Evoking Place is a portfolio of studio-based and participatory community-based art projects that I have created or facilitated since 2006. These works all share an engagement with place-making. They take up questions of belonging and the role that embodying or recognizing one’s experience in visual art can play in that longed for feeling of being ‘at home’ and building community with others.

Importantly, ‘home’ as construed by the works on this site is not a nostalgic longing for a lost Eden. Rather, as the work of my PhD dissertation, Finding Home: Knowledge, Collage and the Local Environments (2006) helped me see,

I came to realize that my own understanding of home is that of an ever-shifting standpoint from which to learn, grow, understand oneself, relate to others, and contribute to communal life. ‘Home’ thus may well contain or be linked to a specific structure or place, but—for me—it is also a quality of experience of self in relation to self and others.

As an artist, scholar and writer, and educator, my work considers the intersection of body, history and place. I often work with walking as a methodology for simultaneously engaging these three thematics, and I frequently use the form of the map as a trope for representing knowledge, situated personal experience in all its limits and possibilities and desire.

A longtime Toronto resident who returned to my natal city of Montreal in 2008, I have taught art to adults at Concordia University, OCADU and York University, and in community workshops, master’s classes, and recreational contexts. I have worked as a visiting artist in Toronto schools, engaging more than 1000 children in the pleasures of thinking and making. I am now Associate Professor of Art Education at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), where I teach graduate and undergraduate classes in studio practice, community art education, and photography. I also work in community practice in my home neighbourhood of Pointe-St-Charles, a de-industrialized working class Montreal community that historically has faced significant socio-economic challenges and is now experiencing the pressures of gentrification.

I hold a B.A. (English and Art History) from the University of Toronto; an A.O.C.A. (Painting and Drawing) from the Ontario College of Art and Design University; a Master’s of Fine Art (Studio Arts) from Concordia University; and a PhD (Education) from York University, Toronto, where my award-winning practice-based dissertation was the first of its kind in the Faculty of Education.

In addition to the recent projects described here, more about my work can be found on my website: www.akaredhanded.com

Place for me is the locus of desire.

Lucy Lippard,  The Lure of the Local  (1997)


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