Queen's University

Art and Wellness Symposium

Friday 27 March 2020
9 am–5 pm

This public symposium welcomes those working in art and wellness and those looking to learn more.

Building on the success of Art Hive @Agnes, this public symposium welcomes those working in art and wellness — and those looking to learn more — to a supportive environment for learning about the transformative potential of the arts within communities. This symposium addresses innovative art and wellness programs and engagements in practice across museums, hospitals, art studios and community gathering spaces. Participants will experience hands-on workshops and talks from experts in the fields of community building, social prescriptions, creativity, museum wellness, craft and Indigenous practice. This event is free, register to save your spot.

Join us as we explore together how the arts can support the creation of a healthier, more connected and just society, and commit to take action at the community, institutional and political levels.

This event is made possible through the generous support of the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area


The symposium filled quickly. Add your name to the wait list and AGNES will contact you if space opens.

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9 am–9:30 am
Coffee, Workshop Registration

9:30 am–9:40 am
General Welcome and Land Acknowledgment

9:40 am–10:30 am
Keynote Presentation: “Repurposing Civic Spaces for Healing through the Creative Arts” with Janis Timm Bottos

Whether a treasured museum or a declining mall, library, park, or university building, spaces are being re-visioned into working commons of renewal and healing through the creative arts. This presentation will review relevant research and offer practical methods and technologies developing in Quebec, including Art Hives, Science Shops and Living Labs for Older Adults to collectively respond to urgent social, environmental and existential determinants of health.

10:30 am–11:30 am
Talk 1: “When the Museum Cares” with Stephen Legari

Museums the world over are increasingly becoming locations for activities in health, well-being and even therapy. This presentation will focus on the evolution of programming in the department of Education and Well-Being at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The presentation will include case studies, different approaches, testimonials and artwork from a variety of co-created community partnerships. Attendees will be invited to participate in a reflective experiential using a sample of artwork from the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

Talk 2: “Play for Creativity and Wellbeing” with Eve Blouin

In this evidence-based talk, participants will learn that creativity is a process with distinct stages, and that each stage of this process can be used as a tool for wellbeing. We will explore the creative process through the psychology of play as play allows for a curious, non-judgmental exploration of the self.

Talk 3: “The Physician as an Artist” with Max Montalvo

Gesture drawing can be used as an innovative arts-based method for medical trainees to help develop a more holistic approach to clinical medicine and to deepen the physician’s appreciation of patient experiences.

11:30 am–12 pm
Tour of Current Exhibitions

12 pm–1 pm
Catered Lunch provided by Agnes

1 pm–2 pm
Keynote Presentation: “Crafting Empathy, Stitch by Stitch” with Savneet Talwar

This talk will briefly address the history of craft and fabrication and the role it can play in building community, promoting wellbeing, and skill sharing. Exploring an ethics of care methodology, the act of making and doing will be explored to illustrate the radical nature of crafting both as an individual art practice, and a means for public dialogue.

2 pm–2:15 pm
Introduction to “Thing Provocations” with Allison Morehead

Allison Morehead will discuss how she has used a practice of “thing provocations” in both art museums and medical museums to animate new conversations and new encounters among people, spaces, and so-called things.

2:15 pm–3:30 pm
Afternoon Workshops – “Thing Provocations”

Workshop 1: Soulful Singing in the Galleries with Reverend Wendy Luella Perkins

Workshop 2: Poetry in the Atrium with Kingston Poet Bruce Kauffman

3:30 pm–4 pm
Coffee Break

4 pm–5 pm
Panel: Reflective Discussion Moderated by Rachel Chainey


Art Hive @Agnes

Eve Blouin-Hudon, PhD, is a positive psychologist and expert on creativity and imagination. She is a university instructor at Carleton University in the Department of Psychology, where she teaches courses on creativity, play, and innovation. She is also the founder of Bevy Creative, a consulting agency delivering evidence-based workshops, talks, and one-on-one tools to both individuals and organizations.

Rachel Chainey, MA, is an art therapist, social entrepreneur, daily life artist and community organizer.  This curious jill-of-all-trades is passionate about people, stories, intersectional social justice and collaboration. She has been serving as the Art Hives Network National Coordinator at Concordia University since 2014, and working within different Montreal Art Hives since 2010. She is also Co-Founder and Co-Director of Coop Le Milieu, Community Art Studio & Neighbourhood Café, an Art Hive in Montreal, QC.

