P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education & the Arts

Infusing Education with the Creative

Resting, Walking, Place-Making: How Do We Talk About Invisible, Liminal Spaces in Art?

Creative Dance and Movement

Déborah Maia de Lima is a Brazilian dancer and researcher, whose work explores the relationship between movement, education, health and creativity since 2006.

She will be in the MAHI every Thursday from 12 to 4 pm (March 29 to May 03), with an open invitation to students, staff and faculty to engage in diverse dance and creative processes.

She is also open to come to anyone’s classes to speak about her project in connection to education and to the relevance it has in our current learning experiences.

Come join us in celebrating the arts and our great community of Education!

For more info email:



Sound and Space Work Group

Sound and Space Work Group  – with Artists in Residence Victoria Stanton and Aaron Richmond


In this project, we are interested in using a transitional space as a testing ground for processes of collaboration.


Each week, we will take a different set of material and conceptual parameters, using them as a point of departure for different modes of attention, movement, and action.  What does it mean to occupy a space in each other’s company? And how can these dynamics be re-configured through our explorations of sound and space?


Meetings are held weekly in April and May, from 1-3pm on the first floor of the McGill Education Building (next to the McGill Art Hive).


*Over the Month of May, we will be bringing invited guests into the work group, leading exercises which focus on deep listening, and experiments with sound.






Proposition Atrium

In the winter of 2018, Artist in Residence Aaron Richmond will work on the Art Hive Drawing Board and with students in Layal Shuman’s Basic Design Class, asking the question:


How can drawing be used to re-imagine collective space?

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to consider the current conditions of the atrium, and to create simple interventions into its material and functional make-up.





EducArt in Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


EducArt is an invitation to discover the Museum’s collection through online resources for high school teachers of all subjects, as part of pilot projects in each of Quebec’s seventeen administrative regions. For more information please click on the above picture.*




*Text and picture are retrieved from Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website.







Sample X: The Way I Hear It!

Jai Nitai Lotus, P. Lantz Visiting Artist-in-Residence

November-December, 2018

Jai Nitai Lotus set up a weekly portable music station in the Faculty of Education, McGill, to create sample-based, Hip Hop music with an open invitation to students and faculty to participate in the process.

These are his reflections about the process:

I was very pleased to present my Sample X: The Way I Hear It! project within and around McGill’s Faculty of Education. Everyone was very helpful and made my stay here very welcoming. My project’s main objective was to use and display sample-based Hip Hop music as a method in which we can open up realms of possibility, which can be helpful when teaching in a modern context.

I was very pleased with the response and participation from students and faculty. I was invited to speak and present in multiple classes, and was able to fit in 5 out of 7 invitations.

The classes that I attended included:

2 visits to Professor Mitch McLarnon’s ‘History Through Migrations’ first-year class, which was a great experience. I have attached two reflection pieces that two students wrote on my presentation and the impact on how it affected them. I was very pleased to see the connections they drew. A third student followed up with me, asking my opinion on an assignment she had written on the lack of African-Canadian representation in history within our education system, which I believe is very true. She included a musical playlist to her assignment, inspired by my presentation. She recently followed up with me to potentially do some volunteering at the youth music studio I manage in Cote des Neiges (NBS Studio).

I presented in Professor Naomi Nichols’ grad class. We had a great exchange and an impactful Q&A session after my presentation. Several of her students followed up during my stay, some of them talking to me about specific projects and ideas that they are working on. One of her students recently invited me to be a guest speaker in her class on 21st Century Education, which I was able to speak at last week. The response was very positive.

I also spoke in Dr. Bronwen Low’s undergraduate class on young adult literature. The presentation went really well and she even had a few drop-in students attend her class who I had spoken to earlier while creating in the cafeteria area.

The Art Hive launch was another highlight of my stay. I had the opportunity to present to many people alongside so many talented artists doing their residence here. There are very few things I believe in as strongly as the power of art to open hearts and minds, and to create positive transformation within our educational systems and to society at large. I support this initiative 100%.

I had many good exchanges with students while doing my residence on Thursdays, where I requested and received dozens of songs to sample and rework. We spoke a lot about art and education on a one-on-one basis, and on the many benefits of sharing our talents and information with people who may not have access.

