What is the Art Hive Network?

The Art Hives Network connects small and  regenerative  community art studios (known as Art Hives) together in order to build solidarity across geographic distances. This effort seeks to strengthen and promote the benefits of these  inclusive, welcoming spaces across Canada, and throughout the world. Also known as  "public homeplaces," these third spaces, create  multiple  opportunities for dialogue, skill-sharing, and art-making between  people of different socio-economic backgrounds, ages, cultures and abilities.  


An Art Hive: 

  • welcomes everyone as an artist and believes art-making is a human behaviour. 
  • celebrates the strengths and creative capacities of individuals and communities. 
  • fosters self-directed experiences of creativity, learning, and skill sharing.  
  • encourages emerging grassroots leaders of all ages. 
  • provides free access as promoted by the gift economy. 
  • shares resources including the abundant materials available for creative reuse. 
  • experiments with ideas through humble inquiry and arts-based research. 
  • exchanges knowledge about funding strategies and economic development. 
  • partners with colleges and universities to promote engaged scholarship. 
  • gardens wherever possible to renew, regenerate, and spread seeds of social change.

The model and practice of Art Hives have evolved through two decades of sustained practise research, continuous observation and adaptation, and experimentation with spaces and organizational structures led by Dr. Janis Timm-Bottos, who has developed and established six successful art hives in different locations across North America.




Funders and Partners


  • Janis Timm-Bottos

    Janis Timm-Bottos is passionate about co-creating small, accessible spaces for free community art making in order to increase understanding of ourselves, strengthen our relationships across divides, and build meaningful community life. A former pediatric physical therapist, Janis is an art therapist and associate professor with the Department of Creative Arts Therapies in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University.

    Over the past twenty years she has collaboratively initiated and run six community art studios (aka art hives): ArtStreet with Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless; OFFCenter Community Arts Project, a free standing non profit; Kitchen Table Arts, located in a thrift store in Nelson, British Columbia; Montreal’s La Ruche d’Art: Community Studio and Science Shop; and Studio d’Art St Sulpice located in a large social housing neighborhood. Janis is the Director of the Art Hives Initiative and Network. 

  • Rachel Chainey

    Rachel Chainey is an art therapist, social entrepreneur, daily life artist and community organizer.  This curious jill-of-all-trades is passionate about people, stories, intersectional social justice and collaboration. She has been serving as the Art Hives Network National Coordinator at Concordia University since 2014, and working within different Montreal Art Hives since 2010. She is also Co-Founder and Co-Director of Coop Le Milieu, Community Art Studio & Neighbourhood Café, an Art Hive in Montreal, QC.

  • Carmen Oprea

    Carmen is an art therapist holding a master's in Art Therapy and a master's in Fine Arts, followed by post-graduate training in sandplay therapy. 

    She is an art facilitator and supervisor with Concordia Art Hives and she is implicated in promoting accessible art and sandplay therapy in the communities. 

    Her professional trajectory also includes offering art therapy to seniors from various day centres and residences, to First Nations and Inuit children and teenagers, and a clientele of various ages and diverse problems in her private practice. 

    She facilitates self-esteem and self-identity groups in the governmental sector and in communities. She uses art and sandplay therapy as alternative ways to communicate and promote well-being and insight when words cannot describe the depth of one’s experience. 

  • Lindsay Clarke

    Lindsay Clarke is a registered art therapist with the Canadian Art Therapy Association and pending with the American Art Therapy Association.  She collects food experiences and recipes, paints life’s stories, and works to promote community health.

    She is an Art Therapist and Supervisor at the Concordia University Art Hives in Montreal, supporting wellness on campus by fostering inclusive and creative public homeplace. 

    For over 6 years she has also been supporting women and children at a local women’s shelter, offering art therapy to re-establish a sense of safety after experiences of displacement, violence, and loss. 

    Lindsay also extends creative healing into the garden and kitchen as she has initiated cooking therapy groups throughout the community that involve participant grown ingredients and intergenerational collaboration.

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