Project Concept

 A collaborative art project addressing issues on the preservation of Cootes Paradise and the Niagara Escarpment.

“Mapping Paradise” will be a collaborative project with the students in McMaster University’s School of Art course, ART 2ER3: The Environmentally Responsible Studio during winter term 2013. The project will be coordinated under the supervision of Professor Judy Major-Girardin and Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor Gregg Schlanger. The project’s timeline begins in January 2013 with a website/blog for the students to interact with the instructors and each other. The research and artworks will culminate in the form of an exhibition in the student gallery on the campus of McMaster University during the last week of February 2013.

“A thing is right only when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the community; and the community includes the soil, water, fauna and flora, as well as the people.”   —  Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949


Based on directions the students choose to take, the project might address issues about water quality, the disappearance of native animal and plant species, the area’s rich cultural and natural history, the quality of life (based on the waterways, trails and a sense of place) and public accessibility to natural lands and greenspace.  “Mapping Paradise” should consider and include the community of the region in the development of the concepts for the project.

The format of the project and the final exhibit will be determined by the students. The overall concept should keep in mind the idea of a “map”: the gallery as a large three-dimensional map (or does it spill out the doors of the gallery into other areas of the university and region). The project could simply be a literal interpretation of a map with a creative use of the space to illustrate the various topographies and landscapes or it might include maquettes and proposals for future artworks that might be placed along the trails of the natural areas. The only limit to the outcome is the one place by the students themselves.

The intention of “Mapping Paradise” is to bring awareness about the several groups working on restoration of Cootes Paradise, the Niagara Escarpment and the proposed trail systems and environmental issues within Cootes Paradise’s watersheds.

Potential Partners:

  • Royal Botanical Gardens
  • The Cootes to Escarpment Park System Project
  • Hamilton Naturalists Club
  • Hamilton Conservation Authority
  • Bruce Trail Conservancy
  • Environment Hamilton
  • Hamilton Naturalists’ Club
  • McMaster Institute of Environment & Health
  • Dundurn Museum

3 Responses to Project Concept

  1. Anuva Swift says:

    Sounds extremely interesting!

  2. Randy Kay says:

    This is very exciting – I hope there are many collaborations!

  3. This is really interesting, please get in touch with me. Chris McLaughlin, executive director, Bay Area Restoration Council. Thanks.

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