I have attached one small musical snippet of one of my favorite sampled pieces below. I had recorded a student (who I had asked permission to record) while he played the piano within the cafeteria area. I really enjoy how the atmosphere of the building was captured and expressed. First it plays the recording in its original form, followed by what I made from it.

Thank you for the opportunity,





Position Available: Casual Artist in Residence

The Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE), Faculty of Education, McGill University is putting out a call for the P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education & the Arts: Artist in Residence (AiR).

For more information about the P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education & the Arts, see our website: http://knowledge-ˇthrough-ˇthe-ˇ

This new competition will mark the fourth year of the Artist in Residence program in DISE.

For more information about the Available Position click on the following image or here




Brown Bag Lunch Series in the M.A.H.I./ McGill Art Hive Initiative

Please join us for the first of a monthly series of
 conversations on art and difficult subjects
Brown Bag Lunch Series in the M.A.H.I./ McGill Art Hive Initiative
Thursday, February 8, 12-1pm
Art Hive 1st Floor, Education Building,
McGill University
3700 McTavish
On Thurs. February 8th Shelley Ruth Butler (McGill, Institute for Study of Canada) and Jennifer Carter (UQAM, Director of Museology programmes and Professor in the Department of Art History) and project research assistants, will be the speakers at our Brown Bag Lunch series. Carter and Butler are affiliated with the Curating & Public Scholarship Lab (CaPSL) located at Concordia University – a research centre that translates academic scholarship into exhibitions, responding to critical social issues. CaPSL projects speak to the legacies of colonialism, genocide, slavery, and human rights abuses through the exhibition of (potentially) difficult subjects and imagery.
The talk will introduce the MAHI audience to the research project, “Beyond Museum Walls: New Methodologies for Public Dialogue Around Difficult History and Cultural Conflict” designed to support the creation and mobilization of knowledge via new methodologies for critical museum-scholar-community collaborations and engagement with difficult subject matter. With researchers and research assistants from all four Montreal universities, the project supports the development, debate, and dissemination of shareable pedagogical tools to engage scholars and publics in critical, creative dialogue with museums. 
For more information on CaPSL Curating & Public Scholarship Lab:
Jennifer Carter (PhD McGill University) is a critical museologist and historian of art and architecture. Her research focuses on the history and theories of museums, museum architecture and expography, and the museology of human rights and social justice. She has worked in museums and archives in Canada, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), and the Canadian Architecture Collection (McGill University). As curator, she has organized several exhibitions, including Drawing from Ideas, Building from Books: Architectural Treatises in the McGill University LibraryWomen and Homelessness, and Safdie’s Sixties: Looking Forward to Looking Back. Jennifer is Associate Editor of Museum Management and Curatorship, and a member of the Board of Directors of ICOM-Canada and the Montreal Holocaust Museum.
 Shelley Ruth Butler (PhD York University) is a cultural anthropologist who researches museums, curating, and heritage sites in Canada and South Africa. She co-edited (with Erica Lehrer) Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions (MQUP 2016), and facilitates Curatorial Dreaming workshops for researchers, museums professionals, and community groups ( Her first book, Contested Representations: Re-visiting Into the Heart of Africa (1999 & 2011) is a widely taught ethnography of a controversial exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Weekly Art Talk with Artist-in-Residence Victoria Stanton

18 Jan 2018 to 24 May 2018
14:00 to 16:00
Life is everywhere – and so is Art!
P. Lantz Artist-in-Residence Victoria Stanton invites you to explore art in the everyday. Wanting to make something but feeling shy? Wanting to incorporate creative expression into daily activities? Over tea and a chat, let’s see what could transpire…

Weekly Art Walk with Artist-in-Residence Victoria Stanton

Jan 2018 to  25 May 2018,  
16:00 to 14:00 
P. Lantz Artist-in-Residence Victoria Stanton invites you for a silent art walk on the mountain. Beauty is right here in our backyard – and everywhere once we start to notice it. The Weekly Art Walk is a moment to reflect and recharge; to move and unwind. Come be enchanted by simplicity! Open to individual and group walks.
From the artist:
Sitting at the foot of Mount-Royal, the Faculty of Education overlooks the incredibly lush terrain of one of this city’s most important landmarks. The Weekly Walk takes advantage of this proximity, inviting students, faculty and staff to come join me every Friday to journey up the steps and onto the trails from 3 – 4pm. The Weekly Walk is a moment to reflect, recharge, or to reconnect (with oneself, with nature); to problem-solve, zone out or just get outside for an hour… It is generally a silent walk, but exceptions can be made to have a Walk & Talk if this is specially requested by a participant.

