Welcome to the Iceland Field School, a mixed-level, transdisciplinary university credit course conceived and designed by Dr. Kathleen Vaughan of Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) in association with the Icelandic Textile Centre (or Textílmiðstöð Íslands) in Blönduós, Iceland.

Based on her own transformative artistic residency at the Textile Centre in June 2016 and the welcoming collaboration of the Residency’s team, Kathleen began to dream of returning to the Textile Centre with Concordia University students, and so to conceptualize and work towards creating a credit-earning field school residency in Blönduós. With the strong support of Concordia University, June 2018 was the inaugural session of this initiative in place-based learning.  For the full month of midnight suns, 13 students worked on site to explore aspects of arts, community, environmentalism, tourism and museology, often with a textile inflection. Building on this first success, the Iceland Field School returned in June 2022 and June 2024, with 16 students in each cohort. Their learning and making were guided by questions such:

• what does it mean to be a ‘good visitor’ to Iceland in a time of exploding tourism to the country, and global climate change and species extinctions? What larger and personal purposes can an artistic residency in Iceland serve now?

This website chronicles the students’ achievements and engagement with the Icelandic landscape, culture, people and textile and creative traditions, and their own making. Check the blog for their posts.

We anticipate the Iceland Field School returning in June 2026.

This curricular initiative aligns with Kathleen’s research and creation trajectories as Concordia University Research Chair in Art+Education for Sustainable and Just Futures.

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