Art Hives at Sheridan College

On May 10, members of the Sheridan community came together to contribute to an exciting exhibition called collectiveEYEdentity, which opened with an Art Hive in the Trafalgar Library Learning Commons. The collectiveEYEdentity exhibition will be on display there until August 15, 2019.

Eye Zeotrope by Art and Art History student Wenting Li.

This month’s Art Hive followed the same theme of collectiveEYEdentity, during an exhibition that first took place in Sheridan’s AA Gallery in October 2018. The exhibition featured work from faculty, students, staff, and administrators in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design (FAAD). Participants in the exhibition contributed an “eye” artwork made in any media. The creation and display of “eyes” suggest looking “EYE-to-EYE” at the work and its creators. This creates a sense of connectedness, integral to our sense of community.

Kirsten Abrahamson, Susan Beniston, and Patricia Buckley posing at the collectiveEYEdentity Art Hive.
Kirsten Abrahamson (left), Susan Beniston (center), and Patricia Buckley (right) posing at the collectiveEYEdentity exhibition and Art Hive.

Sheridan’s Art Hive Initiative is led by FAAD faculty member Susan Beniston (MFA, ATR-BC, RCAT), who is a visual arts educator, a board-certified art therapist, and faculty peer coach with the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Beniston first learned about Art Hives during a conference at the Canadian Art Therapy Association in Toronto and she was inspired to start an Art Hive at Sheridan. Art Hives are designed to foster social inclusion, creativity, and wellness through art making experiences.  The Sheridan Art Hive Initiative provides a special space for students, faculty, staff, administrators and the community to make art, craft, and design together.

Five students and faculty sitting around the Art Hive crafts table coloring in their craft.
Five students and faculty sitting around the Art Hive crafts table coloring in their craft.

In the coming year, Sheridan’s Art Hive initiative plans to collaborate with student services on our campuses, including the Office of Sustainability and Health Services. Art Fundamentals faculty Kirsten Abrahamson will be co-leading Sheridan’s Art Hive initiative alongside Susan. During her participation in the Art Hives this year, Kirsten experienced an increase in wellness and a sense of renewed creativity that she is inspired to share with the Sheridan community through the Art Hive initiative.

Kirsten Abrahamson (left) and Susan Beniston (right).
Kirsten Abrahamson (left) and Susan Beniston (right) at an Art Hives conference in May. Kirsten is holding a bag that she made during the Art Hives.

Sheridan’s Art Hive initiative has contributed positive benefits to our community, with over 700 participants so far. The Art Hive has taken place at all of Sheridan’s campuses – in collaboration with partners and events at Sheridan’s Material ConneXions Library, Student Affairs, Wellness and Counselling, SSU’s Bell Let’s Talk Mental Health, Sheridan is Kind Campaign and the Creative Campus Galleries.

Everyone in the Sheridan community is welcome to participate in the Art Hives. Make sure to keep an eye out for more events in Fall 2019!

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