A collection in the making

My childhood experiences, my family, the 1960s and 70s have greatly influenced me to create this charitable enterprise. My college years in Special Education even more so, as the first humble steps towards making it happen. During college, I had the chance to take courses in developmental psychology, creativity and playful learning, taught by specialists who  stimulated my curiosity. One of these teachers had a long clinical experience and knew particularly how to analyze children drawings. Her in-depth understanding in this matter left a lasting impression on me. Other volunteer activities I was involved in also left their marks on me. That was the case of social-skills development activities that I organized for four-year-old toddlers and their parents.

Mingling with the Masters

At university, I undertook multidisciplinary studies that integrated psychology, natural sciences and philosophy. Vico, the Luminaries of the 18th Century, Hegel, Durkheim, Popper, Sartre and Ferry all had left their marks on me.

While an undergraduate student, I was volunteering at the faculty’s art gallery and also regularly sneaked out to attend seminars at another university. Those free seminars at the Marshall McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, my studies and my volunteering, would guide my professional path in arts association and cultural policy management for the next twenty years.

Arts for arts sake and for the World

Over the years, I met hundreds, maybe thousands of professional artists, some of whom were famous, others unknown, many overlooked. While I acted as curator or as association executive, I worked in partnership with many of them. At other occasions, while working in museums, I worked  with their audiences, and could see how their works were received and perceived. Still, I am moved when I see children drawings and I certainly understand the many artists who were influenced by them. By the time my career took me to the field of education, I was ready to do something about preserving children’s drawings that keep disappearing to oblivion.

Recent events

Over the past few years, I came to learn that throughout their respective histories, more than one religion had prohibited pictural self expression by children. Unfamiliar with such traditions, I know much about censorship and how central an issue it is for creative people. This information confirmed for me the necessity to continue my reflection, my charitable enterprise, to anchor its principles and to intensify my activities to assure its sustainability.

Léo Beaulieu

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