CreateSpace Public Art Residency Launches Third Year with New Artists-in-Residence
Meet the 2023 CreateSpace Artists-in-Residence
Public art has the ability to challenge systemic inequities that exist in public space and should reflect the diverse identities and perspectives of the communities that host it. The CreateSpace Public Art Residency is a national public art residency program by Canadian public arts organization STEPS designed in collaboration with advisors from coast to coast, to provide early and mid-career Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and racialized artists with the skills, relationships and practical experience needed to take their public art practice to the next level.
In the program’s third year with over 200 artist applications from across the country, ten artists-in-residence were selected to bring to life one-of-a-kind and community-engaged public art projects in seven provinces and territories; congratulations to Krystle Silverfox (Whitehorse, YK), Pablo Javier Castillo Huerta (Winnipeg, MB), Nailah Tataa (Dartmouth, NS), Ovvian Lourdes Castrillo Hill (Fort St. John, BC), Ning Yang (Oakville, ON), Aaniya Asrani (Vancouver, BC), Xiao Han (Saskatoon, SK), Roda Medhat (Markham, ON), Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram (Salt Spring Island, BC) and Jose Macasinag (Calgary, AB). Selected by a national committee of BIPOC-identifying public artists and professionals, the artists began their residency journey in March 2023 and will be supported by STEPS and multidisciplinary artistic mentors to execute public art installations over the summer production period, before the residency concludes in December.
Artist-in-residence Pablo Javier Castillo Huerta shares, “I am excited to participate in this residency because I have a passion for social justice, equity and unity. Displaying work publicly is one of the best ways to connect to the community and also reflect community and culture at any given point.”
New this year is partnerships with five municipalities and organizations, including City of Fort St. John (BC), Town of Oakville (ON), Artspace (MB), ODD Gallery (YK) and Nocturne (NS). With artist representation in each partnership region, STEPS and the partners are working together to further support the artists in identifying potential public art sites and realizing localized projects from concept to completion. STEPS is interested in fostering more partnerships and encourages potential partners to contact us for more information on how you can get involved to host an artist-in-residence.
Last year’s CreateSpace Advisor Ufuk Gueray reflects, “The art world can be a confusing place for artists in the early stages of their career. I believe that the CreateSpace Public Art Residency provides an opportunity to learn about being an artist in a holistic way–working with mentors, navigating public space, executing large scale commissions and connecting with peers. This is an immensely valuable experience for participating artists, both in terms of career development and creative growth.”
Get involved with CreateSpace! As part of STEPS’ commitment to providing opportunities to equity-deserving artists and communities, CreateSpace has included free public programming since the launch of the residency in 2021. Past events include artist talks on art and accessibility, digital media, community engagement in the arts and more. Follow @STEPSPublicArt and #CreateSpaceResidency for the latest public event invitations and residency projects happening near you. If you are interested in becoming a partner and hosting an artist-in-residence in your public space in 2024, contact us to get the conversation started.
STEPS Public Art is a national public arts focused charitable organization that empowers communities to transform public spaces into vibrant places through one-of-a-kind public art plans, installations and engagement strategies. The 2023 CreateSpace Public Art Residency is supported by Canada Council for the Arts, TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment and Canadian Race Relations Foundation with funding provided by the Government of Canada.
Anjuli Solanki, Program Director
1-888-783-7780 ext. 701