World Art Therapy Conference

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Pamela Whitaker is an art therapy educator who has developed both the walking studio and biodiversity gardening as contributions to environmental art therapy. A walking studio supports wayfaring through either urban or natural landscapes to encourage arts based responses using photography, found object assemblages or spoken word poetry. The route of travel is curated to include places of interest that also prompt conversations about urban design, street art, place names, local history, the built environment and social concerns. Biodiversity gardening is a form of companion planting that enhances home and community landscapes by cultivating nature for the purpose of either food production, apothecary gardens or for the growing of art materials (natural dyes, sculptural materials, seasonal displays and plants from healing traditions). Gardening can compose nature installations through ecological designs and become a focus point for developing horticultural skills that encourage creative expression through environmental activism. Community gardening contributes to quality-of-life indicators related to achievement, self-efficacy, participation, lifelong learning, pride of place, and belonging. Both the walking studio and biodiversity gardening are public art forms that support place making through an intentional gathering that brings people together for the purpose of co-creation within the outdoor studios of their lives.
The participants will be able to:
1. examine the components of walking studios developed by Pamela Whitaker, evaluating how the intentional curation of travel routes in urban or natural landscapes contributes to encouraging arts-based responses.
2. evaluate the functional aspects of Biodiversity Gardening.
3. appraise the societal impact of community gardening, exploring its contributions to various quality-of-life indicators.
Period10 Feb 2024
Event titleWorld Art Therapy Conference : Ecological Models: Nature and Community Based Models in Creative Arts Therapies
Event typeConference
LocationMontreal, Canada, QuebecShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Art Therapy
  • Environmental Art Therapy