The Mural Project: A Community Wall Drawing

Interested in working at a large scale?

Come and join a work group that will explore the materials and techniques of site-specific drawing.


Participants will work together, exploring:

  1. How to work with architectural parameters.
  2. Choosing the right materials.
  3. Developing a formal vocabulary.
  4. Drawing and painting on a large-scale.


Participants can join the group at any point.  The work will be done afternoons throughout the month of May.


Organization: Artist-in-Residence

2018 Weekly Indigenous Film Series

McGill’s Faculty of Education and The P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education and the Arts present the 2018 season of the Weekly Indigenous Film Series, facilitated by Lori Beavis and supported by McGill’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education and the Institute for Human Development and Well-Being (IHDW).


List of films:

Qallunaat! Why White People are Funny, Mark Sandiford  (2006)  

11 Jan. 2018 – 16:00 to 18:00





“Experimental Eskimos” (2009, Greenwald & Arnaquq-Baril)

25 Jan. 2018 – 16:00 to 18:00





“Arctic Defenders” (2013, Walker/Arnaquq–Baril)

1 Feb2018 – 16:00 to 18:00





“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” (2011, Alison Klayman)

8 Feb2018 – 16:00 to 18:00





Born into Brothels, 2004 (written & directed by Zana Briski &Ross Kauffman, 85 min)

15 Feb2018 – 16:00 to 18:00





The Silent Enemy (1928) Directed by H.P. Carver, Douglas Burden, Producer

15 March 2018 – 14:00 to 16:00

(Picture: Molly Nelson, Penobscot actress, dancer, writer, 1903-1977)




Birth of a Family (2016, Tasha Hubbard)

5 April 2018 – 14:00 to 16:00




Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World (2017, Catherine Bainbridge, dir. / Alfonso Maiorana, co-dir.)

12 April 2018 – 14:00 to 16:00





McGill Art Hive Initiative (MAHI) Recycling Campaign

One of the great drivers of the Art Hives Movement is a commitment to the creative reuse of resources. The artistic potential of recycled materials was explored via a Recycled Art Workshop on Dec 6th in the Lobby of the Education Building. The workshop, facilitated by Lori Beavis (P. Lantz Initiative Coordinator), Maria Ezcurra (MAHI Art Facilitator), and Zeynab YousefZadeh, also marked the start of the MAHI’s recycling campaign for the coming year.

Special collection boxes have been placed at the 1st and 2nd floor entrances of the Faculty of Education, as well as at the entrance of the Art Hive itself in the Curriculum Resources Centre.

The MAHI encourages the McGill community to embrace this spirit of creative reuse and generously donate to the cause in the form of art and craft supplies (new or gently used) and reusable materials such as wood, paper, fabric etc. Help us make this initiative as sustainable as possible.



Music in the Atrium: Students from Music Education Class work with Artists in Residence

