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Françoise Thibault

Discipline: Visual Arts
Homebase: Vancouver
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Françoise's work explores the themes of identity and perception using drawing machines and a self-reflective creative process. She believes that "making art" is not only for artists and can be used by everyone as process for self-discovery and growth. With a BFA in painting and photography, her exhibition list features many community-based and participatory art projects, most recently a one-year artist residency at Vancouver's Trout Lake Community Centre, showcases in several family-friendly art festivals in BC, Alberta and Washington State, and collaborations with teachers in the classroom, which she looks forward to expand on through this program.


I thoroughly enjoyed having Françoise present her collaborative portrait workshop in my class of 5th and 6th graders. Her knowledge of the creative process and expertise in the topics of identity and perception was a huge advantage to our class and not only complemented the curriculum beautifully but added tremendous value to the core competency on Positive Personal and Cultural Identity. This project easily adapts to different time frames, which is great, and the kids loved interacting with the two-way mirror! Kim Reymond, Grade 5/6 teacher, Quilchena Elementary
Françoise is dedicated to learning, experimenting and creating projects that bring the community joy and shift their perspective on what art can be. Zee Kesler, Artist, Magic Trout Imaginiarium
Fran is a force! She combines her superwoman tree-planting, deck-building strength with imagination and creativity to come up with creative installations and experiences. I worked with Fran as an artist and resident with the Magic Trout Imaginarium at Trout Lake Community Centre and the Young Makers Program at the River Market. I was impressed by her epic installations, ingenuity and original ideas. I hope to work with her again! Emily Smith, Artist, Random Arts of Making

Project Examples

Vision Boards

Visualization is one of the most powerful mind exercises and Olympic athletes have been using it for years to improve performance. Making a vision board is a great way to discover and visualize the things we wish for and invite them into our life. In this workshop, students will create an artistic collage of things that inspires them and make them "feel" good. Images can be found online or in magazines, they can be photographs or drawings, poems or favorite quotes. The vision board can also include small items such as beads, feathers, postcards... anything goes as long as it has meaning for the maker! One or more sessions.

The Human Eye Camera

In three or more sessions, students will create small photo-like images with the power of their eye(s) and hand! They will first build the "Human Eye Camera" - a hand-held tracing device that they get to keep afterwards - as well as fabricate 5-10 small Polaroid-like templates on which to draw and paint. The next step can take place in the classroom, during a field course or anywhere, really - the idea being to capture moments by looking through the device and tracing what they see through it, as would a camera. The drawings can then be painted and hung from tiny safety pins on a string, just like photographs!

Collaborative Portraits

In one or more sessions, students pair up and trace each other's faces on a sheet of transparency using Sharpie markers and a drawing device I call the "Two-Way-Mirror" - essentially a self-standing Plexiglas frame - through which they look at each other. Each student gets the drawing of their face that their classmate has created and the goal is to "reclaim" their image by personalizing it. At the second station, they are given a white sheet of paper, coloured crayons and markers and create a background onto which they will superimpose their transparent portrait. The third station has magazines, scissors and glue. The students look through the magazines for images that represent or inspire them and then cut out and glue them onto a cardboard frame to complete the work.

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