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Artists at school


Anna J. McIntyre

Visual arts
Installation - Performance - Print media


Anna J. McIntyre

Anna Jane McIntyre is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice incorporates printmaking, drawing, storytelling, sculpture, installation, and visual theatre. She completed a BFA at Ontario College of Art & Design and an MFA at Concordia University (Studio Arts Print Media). Her work is held in many collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, the Senvest Collection and the Art Gallery of Ontario Art rental program. She has been exhibiting regularly since 1998. Her most recent projects are viewable at and She lives and works in Montréal.

I am a visual artist whose practice combines sculpture, performance, theatre, micro-activism, and relationalism. I work with multiple narratives simultaneously, investigating how people perceive, create, and maintain their notions of self through behaviour and visual cues. I am very interested in the idea of learning and discovery through play. Prior to my graduate studies I concentrated on storytelling through print media, text, and installation. At Concordia I started incorporating live performance, kinetic sculpture, touch, light, sound, and smell as I explored the various ways people decipher experience. I examined concepts of illusion and spectacle, the roles of the performer and observer, light and shadow, indicators of power, the politics of silence, and how to make something from nothing as ways of understanding how society defines “normality”. I enjoy using found materials to construct/realize personal imagined realities. I like mixing found material with officially recognized art supplies. I find that found materials encourage people to look at the materials around them as a source of creative inspiration. I believe working like this keeps you sensitive and involved in the world. I also enjoy working with found objects because they come with a sense of the past. Their often secret history becomes a catalyst or collaborator in the process. Also, the most amazing creations often emerge out of poverty: when faced with using only what you have found, you become that much more resourceful.

Proposed approach and type of activities

The Profile Primp

My activity is a workshop that can be tweaked to be suitable for a range of ages (5 years and up). Social media on the web is increasingly becoming a normal and important part of life for much of the population. The web-profile picture has therefore become a fun genre of portraiture to exploit and play with or “primp.” This workshop will encourage students to be imaginative and create alternate or exaggerated visual identities for themselves. I will start the workshop with a brief visual presentation using a computer and data projector to show different approaches to portraiture and self-representation across the ages and globe. After the presentation I will lead the students in a discussion that will help them reflect on different aspects of their personality and self-identifications. They will then brainstorm singly or in groups on how aspects of their personalities could be indicated through the use of props, accessories, and backdrops. After the discussion and a research period using reference materials—I provide magazines and books, and the internet can be used if available—we create dreamed up self-augmenting props using the materials provided: cardboard, papers, paints, glue, face paint etc. At the end of the creation period students will be digitally photographed in their costumes.

This workshop is very much related to how I myself work. I create my own characters and costumes through a process of personal visual vocabulary and preferences fused with references to popular culture. I combine analog and digital mediums to make my creations. This workshop celebrates the creativity that is both the strength and weakness of the human animal. It is also a call for students to be aware of the materials with which we construct our self-identities and the subjectivity of beauty which is in turn a matter of perception.

Other examples of activities

Collaboration would be very easy! It is limitless imagining how I could combine this workshop with other teachers, artists, and teachers. For example, the workshop could be adapted to create masks or interesting silhouettes and work with shadow puppet artists, or create life-size shadow puppet plays. The process could be documented and drawn by students learning to draw or produce documentary film and video. Students engaged in costume making could be interviewed. Their use of costumes to create dramatic characters or creatures could then serve as a catalyst for a piece of theatre. I could work with craft artists to combine our skillsets and create fascinating props and accessories. The workshop process could also be used with writers who could encourage dialogue and write scripts to with the newly created characters. I could also work with the snow sculpture artist to create a snowy sculptural context for the students and their augmented selves. Artists specializing in movement, clowning, circus, and dance could help students create choreographies and explore and create new characters by finding new ways to direct their movements. Storytelling artists could work with the students and their costumes to create new stories or reshape old ones. The workshop could be incorporated into a photography or a living sculpture/tableau vivant workshop. It could even be combined with a musical workshop. Students could develop new personal soundscapes to accompany their costume. Combining this workshop with a scenography or installation artist would be fantastic: students could create fabulous contexts for their characters. Indeed, almost any workshop could be combined to work in tandem to create a dynamic, exciting learning experience for all involved.

Special conditions

I request a budget of $100 for non-reusable art materials: paint, paint brushes, double-sided tape, aluminum foil, Bristol boards, glitter, glue, collage papers, fabric (fake furs, interesting fabrics), wood, hardware, plastic forms and tubes from hardware store, wire, kraft and tissue paper, face paint etc. The budget also covers a data projector rental if one is not available in class.

N.B. Materials will change depending upon the age group.

Special Conditions

  • A data projector and computer should be available for an introductory visual presentation.
  • Activity should take place in an area suitable for art activities with access to a sink and cleanable surfaces. There should also be cleaning materials: soap, rags, paper towel.
  • Children should be dressed suitably and prepared to work with potentially messy materials like paint, glue, etc.

For information

Anna J. McIntyre
Phone : 514 933-3245
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



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

Available in

In every regions

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