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Artist - Researcher - Educator

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Tiina Kukkonen is a visual artist, arts educator, and researcher. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from Queen's University in Kingston (ON), as well as a M.A. in Child Studies and a B.F.A./B.Ed. in Art Education from Concordia University in Montreal (QC). Her doctoral research focused on the role of intermediary organizations in brokering rural arts education partnerships.

Tiina has taught visual arts in various community and school environments in Quebec and Ontario, and actively participates in arts markets and exhibitions. Formally trained in Fine Arts, she dabbles in many different media but focuses primarily on needle felting as an art form.

Tiina is a member of the Kingston Fibre Artists ( and the Arts Infusion Committee at Queen's University ( She previously served on the executive committee of the Canadian Society for Education through Art (CSEA). 

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"Nature is not something that can be seen with the eye alone - it lies within the soul, in pictures seen by the inner eye."

Edvard Munch

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Kukkonen, T. (2022). Conceptualizing intermediary organizations in arts education through a cross sector review of the literature. Studies in Art Education, 63(2), 152-168. doi: 10.1080/00393541.2022.2050987

Kukkonen, T. (2021). Supporting youth mental health in and through the arts: An evidence base and guide for teaching artists. Prepared for the English Language Arts Network.

Kukkonen, T. (2020). An ecological model of artist-school partnerships for policy makers and practitioners. Arts Education Policy Review, 12(2), 43-54. doi: 10.1080/10632913.2019.1576150

Kukkonen, T., Bolden, B., & Chang-Kredl, S. (2020). Creative collaboration in young children's playful group drawing. Journal of Creative Behavior, 54(4), 897-911.

Kukkonen, T., & Cooper, A. (2019). An arts-based knowledge translation (ABKT) planning framework for researchers. Evidence & Policy, 15(2), 293-311. doi: 10.1332/174426417X15006249072134

Kukkonen, T., & Bolden, B. (2018). Teaching lives: An arts-informed exploration of teacher experience. Art/Research International, 3(2), 150-171.

Kukkonen, T., & Chang-Kredl, S. (2018). Drawing as social play: Shared meaning-making in

young children’s collective drawing activities. The International Journal of Art and Design Education, 37(1), 74-87. doi: 10.1111/jade.12116



Building a Digital Future for Arts and Learning in Canada

Canadian Network for Arts & Learning

Funded by: Canada Council for the Arts

Research Associate

Arts for Transformative Education

Lead Researcher: Dr. Benjamin Bolden, UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning at Queen's University

Funded by: The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, carried out in collaboration with the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet)


Research & Evaluation Consultant

Arts Education Initiatives

English Language Arts Network


Research Associate & Co-Author

Transformative Action on Arts Education: Re-invigorating the Seoul Agenda

The Canadian Network for Arts & Learning, The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and the UNESCO Chair in Arts & Learning


Project Manager (past)

Building Creative Capacity through Assessment for Learning in the Arts

Lead researcher: Dr. Benjamin Bolden, Queen's University

Funded by: SSHRC


Research Associate (past)

Eduarts Mapping Project

Canadian Network For Arts & Learning

Funded by: The Ontario Trillium Foundation



Kukkonen, T. (2022, July). Envisioning the future of artistic interventions: From research to action. Presentation at the Artistic Interventions in Educational and Social Contexts Symposium, University of Hildesheim, Hildesheim, Germany.

Kukkonen, T. (2021, March). Supporting rural arts education in Ontario and Quebec: A multi-case

study of intermediary organizations. Presentation at the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada, hosted virtually through the University of Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Kukkonen, T., & Bolden, B. (2019, July). Enhancing creativity in the arts classroom through assessment for learning. Presentation at the International Society for Education through Art world congress, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kukkonen, T. (2018, May). Connecting the dots: A cross-case exploration of arts partnership brokering in rural Canada. Presentation at the graduate symposium of the Canadian Society for Education through Art, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Kukkonen, T., & Cooper, A. (2017, October). Building bridges through the Arts: An arts-based knowledge translation (ABKT) planning framework for researchers. Paper presentation at the national conference of the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning, Ottawa, Ontario.

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A Game of Partnership Brokering

As part of my doctoral research, I conducted a multiple case study of intermediary organizations that support rural artists-in-schools partnerships. After collecting data from five organizations, I wanted to find a creative and playful method of a) unearthing new themes and ideas in the data analysis process, and b) making the findings of the study more accessible to audiences outside of academia, particularly those with a vested interest in rural arts education and arts education partnerships. Thus, I opted for a hybrid approach where play and art converge in the analysis and presentation of research. Through the process of playing and arting with my data, I developed a research-informed board game entitled, “Rural Arts Intermediaries: A Game of Partnership Brokering.” Each player in the game (5 total) represents one intermediary organization. The purpose of the game is to collect enough resources and partners to be able to implement a successful artist-in-residence project in a rural school.

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Tiina facilitates a variety of visual arts workshops. Past workshops include:

  • Block printing

  • Needle felting

  • Card-making

  • Painting & Drawing



Tiina has been an instructor, teaching assistant, and guest lecturer at the undergraduate level. She has taught courses in visual arts for teacher candidates at Queen's University and has supervised ECE teacher candidates in their practicum placements.



Tiina has taught visual arts to children and teens in both community and school environments. She has worked full-time as a high school arts teacher and has held numerous contract positions as an arts instructor.

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I do my best to keep this updated!

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The yearly exhibition of the Kingston Fibre Artists is fast approaching! Mark your calendars! We will be exhibiting in the Tett Centre Gallery from April 1-30, 2023.

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This fall, I will be exhibiting my work alongside three other amazing Kingston-based artists: Alice Melo, Mari Brown Virtanen, and Ann Decker. The show, In Sight, runs from November 1-3 in the Tett Gallery! The opening reception will be on November 3 from 6-8PM. 

Art Class


I'm very excited to be part of a new research project entitled, "Arts for Transformative Education," led by my former doctoral supervisor, Dr. Benjamin Bolden, who is the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning at Queen's University. We are looking at how the arts can contribute to UNESCO's goals for transformative education. You can read more about Dr. Bolden's work and the project here:

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It's been a busy Spring! Aside from teaching at Queen's, I was part of the annual Kingston Fibre Artists exhibition at the Tett Centre for the month of April. The show was a great success and ALL my pieces sold!

From May 11-24, I will have two pieces in the annual Tett Tuesday exhibition entitled, "The Art of Community." You can see the show in person in the Tett Gallery (370 King Street West, Lake Level, Kingston, Ontario).  

Looking forward to summer, I'll be hosting another beginner's felting workshop at the Tett in June. Stay tuned for more info!



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