Concordia University

Kathleen Vaughan, PhD, MFA

Associate Professor, Art Education

Office: S-EV 2817 
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4677
Website(s): Kathleen Vaughan

"Part of what's important to me is creating communities of learning in my classes so that we're learning together: a constructivist approach to learning.  I want the work I develop with students to relate to contemporary issues and events so that we look beyond the classroom walls and move out into the world in as many ways as possible. I guess the question for art education in the 21st century is, how do we orient ourselves within our current context: towards inclusivity, diversity, the variety of media we have, and the richness of pop culture as well as the historically traditional fine arts."

I have a strong orientation towards research/creation and learning through making; having the making be at the core of thinking, theorizing, writing, and teaching. For me my practice is the central part of my work. In the end, we're all trying to find different ways to talk about how research happens through art-making and how we want to consider that research be expressed through art, language, and other associated communicative forms.

As an artist, scholar and educator, Kathleen Vaughan's interdisciplinary practice integrates research-creation, methodological theorizing, and collaborative and community-based practices.

Her research-creation has both an individual studio component and an orientation to collaborative, participatory projects, taking up questions of home, belonging and spirit of place. She is particularly compelled by the traces of histories that endure in places and the ways that human stories are built in place. Those places can be the urban streets of Toronto or Montreal (the two cities between which she has moved) or the more natural settings of waterways, woodlands and peat bogs. All – and the histories, dreams and myths that are sited there – have inspired her artwork. She works in drawing, painting, photography, textiles and text, often in collaged conjunctions. Her practice integrates analogue and digital technologies, and she is a research member of the Hexagram Concordia Centre for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technologies.

Intrigued by the application of fine arts methods to scholarship, Dr. Vaughan is elaborating collage as a framework for interdisciplinary research/creation/pedagogy. Her methodological theorizing often draws from and supports her own creative projects. 

As an artist in the community, Kathleen Vaughan mobilizes people in social service agencies, community sites, museums and galleries, after-school programs and more, in creating socially and personally relevant artwork. Research projects such as Vu d'ici: Artmaking and Storytelling with Seniors in Pointe-St-Charles have engaged residents of social housing, taking up questions of home and belonging. For her 2012 bilingual artist's project, Dans le village.../In the village..., she partnered with curator Shauna Janssen and the Centre d'histoire de Montréal (with financial support from the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, COHDS), creating an interactive artist's workbook and community walk through the Montreal community of Goose Village, expropriated and demolished in anticipation of Expo 67. Dr. Vaughan often integrates oral history methods and content into her community-based research; she is a core member of COHDS.

Kathleen Vaughan also locates her teaching within Montreal's fertile community settings, with Graduate Studio classes (2013, 2014, 2015) being linked to place. For 2015-2016, Dr. Vaughan will join colleagues Dr. Cynthia Hammond (Art History), Dr. Steven High (History) and Dr. Edward Little (Theatre) in "The Right to the City," a cross-disciplinary, community-engaged exploration of Pointe-St-Charles, one of Montreal's most economically marginal neighbourhoods now contending with gentrification and increasing income inequality.

Kathleen Vaughan holds a PhD in Education from York University (Toronto), where her multimodal PhD dissertation incorporating a visual art installation and illustrated text was the first of its kind at the university, and won four Canadian and international academic awards for innovation and excellence. Dr. Vaughan has also earned an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University (Montreal), a diploma in Fine Arts from the (then) Ontario College of Art (Toronto) and a BA in English and Art History from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Art Education faculty at Concordia in 2008, she taught in York University's Faculty of Education, at the Ontario College of Art and Design, in Concordia's Studio Arts department and through visiting artist programs in Toronto schools.

Dr. Vaughan also works as a consultant on issues of arts, education, culture, and broadcasting for clients in the public and private sectors.


