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A virtual, sensory-based experience

OUR NATURAL WORLD

Art therapy and health

In the Northland, Tom Thomson, 1915
Credit

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) and the Palais des beaux-arts de Lille (PBA Lille) are exploring the theme of the natural world through their collections, providing step-by-step instructions for creating a sensory-based art activity for neurodiverse audiences.

Grounded in art therapy and well-being, this initiative grew out of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a response to a call for proposals from FRAME (FRench American Museum Exchange), a network of 32 French and North American museums.

FRAME Logo
Logo Palais des beaux arts de Lille
Logo Dallas Museum of Art

Through December 2020, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Palais des beaux-arts de Lille will lead innovative online activities for neurodiverse audiences that are inspired by nature. Over the course of the workshops, the museums will be highlighting their shared expertise when it comes to creating diverse programming.

To kick-start the conversation on what nature can reveal within each of us, the MMFA has launched three related activities:

Nature All Around Me

Explore the activity
Ludger Larose (Montreal 1868-1915), Flower Composition with Figure, Logan Greenhouse

Ludger Larose (Montreal 1868-1915), Flower Composition with Figure, Logan Greenhouse, 1899, Oil on canvas, 95.4 x 78.3 cm. Purchase, Marcel Boisvert Bequest and Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest.

Nature All Around Me

Ludger Larose, Flower Composition with Figure, Logan Greenhouse, 1899. Purchase, Marcel Boisvert Bequest and Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 2007.103

Louise Giroux, Educational Programs Officer – Wellness, invites you on an exploration of an artwork in our collection, followed by a creative workshop. Let your senses take you on a discovery of this work. Then, explore your environment to make a drawing using the rubbing technique.

While specially designed for a neurodiverse audience,this is a great activity for everyone. It can be done independently or with adult assistance.

Open your window to the world outside

In these times of confinement, the daily scene playing out outside our windows has become a familiar one: a cat wandering about, neighbours taking in the early morning sun on their front steps, the burgeoning buds announcing spring…

Stephen Legari invites us to change our perspective on these details to see them as living works of art.

  • Go to the window and observe your outdoor surroundings.
  • Take the time to sketch or paint this familiar scene.
  • As your neighbourhood comes to life on the page, send some positive thoughts to those who live there.
James Wilson Morrice, Red House

James Wilson Morrice, Red House, Venice, about 1906. MMFA, gift of James Wilson Morrice Estate. Photo MMFA

ART THERAPY | Open your window to the world outside

James Wilson Morrice, Red House, Venice, about 1906. MMFA, gift of James Wilson Morrice Estate. Photo MMFA

Co-creating with nature

CALIFORNIA, WEST COAST, Chumash, whale Effigy

CALIFORNIA, WEST COAST, Chumash, whale Effigy, about 1200-1600, steatite, shell inlay. MMFA, purchase, gift of F. Cleveland Morgan. Photo MMFA, Jean-François Brière

ART THERAPY | Co-creating with nature

CALIFORNIA, WEST COAST, Chumash, whale Effigy, about 1200-1600, steatite, shell inlay. MMFA, purchase, gift of F. Cleveland Morgan. Photo MMFA, Jean-François Brière

For this art therapy workshop, you will need a rock and some art supplies (paint, chalk, felt pens, etc.).

Nature is already beautiful as it is, so the goal here is to work with this beauty to transform your rock into a masterpiece, inspired by this happy whale.

The natural world

This meditation activity consists of immersing yourself in a work of art to nourish your inner peace.⁣

  • Read the short text below.⁣
  • Hit Play and let your imagination take over. ⁣

The spring sun returns to nourish the living world around us, the buds appear on the trees, the birds return and each day the sun stays a little longer.⁣ While we all work hard indoors, we can let our imaginations travel to the places in nature that matter most to us. ⁣

Arthur Lismer, Springtime on the Farm, 1917.⁣ MMFA, purchase, A. Sidney Dawes Fund. Photo MMFA

Arthur Lismer, Springtime on the Farm, 1917.⁣ MMFA, purchase, A. Sidney Dawes Fund. Photo MMFA

ART THERAPY | The natural world

Arthur Lismer, Springtime on the Farm, 1917.⁣ MMFA, purchase, A. Sidney Dawes Fund. Photo MMFA

Our Natural World: A Virtual, Sensory-Based Experience is made possible through the generosity of the FRench American Museum Exchange (FRAME).

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