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Concordia studio arts technician delivers at-home kits to fine arts students

The course packages for both in-person and remote learning make education more accessible during the pandemic
September 22, 2021
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By Andy Murdoch

Elaine Denis delivering take-home kits to studio arts students. Elaine Denis delivering take-home kits to studio arts students.

Elaine Denis, a technician in the Department of Studio Arts, personally delivered half a dozen take-home kits to students around Montreal and the Eastern Townships region in Quebec at the start of the fall term.

“It’s a question of accessibility for some students,” she says. “Even making it to the post office is tricky.”

Denis worked with a team of faculty and staff over the summer to prepare five different take-home kits for nine sections of the Fibres and Material Practices program in Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts. The kits were designed for both in-person and remote-learning contexts, she explains.

So far, over 123 kits have been distributed to students registered in fibres classes.

“There are in-person activities in the studio, but for the most part they’ll have everything they need at home,” Denis says.

An equitable and accessible education

It’s part of an effort to ensure an equitable and accessible education for all students, adds Kelly Thompson, professor and program coordinator of fibres and material practices.

While students in the program will have opportunities to participate in on-campus activities if they want to, all studio arts classes will be delivered remotely for the fall term.

“Students in our program will be able to come onto campus to document their work, attend short workshops and demonstrations, meet in small groups, borrow equipment from depots and meet with their professor. Advanced-level students can also book spaces to work onsite with our equipment,” Thompson says.

The faculty’s core technical centres and Centre for Digital Arts are also open to all fine arts students.

Students can find information on all in-person activities on their Moodle hub.

‘I wouldn’t be able to stay in school during the pandemic’


Not everyone can to take advantage of these opportunities, though. That’s where the at-home kits level the playing field.

“I’m immunocompromised by certain health conditions, so I requested to have the package delivered at home so I wouldn’t have to be around other students,” says Aaron Ansuini, a third-year fine arts student.

“I’m going to be doing all of my classes remotely this semester. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be able to stay in school during the pandemic.”

Enya-Morgan Heinrichs just moved from Calgary to Dorval, Quebec, with her husband and baby. Since her child hasn’t been vaccinated and she’s in the midst of unpacking, she requested a kit delivery.

“Once everything is settled, I am hoping I might feel more comfortable to go check out some workshops, but we’re very cautious since we have a small child and I do not want her to get sick,” says Heinrichs.

“I’m very excited to be part of the fibres program and of Concordia University.”

Learn more about Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts and Fibres and Materials Practices program. And see the list of optional in-person activities in the Faculty of Fine Arts.

 



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