Overview of the Project:
This was a Music-Education dual degree class. We went into the class on November 24th, 2017 and talked about “constructivist” approaches to art making, i.e. working with basic elements, and experimenting with spatial parameters. We gave them all a basic layout plan of the atrium space and asked them to come to our second meeting with instruments in hand. They were also meant to draw a “propositional sketch” which would outline an ensemble of 3-4 instruments within the space of the atrium. 
In the atrium, we did a number of warm up exercises in which they “attuned” their instruments and voices to the material conditions within the environment. We explored the properties of “rhythm” as a sonic texture ( musical consistency) rather than a strictly regulated meter. The students were asked to sound out for one another in the space, and to develop conversations within a musical environment that would allow for other conversations to enter. 
In the second part of the exercise, we took three different ensemble concepts,  and used them as a prompt for three different soundscapes.In between each ensemble, the group came together and discussed the previous exercise and made slight adjustments to our working methods. For example, we banned ourselves from the piano which we considered too much of a “compositional” (as opposed to constructivist) sound machine. We also limited ourselves from speaking to one another in the process. The last piece we did we moved into the stairwell and made the logic of walking up and down the stairs our central musical prompt. 
Our emphasis was on what Victoria and Aaron were thinking of as a dual opening – one towards the pre-existing musicality of the space, and one towards the potential musicality of others who might want to enter. This was a very special class – and the teacher Lisa Lorenzino, to her credit, really had the group primed for this kind of camaraderie. 

SAMPLE X, The Way I Hear It! – Every Thursday, from Nov 8th to December 14th, 2017

The P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education & the Arts

through its Visiting Artist-in-Residence Initiative, presents:

Every Thursday, from Nov 8th to December 14th, 11 am to 4 pm.

Entrance lobby (and some other spots), Faculty of Education, McGill University


We are pleased to let you know that we are having a Visiting Artist-in-Residence in the Faculty of Education.

Jai Nitai Lotus will be setting up a portable music station every Thursday from 11 am to 4 pm, to create sample-based, Hip Hop music with an open invitation to students and faculty to participate in the process.

He is also open to come to anyone’s classes to speak about his project in connection to education and to the relevance it has in our current learning experiences.

For more info email: or Jai Nitai LoTus

Jai Nitai Lotus is a multi-disciplinary Hip Hop artist, based out of Montreal. He has played the Montreal Jazz Festival twice with his 9-piece band, as well as numerous other national festivals (Manifesto, Harbor Front, NXNE). He has earned many accolades, such as winning a TIMA (Toronto Independent Music Award), being nominated for Best Rap Album at the Quebec Gamiq Awards and a Polaris Prize mention. He currently works as the Music Coordinator at NBS studio (a part of the Masion des Jeunes Cote-des-Neiges) recording, educating and mentoring youth through Hip Hop music.

Come join us in celebrating the arts and our great community of Education!

INVITATION: McGill Art Hive (MAHI) Launch, TUE NOV 28 5 pm

The Faculty of Education cordially invites you to experience the transformative power of shared creativity as we launch the new McGill Art Hive Initiative (MAHI) to the greater McGill community. This initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Rossy Family Foundation, and builds upon the P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education in the Arts.

An Art Hive is based on the idea of an open studio space. It welcomes everyone as an artist, supporting them in the exploration of their creative capacity and aiming to build a stronger, more inclusive community through the process of art-making.

Come and spend some time in our newfound home learning more about what the Art Hive could mean for students, instructors and all the various student support units on campus; getting to know the artists-in-residence, and enjoying exhibitions and screenings.


Dr. Claudia Mitchell, Director of the IHDW

Dr. Maria Ezcurra, MAHI Art Facilitator

Ms. Sadaf Farookhi, MAHI Coordinator

Tuesday, November 28, 5-7 pm @ Education building, 3700 McTavish, 1st floor

[Click here or on the image to RSVP]

[event page]

Monthly Report About Nothing

From September 2017 through to May 2018, I will join the inimitable Vince Tinguely in a guest spot on his radio show, The Kitchen Bang Bang Law.

This monthly check-in, taking place the last Tuesday of each month on CKUT, 90.3 FM (McGill’s radio station), will be a time when Vince and I chat, interview-style, about my residency experience at McGill, reflecting on the developments and discoveries as they unfold over the year.


– Listen to Sept 26 archive here – (cue to 9:19 on the timeline)










Weekly Walk

Sitting at the foot of Mount-Royal, the Faculty of Education overlooks the incredibly lush terrain of one of this city’s most important landmarks. The Weekly Walk takes advantage of this proximity, inviting students, faculty and staff to come join me at the corner of Peel and Doctor Penfield every Friday to journey up the steps and onto the trails from 3 – 4pm. The Weekly Walk is a moment to reflect, recharge, or to reconnect (with oneself, with nature); to problem-solve, zone out or just get outside for an hour… It is generally a silent walk, but exceptions can be made to have a Walk & Talk if this is specially requested by a participant.