Selected publications

Vaughan, K. (2015).  A möbius paradigm for artistic research:Entwining qualitative practices and the uncanny in a further elaboration of acollage method of inquiry. In R.M. Viadel, J. Roldán, &X.M. Medina, (Eds). Fundamentos, Criterios, Contextos en Investigaciónbasada en Artes y en Investigación Artistica/Foundations, Criteria and Contextsin Arts-based Research and Artistic Research. Vol 4: Panorama de especialidadesartísticas/Landscape of Artistic Specialities (31-58). Granada, Spain: Universityof Granada Press. Available at

Vaughan, K. (2014). Art, enchantment and the urbanforest: A step, a stitch, a sense of self.In A. Sandberg, A. Bardekjian, & S. Butt (eds.), Urban forests, trees, and green space: A politicalecology perspective, 307-321. London: Earthscan/Routledge.   

Vaughan, K. (2013). Mapas theory, theory as map: Meditations from the middle of the journey. POIESIS XV: A Journal of the Arts andCommunication, 174-186.

Vaughan, K. (2010). Creating ruins: Image and object in making Unwearable clothing. Mosaic: A journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature (a special issue: Sculpture) 43(2), 185-201.

Vaughan, K. (2009). Research creation as material thinking: Reflecting on the context of making of two doctoral students at Concordia University, Montreal. (In association with two articles by doctoral students Danut Zbarcea and Natasha Reid.) Studies in Material Thinking (3). Available on-line at

Vaughan, K. (2009, April). A home in the arts: From research-creation to practice - or The story of a dissertation in the making, in action - so far! International Journal of Education and the Arts, 10(13). Available on-line at

Vaughan, K. (2009, April). The importance of asking the 'right' questions: Considering issues of interpretation in art-as-research. Working Papers in Art and Design 5: The Problem of Interpretation in Research in the Visual and Performing Arts. University of Hertfordshire, UK. Available on-line at

Vaughan, K. (2009). Mariposa: The story of a work of research/creation, taking shape, taking flight. In R. Dean and H. Smith (Eds.), Practice-led research, research-led practice in the creative arts, (pp. 166-186). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Vaughan, K. (2009). Finding home: A walk, a meditation, a memoir, a collage. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 13(1): 30-42.

Vaughan, K. (2008). Inevitable. In D.F.A. Jacobs (Ed.), The authentic dissertation: Alternative ways of knowing, research and representation, (pp. 117-120). London: Routledge.

Vaughan, K. (2007). Unraveling art and language, silence and speech in the making of Unwearable clothing. In J.G. Knowles, T.C. Luciani, A.L. Cole, L. Nielsen, and T.C. Luciani (Eds.), The art of visual inquiry (pp. 89-105). Toronto, ON & Halifax, NS: Centre for Arts-Informed Research & Backalong Books.

Vaughan, K. (2005, March). Pieced together: Collage as an artist's methodology for     interdisciplinary research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods IV(1).
Available on-line at


Solo exhibitions

September 5-October 26, 2014 •Evoking Place: Point St. Charles and Montreal’s South West/La poétique duquartier: Pointe-St-Charles et le Sud Ouest. Installation of Nel mezzo del cammin: Canal de Lachinetextile map. Salon Laurette, Montréal, QC.

June 2011-June 2011 • Finding Home. A collage installation about self, place, community, and belonging. Northern District Branch, Toronto Public Library, Toronto, ON.

February 1-29, 2008 • Finding Home. A collage installation bout self, place, community, and belonging. Type Books, Toronto, ON.

November 23-26, 2006 • Finding Home. Dissertation exhibition of multi-modal creative/scholarly work. Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON.

November 10-December 10, 2004 • Bog Series. Municipal Hall and Arts and Culture Centre, Gemeente Assen, Netherlands, in association with the Drents Museum's presentation of The Mysterious Bog People.

March 6-April 13, 2003 • De l'esthétique des corps des tourbières et de la neurologie [Bog Series]. Galerie Montcalm, Gatineau, QC (in association with the Canadian Museum of Civilization's international exhibition of The Mysterious Bog People).

March 23-April 13, 2001 • The Heirloom Series, mixed media works exploring my grandparents' lives and times, and their continuing resonance in mine. Victoria College, University of Toronto, ON.

Collaborative projects and group exhibitions

April 23-June 10, 2015 • Fifth RigaInternational Textile and Fibre Art Triennial. Nel mezzo del cammin: Angell Woods, walking map of the contestedsuburban Montreal green space. The only Canadian artwork selected for thisimportant international show. Museum of Decorative Art and Design, Riga, Latvia.

