KFPL’s Art Hive a creative outlet for Kingston’s maker community

At Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL)’s upcoming Art Hive events, patrons will have access to an array of supplies and devices to help them create, including (clockwise from top left): a button maker, a Cricut machine, a collection of tools, a 3-D printer, and design software.

An exciting opportunity for Kingston’s maker community is about to begin at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL). Art Hives will be hosted near-weekly, beginning Monday, Sept. 23, at the Central Branch of the KFPL. Local art enthusiasts will have the chance to explore the new resources available at the library, supported by Friends of the Library.

I was interested to read about Art Hives, and what they will mean for the Kingston community, so I did some research and reached out to the team at KFPL. Read on to learn what interested library patrons can experience during the Art Hive evenings.

What is an Art Hive?

From ArtHives.org:

The Art Hives Network connects small and regenerative community arts studios 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 differing socio-economic backgrounds, ages, cultures and abilities.

An Art Hive:

  • Welcomes everyone as an artist and believes art making is a human behavior.
  • Celebrates the strengths and creative capacities of individuals and communities.
  • Fosters self-directed experiences of creativity, learning, and skill sharing.
  • Encourages emerging grass roots leaders of all ages.
  • Provides free access as promoted by 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.

Q&A with Maddy Scoville, Programming and Outreach, Central Branch KFPL

Q: Where did the idea come from? What was the inspiration for this event?

A: Makerspaces have been a growing trend in libraries across the country for a while now. The idea of creating more hands-on learning opportunities within our branches attracted us as well, so we began gathering resources and materials. An Art Hive was suggested to me by my cousin, who is studying drama therapy at Concordia University in Montreal. Art Hives are very popular there, and the theories and practices have been under development for two decades. The inclusive and welcoming nature of an Art Hive is something that greatly appealed to us, and the open nature of the event seemed like a perfect way to encourage patrons to explore our new resources. Further research revealed that an Art Hive has already had a successful run in Kingston at the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, so I spoke with the coordinator, Shannon Brown, to get some additional tips and advice.

Q: What can the Kingston community get out of this experience?

A: Members of the Kingston community will get out of the Art Hive what they put into it. This is a self-guided experience with a large range of potential outcomes. Patrons could choose to keep to themselves and focus on their own creative projects, skill building and/or experimentation. They could also choose to engage with other participants to exchange knowledge and ideas. It is entirely up to them.

Q: Why is this exciting for KFPL and the public?

The Mac and 3-D printer at KFLA Central Branch. Submitted photo.

A: This is exciting for many reasons! This program launches the return of our 3-D printing service, but this time patrons will be given the opportunity to learn how to print projects themselves. Patrons will also have the chance to use new resources supported by our Friends of the Library, such as sewing machines, photo-editing software, a green screen, and Cricut machines. Not only are we able to make use of our new technology, but we also get to show off our beautiful Friends of the Library Gather and Create space at the recently renovated downtown Central branch.

Q: What can patrons experience or learn with this programming?

A: Patrons will learn about the many resources for self-education to be found at the library. We have many incredible books that delve into skills in different ways, but we also have online learning tools such as Lynda.com. In addition to all of this, we also have an incredibly knowledgeable community here in Kingston that is full of people eager to share their stories and skills with each other. This has been proven by the many volunteers who have recently hosted workshops for us in areas such as photography, knitting, sewing and visual art.

Q: How can patrons participate?

A: The Art Hive is open to patrons ages 16 and up. This program does not require registration, so patrons can feel free to pop in and out of the program at any point from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. We will be aiming to have one every week. As of right now the dates are as follows:

Monday, Sept. 23

Monday, Oct. 7
Thursday, Oct. 17
Monday, Oct. 21
Wednesday, Oct. 30

Thursday, Nov. 7
Monday, Nov. 11
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Monday, Nov. 25

Thursday, Dec. 5
Wednesday, Dec. 11
Monday, Dec. 16

Q: What are the full details of the events?

The Cricut die-cutting machine available at Art Hive events at the KFPL Central Branch. Submitted photo.

A: Members of the Kingston and Frontenac community are invited to join us in our Friends of the Library Gather and Create space at the Central branch for an evening of self-guided learning, creation, and exploration. Art supplies, tools, and technology will be set up around the room for patrons to make use of. Many of our crafting and maker-tech books will also be on display to provide inspiration and opportunities to continue making outside of the space. Most items will be freely available, but technology such as our 3D printer will require patrons to complete a training session with our tech. tutor before they are able to use it.

The central branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library is located at 130 Johnson St. The Art Hive events are open to everyone ages 16+, and will run from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. Registration is not required. Visit their event page for more information.

Questions? Contact Maddy at [email protected] or by phone: 613-549-8888 ext. 3585

Jessica is a busy working mom and writer who enjoys covering local interest stories, and creating content for her own website A Modern Mom’s Life.  She loves living, working, and playing in Kingston.  You can see what she gets up to with her family on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

One thought on “KFPL’s Art Hive a creative outlet for Kingston’s maker community

  • I am an artist and would love to learn how to make 3d art.

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