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Photo: Emily Gan

In the Fall of 2022, the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art entered into collaboration with the alternative school Le Vitrail to participate in the School at the Museum [L’école au musée] program supported by the Groupe de recherche sur l’éducation et les musées (GREM).

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Photo: Emily Gan

The Project

In the context of this pilot project, each class of students (from kindergarten to secondary five) were hosted by museums across Montréal for a series of weekly visits. The goal of this program is to foster a sense of belonging within these institutions and explore different nexuses of learning beyond the limits of the schoolhouse.

For the Fall 2022 term, the PHI Foundation’s Education team welcomed a class of grade five and six students over the course of six weeks during the solo exhibition of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, titled DANCING LIGHTS THAT FLEW UP TO THE UNIVERSE. In the subsequent term, in Spring 2023, the team hosted kindergarteners over four weeks, who encountered different artists in a group exhibition, titled Terms of Use

The School at the Museum project began in 2019 at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, which hosted a kindergarten class from la Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys for over eight weeks. In the last year, the project has grown in scale, bringing together students from primary and secondary school at a variety of museums, including the PHI Foundation. 

Through their participation in the 2022-2023 edition of the project, the PHI Foundation’s Education team has seen how merging the school and the museum has positive impacts on students, teachers, and museum education professionals.

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Photo: Emily Gan

Visits at the PHI Foundation

In the Fall of 2022, the PHI Foundation partnered with the GREM to bring the School at the Museum experience to Laurence Douville’s classes of grade five and six students. Over six weeks, the two grades alternated their visits to PHI Fondation where educators Marie-Hélène Lemaire, Zoe Compton, and Prakash Krishnan led a series of activities to explore the themes of nature, immersive art, and forgotten histories in the context of the exhibition DANCING LIGHTS THAT FLEW UP TO THE UNIVERSE by artist Yayoi Kusama. These activities included a guided visit of Émilie Monnet’s soundwalk project Marguerite: la pierre and a workshop by artist collective doux soft club, the creators behind the accompanying public engagement project bleu de lieu.

Photo: Emily Gan

In the Spring of 2023, a new cohort of Le Vitrail students, this time Cindy Lebel’s kindergarten students, came for a series of four visits at the PHI Foundation to explore the works and themes of four women artists in the collective exhibition Terms of Use: Chun Hua Catherine Dong, VahMirè (Ludmila Steckelberg), Shanie Tomassini, and Helena Martin Franco, guided by educators Marie-Hélène Lemaire, Kim Johnson, and Prakash Krishnan. This series of visits included an artistic creation workshop conceived and delivered by artist Shanie Tomassini that involved a to-scale, two-dimensional recreation of her work autel (2023).

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An infinity mirrored room by Laurence Douville’s students (inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s)
Photo: Marie-Hélène Lemaire
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Photo: Marie-Hélène Lemaire

The Exhibition

The 2022-2023 school year at Le Vitrail culminated in an exhibition held at the school. Each participating classroom was converted into an exhibition space filled with student artworks inspired by their experiences at their respective museums. 

Laurence Douville’s class of grade five and six students made several creative sculptural and installation works inspired by those in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: DANCING LIGHTS THAT FLEW UP TO THE UNIVERSE, including their own Kusama-style Infinity Mirrored Room. Cindy Lebel’s kindergarten class made clay vases, decorated with different materials to recall the elements in nature, following a workshop with Shanie Tomassini, one of the artists from the group exhibition Terms of Use.

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Expositions liées

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Terms of Use

March 9 July 9, 2023

Terms of Use brings together works that explore the impact of technologies on the definition, construction, and (re)framing of individual and collective selves

Exhibition Contemporary Art