September 2-29, 2014 Parallax: Landscape inTranslation with artists Cynthia Hammond and Kelly Thompson. Textile maps, Nel mezzo del cammin: Summit Woods and Morgan Arboretum exhibited at the FOFAGallery, Montréal, QC.

May 2014 • Nelmezzo del cammin: Canal du Lachine Canal. Textile map exhibited in thegroup show of the international conference “De-industrialization and ItsAftermath,” Montreal, QC.

April 2013 • Midway in the JourneyTwo textile maps of walks in Summit Woods and the Morgan Arboretum, exhibited in a group show of "Urban Forests and Political Ecologies" at Hart House, University of Toronto, ON.

July 28, 2012 & October 6, 2012 • Goose Village. Collaborative site-specific participatory artwork with artist Shauna Jannsen for the Musée d’Histoire de Montréal’s Quartiers disparus exhibition.

September 30-October 2, 2011 • I’ll take you home again, Kathleen. Mixed media installation as part of the participatory group exhibition Darling Arcade, developed under the auspices of Urban Occupations Urbaines and presented at the Darling Foundry, Montreal, in celebration of the Journées de la culture, Montreal, QC.

February 26, 2011 • Selected images from Made Flesh. Three graphic novel enlargements (digital collages) at the juried neighbourhood-based show at Griffintown’s New City Gas, Montreal, QC. Part of the city’s Nuit Blanche celebration.

February 26, 2011 • Storied Sites. A participatory community weave collaboratively coordinated with Kelly Thompson and Lisa Vinebaum, a 3D fibre map of the city of Montreal, telling participants’ stories of space and place.

November, 2010 • Home Sweet. 5 minute digital storytelling contribution to .dpi 19 - Online publication of Studio XX, a non-profit feminist organization dedicated to new media art.

Available at

February 27, 2010 • Map: Raglan, Map: Humewood, Map: Cedarvale, Map: Wychwood Park. Four textile maps at a juried neighbourhood-based show at Griffintown's New City Gas, Montreal, QC. Part of the city's Nuit Blanche celebrations.

June 14-July 23, 2007 • Melusine. Body of Water. Textile sculpture installation at Side Space Gallery, Toronto, ON.

November 2005-Fall 2006 • Dark Angels: Jupiter, Muskoka. Triple X, 30th Anniversary Exhibitions, Visual Arts Ontario traveling exhibit. Toronto, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, ON.

February 21-March 17, 2004 • Embodied (Look), Embodied (Listen) and Embodied (Touch) in Unusual Suspects. Gallery One, Toronto, ON.

November 22-23, 2003 • Embodied (Look). "Artiste d'honneur" of Energies et création. Archives du Canada, Gatineau, QC.

September 26-October 11, 2002 • Heirloom Fragment (Blue), in The Common Thread, a biennial textile exhibition. Sheridan College School of Craft and Design Gallery, Oakville, ON.

Teaching activities

Selected thesis supervision

PhD Theses

Mandrona, April. "What can we make with this?" Creating relevant art education practices in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Concordia 2014.

M.A. Theses 

Brindamour, Amélie. A multidisciplinary place-specific art course outline for CEGEP level. Concordia 2014. (studio-based thesis with a pedagogical application) 

Harel, Stéphanie. Entrelacer la mémoire du présent. Concordia 2014. (studio/community art thesis) 

Levesque, Michel. Youth Enrichment Services Comic Book Project (YES CPB): Comics creation with LGBT/Q Youth. Concordia 2014. (teaching thesis)

Lickley, Sarah. Educational experiences in making art: An investigation of process-based learning in the studio. Concordia 2013. (studio-based thesis)

Kenney, Zachary. The Art Room: Reflecting on my multiple roles in the creation of art educational videos for children. Concordia 2012. (studio-based thesis)

Abbondanza-Bergeron, Andréanne. The post-art school transition: A journey through incompatible worlds. Concordia 2010. (studio-based thesis)

Del Vecchio, Deanna. Photo-lit: Self-expression through digital photography and creative writing. Concordia 2010. (community art thesis)

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