Making it happen: Caroline Boileau 

Caroline Boileau (extreme left) performed as part of Women With Kitchen Appliances during Congress 2010. Magnifying glass

Caroline Boileau (extreme left) performed as part of Women With Kitchen Appliances during Congress 2010.

In the next few weeks, Caroline Boileau might take a moment to catch her breath.
Deeply involved in Congress 2010 as assistant to the Convenor, finishing her MFA in Studio Arts, buying her first home, while taking care of her eight-year-old son… all in the last semester? Yes, you could say she’s earned a bit of time off.

Whether she takes a break or not, however she spends her time, thinking about how best to advance herself is never far out of mind.

As a multidisciplinary artist, her work revolves around how we depict, inhabit and talk about the body through a medical or historical lens using performance, drawing, installation, video or photography. And she’s taken the time to hone her skill.

Before beginning her masters in 2006, she spent 11 years as a practicing artist with a fine arts bachelor degree from UQÀM. The time between degrees allowed Boileau to gain valuable experience, both in life and in her art.

Aside from her thriving practice, she enjoyed residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 1999 and at the Fundación Municipal de Gijón in Spain in 2002-03. Between the two, she and her husband, artist Stéphane Gilot, welcomed their son, Adrien, born Oct. 15, 2001.

While happy to get away from university life for more than a decade, the pull to return to an academic setting was too much to resist. “It seemed like a lot of fun being immersed in the community and having the opportunity to focus on research and practice.”

With Concordia as her first choice, she did so with flying colours. From 2006 to 2008, Boileau received funding from both the J.W. McConnell Memorial Graduate Fellowship and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture, programme de réintégration à la recherche.

And in 2008, she brought home the Bourse d’études Hydro Québec (awarded to an outstanding full-time graduate student in A&S, FoFA or JMSB) and the Carolyn and Richard Renaud Teaching Assistantship Award for excelling as a TA in ARTX 280: Integrated Studio in Contemporary Art Production.

Based on her talent, she landed a job during Congress 2010 as assistant to Academic Convenor Ronald Rudin, helping facilitate the biggest event in Concordia’s history.

“The best thing about Congress was that I got to meet so many people I wouldn’t have met any other way,” she says, citing the connection she made with Communication Studies prof Liz Miller and the Life Stories project. “My art practice is largely based on storytelling, and it was fascinating to see how they collect stories for different purposes. I was really touched by many of those projects.”

She now plans to spend as much time as she can in her studio to prepare for installations for the Biennale internationale du lin in Portneuf, Quebec in spring 2011 and at the Galerie de l’UQÀM in 2012.


Concordia University