Art Hive

Logo: Omar Castro


Uba Rhua means : seed’s spirit

It is a word that comes from the pre-Columbian language “Muisca”. This language used to be spoken in the highlands of Colombia populated by the Chibchas, during the time of Spanish colonization.

The highlands define what are now known as the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. They are densely populated places with a great linguistic variety.

Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and is located in the department of Cundinamarca. So this word is part of my origins!

Art Hive objectives

  • This hive was born from the wish to combine art therapy and pedagogy with the desire to create human tissue and accompany people eager to experiment and build new communication channels thanks to Art.
  • Valuing each creative process from solidarity, sharing knowledge and techniques, common learning and the ease of learning new ways of communicating.
  • Welcoming each participant from their global perspective and their possibilities. Each person has different capacities that make them who they are and their essence is the starting point for sharing.
  • It is a social laboratory that creates links between people, neighbors, friends and communities, generating tools for creativity, learning and knowledge by using materials that are at our disposal and reinventing them to create.
Photo: Pauline Collus


To understand this concept, we could go back to the first peoples who regrouped to make objects, prepare food, or assemble rocks to orient the group in a precise direction. Getting together to imagine creative solutions to a problem and to reinforce personal internal and external resources is a behavior of all humans (Dissanayake, 1995).

In the mid-seventeenth century, in New-France, women regrouped despite their sociology-cultural differences to create welcoming spaces for themselves and for people who lived on the margins of society: orphans, lonely elderly, sick people without economic resources, or people with a disability. The Arts have been frequently used to generate hope, solidarity, and sustain this type of social work.

What is an Art Hive ?

Influenced by the “arts and crafts” movement in the late 19th century in the United States, sociologist Jane Addams and her friend Ellen Starr used their savings to create the “Hull House” in Chicago to respond to the needs of thousands of immigrants arriving in the country.

In addition to providing basic care, the art workshops encouraged the work of artisan traditions such as cabinetmaking, sewing, painting and ceramics. Two art galleries would be built to present the traditional work of the people who frequented the place. Colleagues and students would be influenced by this initiative, including Jessie Luther and Lugenia Burns Hope. *

Jessie goes into exile near the coast of “Terre Neuve” (New Land) and “Labrador” to work with Dr. Grenfell and establish a network of artisan workshops to boost the economy during the winter. Lugenia, as for her, settled in the south, in Atlanta, Georgia, to develop a network of neighborhood houses to facilitate community organization, the economy and artistic education, for families living under the poverty line.

These traditions continue to inspire the initiative created by Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and the J.W. McConnelle, for the creation of the Art Hives. For more information you can go to the website of “Art-Hives“.

* Social activist who worked with Afro-descendant communities through social work, health campaigns and infrastructure to improve education.