Resting, Walking, Place-Making: Blog

In May 2016, I embarked on a quest: I decided to make work about nothing. More precisely, I wanted to see if I could undertake to Do Nothing as an art project. But as soon as I began, I was immediately beleaguered by the question: What does that even mean? This question lead me on a yearlong journey which wrapped up its first cycle the following spring.

Recognizing a need to continue this line of inquiry around the complex quest to Do Nothing (and deciding, finally, to this on as a lifelong preoccupation), I thought it could be relevant to look back to previous projects, to see how work from my past was actually paving the way for this current endeavour to come into being.

The result is a second cycle of the Doing Nothing project, expanded to include other processes that have informed my art-making, and, in my perception, encapsulate what I think of as The Invisible, Liminal Spaces in Art.

This next foray into Nothing happily found another home: The P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in Education & the Arts Artists in Residence program at McGill University (in the Faculty of Education).

Resting, Walking, Place-Making, therefore identifies three major components that, whether taken on their own terms or seen as intermingling within a single trajectory, each underscore the implicit mandate of revealing the more invisible aspects of artistic process.

emerges as the continuation of the yearlong project The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing Is Sacred. Collectively enacted moments of downtime in a variety of public locations in Montreal were carried out alongside a program of curated dialogues (Talking About Nothing With…), both of which generated extensive discussions around the complexity of this quest. A general consensus repeatedly rose to the surface: that there is a need to carve out such spaces (and times) for deep pause within our personal lives and within our professional sectors – albeit that this is a very difficult thing to actually (or consistently) do. Sitting with the intricacies of these questions affirmed that (non)activity is an inherently political act: one that challenges notions of productivity, of what constitutes “failure” (and success) and our capacity to comfortably engage in “non-productive” uses of time.

issues forth from a series of residencies in Quebec and beyond in which geopoetic meanderings and one-on-one interactions considered such questions as: What consciousness do we bring to places we occupy? How do places inhabit us? How do we interact with the surrounding environment – and with others who we may encounter there? In a mindful habitation of successive sites, I undertook several accompanied trajectories; transactions that consciously situated themselves in relation to both “the other” (as we each become the other to one (an)other) and to the context in which we found ourselves. Unpacking the process of how we come to understand a place – and the conditions required to feel some sense of “belonging” – this was an inquiry into how “place” is indeed constructed. The goal was to activate these sites by introducing a performative element via a relational exchange – collaboratively working toward expanding a moment in time while collapsing an already diminishing space between the artist/audience and art/life. The art frame (while more-or-less imperceptible) provided an invaluable context and container within which to carry out this research – a rather delicate form of personalized social engagement.

is the inexorable by-product of both of the above. As a conscious act within these varied projects, walking has occupied the role of an embodied encounter with the surrounding environment: at once a means to get from point A to point B, while also creating connection to (and understanding of) “place,” through subtly integrating aspects of the particularity of “places” in a circularity of identity construction (place informs who I am; I imprint my identity onto a place). Walking is also, however, the most banal of pursuits, a “non-action” sitting at the threshold of liminal space as it exists as a largely invisible activity. Walking is slow, inefficient, unproductive. Rebecca Solnit writes: “[T]hinking is generally thought of as doing nothing in a production-oriented culture, and doing nothing is hard to do. It’s best done by disguising it as doing something, and the something closest to doing nothing is walking.” This succinct correlation accurately highlights the role of walking not only in my most recent research but also as a process that has become an increasingly central element of my post-studio art practice.

…Bringing the foundations of these lines of inquiry to the Artist in Residency program, my desire is to continue exploring these themes within a collective framework. To examine the roles of rest (slowness, stillness, spaces of pause and interval), connection to place (the way we invest of ourselves in the environments that frame our day-to-day activities both professionally and personally) and walking (an everyday activity that at once serves a practical function but also allows for freedom and fluidity of thought), as parallel forms of creative and intellectual expression that can enhance pedagogical methods while providing valuable tools for social engagement and change.


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