Collaborative Artist Residency




Photo: Little Station gallery / workspace

Artist Call: Collaborative Artist Residency – June & July


1) Artist Residency – 2023 Season

Artist Commitment: 

Length: min 5 hours commitment to work on collaborative pieces

Option 1: (1 hr per week – (Jun & Jul)

Option 2: (5 hrs over a weekend in June or July)

The weekend date TBD based on availability of participating artists)

Materials: Artists to supply own materials & supplies in your chosen medium or visual language.


Artists Receive:

$500 (per artist)

Prepped Panels:
Critical Mass will provide 30″x40″ x 1.5″ pre-gesso’d birch panels for each collaborative work.

Didactic panels, presence on website, postcards and residency photos and video documentation

Critical Mass will digitally showcase artists previous work on Thursday IllumiNights.

Thursdays after sundown
July 6 – August 24

Studio Visit:
Potential for a studio visit at the Little Station from a local/regional curator or gallerist.

(Date/time to be confirmed based on availability of curator.)

Exhibition: (Oct, ’23)
Exhibit of final collaboration works

Opportunity to exhibit one solo piece for each artist as well

Artists receive 50% of final sale of collaborative work

Port Hope, Ontario 

Not a live-in residency.

Accessibility: The Little Station gallery and artist studio is a partially-accessible facility.


For more info, contact:
Debbie Beattie (she/her)
Program Director
Critical Mass Art
Port Hope, ON

Collaborative Artist Residency Project – June 10 – July 23

Letting Go: A Visual Conversation
10 Artists. 10 Interventions. 10 Panels.

Critical Mass Art is all about people coming together and the synergy that produces for all in our community.  For the last few years our Artist in Residence program has brought artists to Port Hope to animate the community with challenging contemporary art ideas.

This summer we are hosting a collaborative artist residency to energize, excite and challenge local artists in new ways of thinking and making art together. 

The Little Station will be a hub of activity for two months as two groups of 5 artists negotiate the development of a total of 10 communal artworks.

How will they do it? What will the artwork look like? What will the artists learn about themselves and others? 

The community is invited to visit the Little Station weekly (on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm or Saturdays from 10am-2pm to interact with the artists, and see how the work is progressing.

There will be a final big reveal Exhibition (& Sale) in October! Dates to be announced.

This residency project addresses coming out of isolation, letting go, experimentation, trusting one another, challenging your artwork in new ways, and coming together to start a visual conversation.

In the spirit of letting go and experimentation, Critical Mass has also let go of our typical Residency Application & Curation Process. No residency proposal pitches, or formal applications were requested. Artists were simply invited to show up to one of 2 information sessions and sign up if interested. Artist names were written down on paper and 10 artists were drawn at random.

What the Collaborative Residency entails: 

Two groups of 5 participating artists will cycle through and interact with 5 panels for the duration of this residency project. 

On Week 1, each artist will face a blank panel and engage with it in any chosen manner. Artists are not expected to complete the panel, but begin a visual conversation using their own visual vocabulary in a way that subsequent artists can respond to. When an artist completes their work on a panel they will write their name on the back of the panel to indicate they are done.

In Weeks 2-5 each artist will face a different panel. They will respond in their own visual language and medium to what the previous artist has done trying not to dominate the conversation but add to it. Each artist will respond to an increasing number of accumulated actions on each panel attempting to positively add to the developing composition. At each stage each artist will add their name to the list of artists on the back of the panel. In this way the sequence will be clear so artists will know which panels they have previously responded to.

After all the artists have worked on each panel, the artist who worked on the image first may choose to ‘have the last say’ to complete the image. 

As this project encourages collaboration and conversation each artist is encouraged to respond thoughtfully and respectfully to what they see.


Artists include: Laura Brown, Wendy Capp, Sean Carthew, Lee Higginson, and Heather Roy

over 5 weeks (Thursdays 6-8pm &/or Saturdays 10-2pm)
June 10 – July 22


Artists include: Jay Dart, Kate Hessin, Brian Hoad, Chrissy Poitras, and Kyle Topping

1 weekend (Sat & Sun) – Saturday, July 22 & Sunday, July 23


Laura Brown
Laura Brown

Laura finds inspiration in the lost and found in her life.

Old papers, magazines, maps and ephemera are incorporated into her collage work in ever-changing ways while textiles, notions and found object collections find their way into her mixed media pieces.

Themes of nature, the environment, community and our world as a whole are a continuous thread woven throughout her body of work.

Laura is an emerging artist living and creating in Port Hope Ontario.

Wendy Capp
Wendy Capp

An Emerging Visual Artist from Port Hope, Ontario. Wendy has been a Painter since 1997, and has recently started Exhibiting her work. She is intoxicated by the Canadian Landscape, Floral and Animals. Wendy mainly paints these three, almost exclusively with Acrylic on Canvas. Wendy breaks images down into colours and shapes with a vivid use of lines. Wendy’s Paintings are created using either Photos taken by herself or someone she personally knows. Sometimes it takes a couple photos to create a scene. Being Canadian is important to her and she feels it is reflected in her one of a kind paintings.

