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Artists at school


Thomas Kneubühler

Visual arts


Thomas Kneubühler

Thomas Kneubühler received a Master’s degree in Studio Arts from Concordia University, Montreal in 2003. Since then, he has been teaching photography at the University of Ottawa and at Concordia University. In recent years, he has also given photography workshops in high schools, particularly in Nord-du-Québec. His work has been shown widely in both Europe and North America. Recent exhibitions include Real Estate at Kunstmuseum Solothurn (2008), Being There at Gallery 44 in Toronto (2011), and the Quebec Triennial at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2011). His projects have received financial support from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec.

Most of my work is the result of long research. It relates to social issues and how technology affects people’s lives. In one project, Absence, I investigated the virtual as revealed in the specific gaze of people who work on computers. For Office 2000 I climbed on rooftops in downtown Montreal and looked into office building windows. In recent years, my interest has shifted towards landscape photography, but still in the context of technology. In Electric Mountains the viewer encounters a nighttime landscape lit up by the lights of a nearby ski hill. My latest project, Under Currents, looks at the hydroelectric infrastructure in Nord-du-Québec. I usually present my work as an installation by adapting every project to a given exhibition space. Most recently, I have started to use video in my work.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Students will learn about photography as an artistic medium. The workshop starts with a demonstration of some technical aspects of photography and examines how light contributes to a great photo. Content will also be discussed. Photography is an ideal medium to discuss social issues and themes of concern to students. Students will then choose a theme they want to work with and go out and take photos. In a second session, photos will be reviewed and edited in class. Photographs that make the final cut will be uploaded to a web site made specifically for the project.

The workshop is specifically aimed at schools in remote regions. Life in these places does not get much exposure in the media. The goal is to give the students a tool for self-expression, and to make their voices heard through online publication. The workshop can be extended over multiple days.

Other examples of activities

  • Portrait exercise: Students make photo portraits of each other by choosing a meaningful           backdrop.
  • Field trip: Students leave the classroom accompanied by the artist and the teacher and take     photos at a specific location chosen based on the theme.
  • Selecting photos: Students learn how to evaluate their photos and choose their final       images.
  • Exhibition: If a printer is available, students can print photos and hold an exhibition at the            school.

Special conditions

If photos will be printed, we will need ink and paper (max. $100).

The number of cameras needed for the workshop must be discussed beforehand. If the school does not have enough cameras for students to work in pairs, the artist must be notified. Point-and-shoot cameras may be used, but not cellular phone cameras.

For information

Thomas Kneubühler
Phone : 514 282-6576
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



Secondary 1, Secondary 2, Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5

Available in

Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, Nord-du-Québec, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine

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