Creating impactful collective art experiences in the service of Education, Culture, and Community.
Our Dream Team
Founder and President
NATHALIE HAZAN, MA, MFT
"I created Raison d'art because I believe in the power of creativity and collaboration. For me, working collectively allows art to be created in a way that is otherwise out of reach for any one individual. Working together most importantly allows art to be created on a scale that makes ambitious ideals attainable."
In the past 25 years, Nathalie has worked as a social entrepreneur, an artist and a psychotherapist. Her love for art and her commitment to societal change are the driving forces behind Raison d'art. Nathalie holds a Masters in Art Therapy and a post graduate degree in couple and family therapy. She has completed dozens of art walls for Canadian and international clients in France, Switzerland, Israel, Hong Kong and the United States. Her school projects include Dawson College, HEC Montreal, as well as over 30 elementary and high schools from all 6 school boards across the Island of Montreal.
For 15 years, Anne-Marie Leduc worked as a lawyer in Youth Rights. The wellbeing of all children has forever been the motivating thread in her professional life. For the past three years, Anne-Marie has chosen to be involved in the organization of creative projects that overlap with her expertise and center on the healthy development of children. In this role, she is instrumental to Raison d’art.
Karine is a Montreal-based artist, currently completing her MA in Art Education at Concordia University. Working exclusively in oil paint to produce large-scale portraits, her artistic practice is driven by the uniqueness of faces and the distinctiveness of each gaze, more specifically those of women who intrigue her. Through her thesis research as a graduate student, Karine is turning her gaze inward as she conducts a self-study of her identity by exploring the gaps and overlaps that occur when she moves between her roles as an artist and teacher in different contexts.
Susana’s career has spanned design and strategic leadership roles in creative entrepreneurial start-ups and successful retail chains. She has also led public school educational programs for youth focusing on eco-consciousness, inclusion and social empowerment. An accomplished artist herself, she brings creativity, empathy and an artist’s keen eye for detail to everything she does.
DR. CLAUDIA MITCHELL
Claudia Mitchell, PhD, FRSC is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University and an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. At McGill she is the Director of Institute for Human Development and Well-being and the founder and director of the Participatory Cultures Lab at McGill. Her research focuses on participatory visual and arts based approaches to working with young people and communities in relation to addressing critical social issues such as gender equality and gender based violence. She is currently carrying out this work with Indigenous girls and young women in a number of fieldsites in Canada and South Africa where the aim is to support girl-led/youth-led ‘from the ground up’ policy and community dialogue to bring about social change. She also works with research teams in a wide range of other country contexts to address gender based violence, including Sweden, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and India. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning journal Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She has written extensively in the area of participatory visual methodologies: Doing Visual Research; and Participatory Visual Methodologies: Community, Policy and Social Change.
Tech Coordinator and Product Manager
DR. HAYLEY R. CROOKS
Hayley R. Crooks, Ph.D., runs a research consulting practice and is an academic and university lecturer with a background in documentary, theatre, and non-fiction television. She has a passion for uplifting youth voices, particularly as this pursuit intersects with gender-based violence prevention, and her consulting experience includes projects with government, non-profit, and academic organizations. Her expertise includes youth participatory and arts-based research, youth programming, community-based research, qualitative data collection and analysis, and program evaluation. She also creates research and outreach strategies, including educational resources for young people, educators, and youth workers. She is thrilled to be part of the portraitX team.
Curriculum Consultant and Workshop Facilitator
Aron is a high school teacher turned graduate student at McGill University. At McGill, he is involved with creative writing, gardening, activism, and mindful movement. Aron's research explores the hidden dimensions of the internet and the consequences of young people's digital lifestyles. His aim is to support educators' efforts to help students develop responsible and critical digital literacies. Aron will be spending the year 2020 offline.
Content Management and Translation
Alix is completing her undergraduate studies in the Art Education Specialization program at Concordia University. She has experience teaching art to elementary and high school students from diverse backgrounds, including Selwyn House, Lower Canada College, Royal Vale Elementary and a community group of homeschooled Muslim children called Ma Petite Oumma. Alix is thrilled to work with the students participating in portraitX.