Art Education in Canadian Museums (Book)

Practices in Action

Surveys how art educators are engaging with a new range of approaches to museum education, responding to modern challenges in ways that are uniquely Canadian. Organized into three sections, this collection reconceptualizes museums to consider accessibility, differences in lived experiences, and how practices create impactful change. 54 col. illus.



This collection considers how Canadian art educators are engaging with a new range of approaches to museum education, and why educators are responding to 21st century challenges in ways that are unique to Canada.

Organized into three sections, this collection reconceptualizes museums to consider accessibility, differences in
lived experiences, and how practices create impactful change.

With the overarching concept of relationality between art museums and interdisciplinary perspectives, authors consider methodological, philosophical, experiential and aesthetic forms of inquiry in regional museum contexts from coast-to-coast-to-coast that bring forward innovative theoretical standpoints with practice-based projects in museums, articulating how museums are shifting, and why museums are evolving as sites that mediate different and multiple knowledges for the future. Informed by social justice perspectives, and as catalysts for public scholarship, each chapter is passionate in addressing the mobilization of equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) in relation to practices in the field.

By weaving the learning potential of interacting with artworks more fully within situated and localized social and cultural communities, the authors present a distinct socio-political discourse at the heart of teaching and learning. Rupturing preconceived ideas and sedimentary models, they suggest a discourse of living futures is already upon us in museums and in art education.

Anita Sinner is a professor of Art Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She works with stories as pedagogic pivots and creative geographies in education.

Boyd White is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. His teaching and research interests are in philosophy and art education, focusing on aesthetics and art criticism.

Patricia Osler is a Concordia Public Scholar and doctoral candidate in Art Education with Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Art. Her research focuses on the neuroscience of creativity, art-as-research and museum education.

A Prelude to Art Education in Canadian Museums  

Anita Sinner, Boyd White and Patricia Osler


Richard Lachapelle

Aesthetic Relations  

Setting the Objects Free: Experimenting with Alternative Narratives and Unheard Voices at the Aga Khan Museum   

Ulrike Al-Khamis

Immanence and Being with Contemporary Art 

Fiona Blaikie

Defining Artful Literacies: Adolescent Affects, Belonging and Cross-sectorial Creativity  

Amélie Lemieux and Emma Beaton

Artful Moments: A Framework for Engagement and Social Connection  

Laurie Kilgour-Walsh, Janis Humphrey and Maureen Montemuro

Sensory Learning in Cultural Institutions: Sensory Experience, Aesthetic Sensibility and Intercultural Learning in Garden Settings  

David Bell

The Poetry of Travelling Concepts: A Movement-Based Pedagogy  

Marie-Hélène Lemaire

Learning Relations  

Unpacking the Canon Within: Using Phenomenological Art Inquiry to Decolonize  

Shannon Leddy

Starvation Plates: A Fine Art Example of Educational Interpretation Design  

Richard Lachapelle

Towards Decolonization and Indigenization of Historical Knowledge and Practices at University: A Collaboration between a History Museum and an Undergraduate History Course  

Emmy Côté

The Pedagogic Potential of Interpretive Spaces in Art Exhibits: Examples from the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery  

Agnieszka Chalas and Stephen Lavigne

Arts Inclusion: The Joy of Collaborative Community Art Programmes  

Dale Sheppard

Advancing Inclusion as Social Justice: When Museums Become Spaces of Belonging That Support Diverse Learning Experiences  

Darla Fortune

Sharing the Museum: Rethinking Cultural Mediation and Museum Education  

Anik Meunier and Jason Luckerhoff

Connecting to the Museum Experience: The Beauty of Human Complexity in Action  

Anne Marie Émond

Site Relations  

Researching and Reclaiming Edmonton’s Queer History: Que(e)rying Curatorial and Archival Practice Through a Community-Based Public Art Exhibition  

Michelle Lavoie and Kristopher Wells

What Can a University Gallery Do?  

Pauline Sameshima

Clay in the Museum: Connecting Through Ceramics  

Sequoia Miller, Farrukh Rafiq and Nahed Mansour

Augmented Reality and Museum Education: Rethinking Interactive Learning Experiences in Museums  

Quincy Qingwen Wang, Kristiina Kumpulainen and Paula MacDowell

The Promise of New Museum Models in a Moment of Social Reckoning  

Paola Poletto and Devyani Saltzman

Visiting the Dalton Trail Gallery: Performing Place-Making, Sharing Locality  

Nicole Bauberger



Reading Art Education in Canadian Museums: Practices in Action, was inspiring. I journey across the country, encountering museums as performative touchstones of learning and cross-cultural connections. Curators, artists, scholars and educators create enlivening programs, recognizing the 'beauty of human complexity in action'.  I wish that I had a museum to reimagine as a communal space of belonging and enlivening encounters to welcome those who arrive. And awakened to the critical issues of absence, silenced, ignored, I see the possibilities in the exemplary programs shared by authors and their thoughtful approaches to the challenges and issues faced by today’s museums in all their variations of presentation.

Professor, Simon Fraser University Lynn Fels
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