at the university’s downtown campus, which offers a creative and sustainable space dedicated to improving students’ lives and building community. An art hive at Concordia’s Loyola Campus is slated for the near future.
“The Rossy Family Foundation is pleased to help provide university students access to engaging experiences and enhanced well-being with the launch of the first Concordia campus art hive,” says Stephanie Rossy, vice-chair of the Rossy Family Foundation. “We are eager to learn more about the impact of art hives on well-being, inclusivity and social bonding through the work of the International Art Hive Network Headquarters.”
Campus art hives will provide additional training opportunities for emerging arts therapists while offering all students the multiple benefits of therapeutic art making and community building.
Through the support of the Rossy Family Foundation, the Concordia-based art hive and International Art Hive Network Headquarters will help foster partnerships with the community, as well as contribute to international outreach and build interuniversity collaborations.
Rossy Family Foundation
The Rossy Family Foundation is a Montreal-based private foundation that was established in 2004. Its mission is to contribute to civil society and to improve the lives of Canadians with a focus on cancer care, mental health, civic engagement, education and the arts. It is committed to supporting the vibrancy of Montreal and also funds charitable organizations across Canada and internationally within its areas of focus.