Sean Carthew
Sean Carthew

Sean Carthew has a BFA in Acting from the University of Windsor. He went on to work professionally as an actor for over 15 years. For the past 10 years Sean has been writing, creating, directing and producing well over 250 shows in the Port Hope area. Sean just completed teaching an acting course at TMU and has a short play coming to the Port Hope Arts Festival in August.

Lee Higginson
Lee Higginson

Lee Higginson is an emerging Port Hope artist with a visual arts practice centred around a love of community, connection and environment. She is also an arts facilitator under the identity of Fluke Craft.

Through the use of photography, found object assemblage and other mixed media, Lee’s work explores concepts of healing, joy and commemoration. Paramount to her practice is the notion that the process of art creation is every bit as important as the final product. She believes that every person has an equal right to enjoy, contribute and participate within it.

Lee lives and works in Port Hope with her two teen boys, one of whom lives with autism.

Heather Roy
Heather Roy

Through 27 years of teaching and making art, Heather Roy has seen the enrichment that making, viewing and sharing art can bring to people who are hungry for deep connections in their lives. Roy’s own hunger for these connections drives her to develop paintings which stem from dream, and represent altered realities. Some of the work arises from using familiar images in alien contexts, often inspired by old National Geographic photos. Some work derives from the textures, mark making and brushstrokes of random paint application, which resolve into more abstract pieces.

Heather grew up in Montreal and studied art at Dawson College. Upon retirement, Heather has been able to devote more time to her own art practice, creating new work and being a member of an artists’ collective (the Colborne Art Gallery).

Jay Dart
Jay Dart

Jay Dart is a drawist and designer who lives and draws with his family in Ashburn, Ontario. Over more than a decade, he has created approximately 300 pieces for his ongoing Yawnder series which consists primarily of drawings but also includes mixed-media works, installations, animated videos and bookworks. His most recent solo exhibition, Amongst the Yawns & Dust, at the Art Gallery of Northumberland in the Spring of 2023 featured a retrospective of works from this series that depict his wanderers within the vast landscapes in the Yawnder region and expand on his narrative that attempts to elucidate creative experiences. Dart continues to exhibit his work in galleries across Canada including an upcoming show at Gallery Jones in Vancouver. He is the recipient of multiple grants and honours and his work has been featured on CBC radio and television, including a profile on The Exhibitionists. Dart also teaches drawing and graphic design at Durham College and Seneca College.

Instagram @jaydart

Kate Hessin
Kate Hessin

Kate Hessin is an emerging multimedia artist, who lives and works in Port Hope, Ontario. Kate’s work moves fluidly from sculpture to works on paper. She is interested in exploring the ways in which society’s deeply held expectations for women manifest themselves into the lives of modern mothers. Kate playfully uses a folkloric whimsy and humour to create an inviting space for unpacking the darker aspects of motherhood – from postpartum anxiety to breastfeeding struggles.

Brian Hoad
Brian Hoad

Brian Hoad is a visual artist originally from Port Hope. After receiving training as Canadian artist David Blackwood’s studio assistant, he completed academic training in studio art at Queen’s University and University of Regina. Maintaining his studio in Kingston, ON, Hoad is the Technician Supervisor and an Adjunct Instructor at the Queen’s University Fine Art (Visual Art) Program.

Hoad’s artwork responds to his experience coming-of-age in Ontario, alongside an interest in how people have connected with wilderness spaces throughout history. Technically intrigued by historic processes applied in contemporary contexts, printmaking has had the greatest influence on his practice. Most recently, Hoad began exploring the cyanotype process during overlapping residencies at Critical Mass (Port Hope) and Modern Fuel & Union Gallery (Kingston). His goal has been to explore and redirect a pre-existing interest in working en plein air into a more holistic, non-representational format.

Chrissy Poitras
Chrissy Poitras

Chrissy Poitras is a multidisciplinary artist, an arts educator and co-owner and founder of Spark Box Studio- an arts organisation based in Prince Edward County. She has taught at OCAD U and Loyalist College in their Fine Art programs and is a graduate from the Queen’s University Bachelor of Fine Art Studio program.

Her work spans traditional painting and printmaking, mural work, public installation, resource sharing and collaborative exchange. Themes of her work centre around ideas of place – whether that be through the invention of abstracted environments, creating augmented reality or highlighting the beauty of our natural landscape.

Her solo work has recently been featured in the Mount Sinai 100 exhibition at the AGO and the Superradiance exhibition held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Her mural work can be seen throughout Prince Edward County, Peterborough and in private homes in Ontario.

Kyle Topping
Kyle Topping

Kyle Topping is an artist based in Prince Edward County, Ontario, where he co-owns and operates Spark Box Studio, an artist residency, print studio and educational facility. He is a former professor of Art & Design at Loyalist College and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queen’s University. His work has recently been featured in the Mount Sinai 100 exhibition at the AGO and the Superradiance exhibition held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

Drawing on scientific findings and current events, he creates work that has roots in collage and printmaking. The goal of his work is to balance the technical vernacular of scientific research with images that veer into the fantastical and absurd. His work explores the way the visual language of science confers credibility, developing a fictional scientific mythology to interrogate climate science, the environment and the impact we have on the planet.