Bruce Kauffman lives in Kingston and is a poet, editor, writing workshop facilitator, and event organizer. In addition to his work having been published in several anthologies, art-lit magazines, and journals, he has four chapbooks and four collections of poetry published — his most recent is an evening absence still waiting for moon, (2019). He also produces and hosts a weekly spoken word radio show on CFRC 101.9fm, and organizes and hosts a monthly open mic reading series.

Stephen Legari holds a Master’s in Creative Arts Therapies from Concordia University and a Master’s in Couple and Family therapy from the School of Social Work of McGill University. Legari is Program Officer for art therapy at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. This comprehensive museum-based program creates specialized projects for diverse groups including neuro a-typical adults, adults with disabilities and those living with long term illness, trauma, and grief. Legari is in constant search of new ways for the fine arts to be a source of connection and recovery.

Max Montalvo, MD, is an award-winning visual artist and a practicing emergency room physician in Kingston, Ontario.  He has directed and produced music videos for various Canadian musicians, most notably The Tragically Hip, earning the Much Music best rock/alternative video award for the band’s single ‘In A World Possessed By The Human Mind’ (2017).  Further collaboration with the Hip produced the short film ‘Raspoutine’, an inside-the-studio look at the band’s album recording process and ‘161!’, an online visual poem that explores human perception. Montalvo directed his first feature length film, ‘El Payo’ (2009), a documentary chronicling the tragic story of David Phillips, an obscure and influential non-gypsy guitarist who spawned a vibrant flamenco culture still thriving across Canada.  The documentary received the People’s Choice award at the Bay Street Film Festival (2010) and the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival (2010).

Montalvo blends his passion for the arts with his role as a physician.  He is actively involved in the use of visual art, film and sound in medical education, creating a series of short films that have been used in the Faculty of Emergency Medicine at Queen’s.  Several medical conferences have featured his workshops, guiding participants in the use of the short-film genre as a novel method of medical teaching. Montalvo appeared as a guest on CBC’s White Coat Black Art in the episode ‘Where art and medicine meet’.

Allison Morehead, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History and Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, studies the links between modern art and the medicalization of modern life. Her pedagogical practice, including work in the critical medical humanities, emphasizes first-person encounters and interactions with things in the world, both art and non-art.

Wendy Luella Perkins, a Singer-songwriter has committed her life to spiritual deepening, community-building and progressive social change. For ten years, she has facilitated meditative singing groups called Soulful Singing around Kingston and across the country that create spontaneous, joyful circles of song.

Savneet Talwar, Ph.D., ATR- BC, Professor, is a Professor and the Chair of the graduate art therapy and counseling program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her PhD in American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD in 2010 and her MA in art therapy from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, IL in 1992.  Savneet is a founding member of the Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies think tank. Her current research examines feminist politics and pedagogy, critical theories of difference, social justice and questions of resistance.  Using an interdisciplinary approach, she is interested in community-based art practices; cultural trauma; performance art and public cultures as they relate to art therapy practice and pedagogy. Talwar is the author of Art Therapy for Social Justice: Radical Intersection and has published in Arts in Psychotherapy, Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, and contributed several book chapters in edited volumes.  She is also the founder of the CEW (Creatively Empowered Women) Design Studio, a craft, sewing, and fabrication enterprise for Bosnian and South Asian women at the Hamdard Center in Chicago. She is the past Associate Editor of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association (2015-2018).

Janis Timm-Bottos, PhD, ATR-BC, PT, is the founder and director of the Art Hives Initiative (http://www.arthives.org/). She promotes arts-based social inclusion through the development of neighborhood and institutional third spaces of mutual care for all ages, along with specialized studios for groups requiring support to regain their participation in society. A former physical therapist, Timm-Bottos is an art therapist, associate professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts and the primary investigator for an interdisciplinary FRQ-SC engAGE Living Lab Mall project with and for older adults. The Art Hives Network is an open source online community connecting 190 Art Hives worldwide.



Art Hive @Agnes

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