Here's the buzz about the new "Art Hive" at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
It’s a place where your inner artist is welcomed— a community studio that harnesses and promotes inclusion, respect, and learning.
It’s called an art hive, and there are hundreds of them throughout Canada and across the globe. There’s no formal instruction, no admission fee, and no requirements to participate. It’s a community studio that provides people the opportunity to explore myriad creative outlets at their own leisure.
“It’s different from a class or workshop, “said Rachel Chainey, Art Hive’s national network coordinator.
“It’s an open space and people share skills, but also in an informal way—you might say the next person making something and you wonder about it, so you ask them, and it just happens organically that way.”
And now, Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts will play host to its own hive, thanks to the sponsorship of the Rossy Family Foundation. It's the first hive located within a museum.
Art hive gatherings can happen in any number of places: seniors’ residences, social housing, storefronts, and even in libraries. It’s an impromptu bridge-building community that unites people from all creative backgrounds.
In another first, the MMFA – considered a leading institution in the art and wellness field – has also employed a full time art therapist to run the hive.
“We have an approach that’s based on welcome, it’s based on free access, it’s based on reaching out to individuals—particularly those who are more socially isolated,” said Stephen Legari, the MMFA’s resident art therapist. “[it gives] them a space to connect and develop a sense of community that belongs to them.”
In fact, several research projects are currently underway to explore how art is actually beneficial to everyone.
New art supplies are donated by program sponsors, and recycled materials are collected from across the art hive network—everything from old fabric and bubble wrap, to books and old buttons.
“You have the possibility to create something new, you have the possibility to make a new connection, and you have a possibility to create a new connection to the museum itself,” Legari added.
The art hive is open to the public, free of charge, every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon.