AGO x RBC Artist-in-Residence: Sharl G. Smith | Emerging Artists Exchange Open Call

AGO x RBC Emerging Artists Program 2024

Sharl G. Smith, AGO x RBC Artist-in-Residence. Photo by Conan Stark.

AGO x RBC Artist-in-Residence: (a)Mending: the ọ́bị̀à experience by Sharl G. Smith

Sunday, July 14, 2 pm
Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario

In response to the theme of movement, sculptor and AGO x RBC Artist-In-Residence Sharl G. Smith premiers a performance work that builds upon ongoing research and the experience of beading large-scale networks of tension and geometry into sculptural forms. Smith’s large beadwork sculptures insist on a collaborative practice, requiring multiple people to choreograph their movements together to make the sculpture. The artist brings this making method to the stage in exploring her Jamaican culture through the lens of African diasporic spiritual heritage and her art practice. She offers a shared experience, centered on survival, healing, and rebuilding, and aims to give light, air and breath through these histories.

(a)Mending: the ọ́bị̀à experience explores sounds and movements from pre-colonial West Africa that endured the Atlantic Slave Trade and transformed into Ọ́bị̀à, Myal, and Revivalism in the Caribbean and Americas. It celebrates these potent medicinal practices, rooted in indigenous energy-based sciences, as a restorative antidote to ongoing colonial violence. Through a live interactive bead weaving ceremony, the audience will participate in creating a new beadwork sculpture while being immersed in waves of acoustic vibrations.


AGO x RBC Emerging Artists Exchange

Open Call for Artist-Researchers
Three research mentorships available in 2024
Deadline for Submissions: June 20, 2024, 5:00 pm EDT

Each selected artist will complete a month-long research mentorship between July and August 2024.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) invites early-career artists to submit proposals for its paid mentorship program to pursue practice-based research into museum practices, audience engagement or the AGO Collection. Held annually, the month-long program aims to offer three artists the opportunity to further their artistic practice and ready themselves for larger-scale presentations within institutional frameworks.

With the support of mentors from across the Gallery, each selected artist will further their research to present their findings for further feedback and conversation.

Selected artists will receive:

  • A one-time $2,000.00 CDN stipend, inclusive of all artist expenses and fees
  • Mentorship from select AGO team members over a month (virtual or in person, if required); and
  • A feature for their practice on the AGO x RBC Emerging Artists Program webpage

Who should apply:

  • Artists who self-identify as emerging artists and are in the early stages of their artistic career
  • Canadians currently living in the country or artists residing in Canada
  • Practicing professional artists with two (2) or more year’s experience

We welcome applications from artists who have not been equitably represented in museums, including Black, Indigenous, artists of colour, 2SLGBTQ+, women, and persons with disabilities. Successful artists must be available between July and August 2024. Three selected artists will be notified by May 30, 2024.

For more information and to submit your application, visit here.


Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5T 1G4