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September 11, 2019

Call for Emerging Artists | Artist in Residence Opportunity

ArtStarts is inviting applications for our second series of RBC Emerging Artists in Residence. This year, we are seeking two emerging artists to lead workshops with young people and develop in-studio works as part of our upcoming exhibition, Maker Space.  We invite applications from emerging artists with practices in printmaking and photography to join us for a five-week residency: one in the fall of 2019 and one in the spring of 2020. We are looking for emerging artists who are highly collaborative, with an anti-oppressive lens, a passion for working with children, youth, and families, and a desire to bring their practice into the school system.

This residency has three major goals: 

  1. To allow the successful artists time, space, and resources to expand their practice and engage young people through hands-on making a non-traditional Gallery setting
  2. To build lasting professional relationships between artists and ArtStarts, which in turn helps to promote arts and creativity within our neighbourhood, artistic communities of the province, and the wider public
  3. To support the creation and facilitation of the city’s only Maker Space for young people and their families, and maintain a safe and friendly environment for young people to make mistakes and explore their creativity through hands-on experiential learning 

Located in downtown Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territories, the ArtStarts Gallery is the only free, public gallery in Canada exclusively dedicated to young people's art. Since the gallery opened in 2006, our exhibitions have celebrated the possibilities that emerge when students, educators, and artists work together to deepen learning, creativity, and community connections. 

The successful artist will be expected to: 

  • Be in the ArtStarts Maker Space for the duration of their one-month residency (no more than 20 hours per week), welcoming school groups and visitors and ensuring that the equipment is used safely and responsibly
  • Be a role model in the community and represent themselves and ArtStarts professionally, demonstrating to young people and their families that “making” and craft-based art forms are valuable ways for young people to develop skills that are useful in today’s world 
  • Attend a reasonable number of ArtStarts events, provided that they do not interfere with the artist’s other professional activities
  • Contribute an interactive installation piece based on their own practice to the ArtStarts Maker Space, or a 2D work produced using the ArtStarts Maker Space to be showcased in our MicroMezz exhibition on the mezzanine

The successful artist will receive:

  • A stipend of $2500 for the month-long period (calculated at $25/hour x 20 hours/week x 5 Weeks)
  • Access to ArtStart’s Maker Space during staff hours (including some of our rental assets in our accessible space downtown, including the option to rent a parking spot*)
  • Support in developing work for and facilitating art with young people 

*Please note the ArtStarts gallery is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4:30pm.

Successful artists are welcome and encouraged to use the Maker Space during this time if they so choose, as long as they are prepared to be interrupted by curious young makers, answer questions, and welcome their families! 

Most importantly, the Emerging Artists-in-Residence will demonstrate to young people and families that a fulfilling career in the arts is possible, and demonstrate to teachers that art is an essential part of education. You’re helping us put the A in STEAM! 


To apply, please complete the online application form no later than October 1st, 2019.

  1. We welcome applications from emerging artists of all genders working within or beyond classical and contemporary forms of printmaking and photography, within their own cultural traditions, artists living with disabilities, and artists whose work is interdisciplinary with a strong focus on printmaking and photography.
  2. Applicants will be required to select their preferred month of residency, as well as provide a current CV and a portfolio of support material to demonstrate their artistic practice.
  3. We are only seeking applications from individual artists (rather than collectives, groups, or companies) at this time. Please contact us if you have any questions.
  4. Priority will be given to artists who self-identify as members of one of the priority groups outlined in our anti-oppression guidelines; see application form for more details. 
  5. The successful applicants will be selected by a panel of ArtStarts staff. Both successful artists will be announced in early October 2019. Applications will be read through for eligibility by ArtStarts staff. Ineligible applications will not be read by the selection panel. We strongly encourage artists who have questions about their eligibility to contact us.
  6. Successful applicants must comply with the Criminal Records Review Act of the Province of British Columbia. To fulfil this requirement, all adults working in the ArtStarts Gallery during the hours the gallery is open to the public must complete a Criminal Record Check through the British Columbia Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Records Review Program and have no criminal record found for the purpose of working with children. This Criminal Record Check costs $28, which ArtStarts will reimburse. ArtStarts requires proof of compliance with the Criminal Records Review Act of the Province of British Columbia (a Clearance Letter) at least 5 business days prior to the start of the Residency.

Applicants will be scored on: 

  • the extent to which their artistic practice and proposed work meets the three major goals outlined for the residency 
  • proficiency of art form and potential for development as an emerging artist, as demonstrated by their CV and portfolio of support material
  • the potential for their artistic practice and proposed work to engage young people, families, and the ArtStarts community 
  • the applicant’s’ ability to engage makers of all abilities, especially young people who have been excluded from traditional forms of STEAM. Artists who are looking to use their residencies to consider STEAM as part of their practice, career and future opportunities working with youth are encouraged to apply.
  • the extent to which the artists meet RBC’s definition of an Emerging Artist*. This project is made possible by funding from RBC’s Emerging Artists Program.

*RBC’s definition of emerging artists is as follows: 

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 35 
  • Are in the early stages of their career in their art form, usually within the first few years 
  • Are a creator of new work(s) or a practitioner of an art form 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to devoting more time to their artistic activity 
  • Are involved in their creative community 
  • Have not yet been showcased outside their primary country of residence 
  • Devote a minimum of 24 hours per week to their art 
  • Make a financial commitment to their practice and seek their primary income from their artistic work 
  • Have little presentation or publication history 
  • Are enrolled in, or have recently graduated from, a related degree/diploma program 
  • Self identify as an emerging artist


Questions should be sent only via email, and be addressed to Leah Horlick, Program Manager, at [email protected] 


This opportunity is made possible through funding support from the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

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