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HomeNewsCommunityFree space to create at the big blue bus

Free space to create at the big blue bus

The LivingRoom art hive opened in Oshawa ten years ago. The non-profit closed during the pandemic but can now be found in a blue school bus, often seen on campus.

“There has been challenges and gifts that came with change,” says founder and executive director Mary Krohnert.

The LivingRoom art hive offers a range of creative activities including music, knitting, writing, embroidery, collages, and many forms of art.

“Things just kind of spontaneously erupt,” says Krohnert.

Art hives are public practices dedicated to creating art as a community, something that appeals to her.

“As an artist, I’ve always known that art is therapeutic and healing but there was a point in my life where I wanted to know why that was,” she says.

Krohnert loved the art therapist perspective but knew she was “too much of an artist” to do things traditionally.

She says the LivingRoom hopes to return to a studio one day but, in the meantime, they are exploring new partnerships.

In January, the LivingRoom will be partnering with the Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery. The art hive will be there every Friday from noon to 4 p.m. for six weeks.

She doesn’t know what community this project will form but the relationships she builds are some of the “most rewarding” aspects of the job.

“The relationship we co-create, the creative skills we pick up, the stories I hear, and the extraordinary privilege I have to connect with community members,” she says.

Krohnert loves the idea that art hives create a different community and give people the ability to be creative with others for free. She loves that art hives shake things up from the norm.

“It’s time for things to be turned on their heads,” she says.

Krohnert says a lot of the time it is the unplanned activities created by the community in the moment that end up being the best.

Ontario Tech University works with The LivingRoom art hive to offer an on-campus project called the Wellness Art Hive on Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m. at the library.

It is open to both Ontario Tech and Durham College students along with staff. Many students don’t even know this takes place.

Krohnert encourages people to pop into the art hive and explore creativity with their peers.

“Come on out and make art with us, come teach us what creative self-care looks like to you,”