shARed spaces developed out of an organizational shift within the USask Art Galleries, called Galleries Reimagined, which saw a change in focus from presenting art within the discrete physical spaces of the galleries to asking how the Galleries as an organization can better support and be a member of the Saskatchewan arts community. As one of the first initiatives under Galleries Reimagined, then-Interim Director Jeremy Morgan formed a Project Team bringing together digital experts from multiple USask departments to develop an application for the Canada Council for the Arts' Digital Strategy Fund, with the intention of supporting Saskatchewan artists, arts organizations, and their current and potential audiences. Rather than presupposing their needs, the application was built around first engaging with these groups to learn directly from them; what we heard were challenges in communication and connection as well as a sense of isolation that can occur due to the vast distances of our province. We formed a proposal to address these challenges by developing new digital technologies and focused on collaboration with our partner communities through user-centred and service design methodologies. Our application to the Digital Strategy Fund was successful and the USask Galleries were awarded $482,150 to develop a digital service for the arts.  

Project development and process

In the second and third phases of shARed spaces, an app for viewing artwork in augmented reality was developed which led to exciting collaborations with arts organizations and individuals where various forms of augmented content were conceptualized and realized. Following the completion of phase three, USask Art Galleries and faculty team member Lisa Birke were successful in their application for a Cultivate Grant ($180,000), housed under the Strategic Innovation Fund at the Canada Council for the Arts. This funding has enabled ongoing development of the project and a return to community outreach which was put on hold during the pandemic.    

In the current phase of the project, we are exploring existing digital media apps that can be used for storytelling and integrated into creative practice with attention to accessibility, diversity, and sharing. We have identified 3D scanning and modelling apps, as well as 2D audio/visual apps suited for creating augmented reality experiences. The challenges of compatibility, cost, privacy, and usability have become especially acute in this stage. Our goal is to be able to bring congruent tools and pathways to interested community partners, to break-down perceived and actual access barriers to these technologies and inspire community members to engage in their own augmented content creation.     

Once our app testing has been completed, we will develop informational resources and outreach materials that will be made available on our website. We are gaining a better understanding about the strengths of the shARed spaces app and we will continue to develop our app to expand the possibilities for creating and sharing augmented content.  

Project development timeline

PHASE ONE (JUNE - DEC 2019): Research
PHASE TWO (JAN 2020 - DEC 2021): Development
PHASE THREE (JAN 2022 - JUNE 2023): Project Collaboration
PHASE FOUR (AUG 2023 - AUG 2024): Research, Outreach, Reconfiguration

Project Teams

shARed spaces is led by our Faculty Mentor Team, which consists of USask professors from across multiple departments, and is guided by our Project Advisory Committee, which includes artists and digital experts at USask and from our Saskatchewan community. Our research and development is carried out by multiple teams of USask students and recent graduates and is currently led by our Project Manager, Renée Penney and Primary Investigator Lisa Birke.

FACULTY MENTOR TEAM (past and current)

  • Jon Bath (Associate Professor, Art & Art History, phase one to four)
  • Lisa Birke (Current PI, Associate Professor, Art & Art History, phase one to four)
  • Terence Clark (Associate Professor, Archaeology, phase one to four)
  • Craig Harkema (Associate Librarian, USask Libraries, phase two and three)
  • Carl Gutwin (Professor, Computer Science, phase one to four)
  • jake moore (Director, USask Art Galleries and Collection and Assistant Professor, Art & Art History, phase one to four)


  • Renée Penney (phase 4: 2023 - current)
  • Lauren Warrington (phase 3: 2022 - 2023)
  • Michael Peterson (phase 2: 2020 - 2022)
  • Jeremy Morgan (phase one: conceptualization/initiation-2019)


  • Andrei Feheregyhazi
  • Paula MacDowell
  • Janelle Pewapsconias
  • Alex Rogalski
  • Kevin Wesaquate


  • Kim Kargut (phase three and four)
  • Jordan Ripley (phase four)
  • Nico Trick (phase four)
  • Febi Chajadi (phase two and three)
  • Brandon Piller (phase two and three)
  • Alyanna Rabanal (phase two and three)

DOT TEAM (Development, Outreach, Testing) 

  • Brianna Fiddler (phase four)
  • Kim Kargut (phase four)
  • Jordan Ripley (phase four)
  • Nico Trick (phase four)
  • Leanne Read (phase four)


  • EJ Acuna
  • Logan Barr


  • Dorothy Chung (phase two)
  • Fatemeh Ebrahimnejadnamini (phase two)
  • Athanasia Perdikaris (phase two)
  • Caila Robson-Kullman (phase two)
  • Emilie Neudorf (phase two)


We are always interested to hear your feedback. You are welcome to reach us at sharedspaces.sk@usask.ca

shARed spaces is a project of the University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collection.

For mailing purposes our office is located at:

Peter MacKinnon Building, Ground Level
107 Administration Place, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK Canada S7N 5A2