Artist in Residence
Artist: Luke Despatie
Critical Mass Artist-in-Residence Program: Where do we go from here?
Critical Mass: A Centre for Contemporary Art is offering artists a paid four-week residency in an historic mid-1850s former little train station, made possible with funding from an Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Municipality of Port Hope.
If you’re looking for the quintessential heritage small-town community experience, then our residency in a mid-1850’s former little train station in downtown Port Hope, Ontario is for you!
Learn more about this residency opportunity by toggling through the program information below.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, March 27, 2022 by 11:59 p.m.
“During my two weeks with Critical Mass, the Port Hope arts community showed up daily with brilliant ideas and tremendous enthusiasm. Together, we built some awesome puppets and masks. The project culminated in a parade, and it was fantastic to see the town come out to enjoy our work and support the artists!”
Critical Mass: A Centre for Contemporary Art brings contemporary art to our community for all to experience because we believe art stirs our feelings and challenges how we see the world and our place within it.
Our mission for the Artist-in-Residence program is to provide socially-engaged artists with an opportunity to play an active role in our community — creating art experiences that will help shape the cultural vibrancy of Port Hope.
Program Overview & Goals
Critical Mass is offering artists a paid four-week residency in Port Hope, Ontario.
The Artist-in-Residence program provides socially-engaged artists with the time and space to generate new or bold ideas; showcase their creative practice; build their body of work and connect with individuals in the urban/rural small town community of Port Hope.
“Where do we go from here?” is the chosen theme of the 2022 Artist-in-Residence program. Artists may explore this theme as widely or as narrowly as their practice and interests dictate.
- Generate conversations and safe community engagement art activities that shift all of our thinking about contemporary art and our place in the world.
- Animate public space(s); generate art that may make use of, reinvent, or challenge people’s relationships with space in Port Hope
- Help to tell or expand Port Hope’s story
- Elevate what makes Port Hope great; contributing to civic pride and visitor appeal
- Broaden and increase arts engagement, especially among youth and seniors
- Create opportunities for inter-generational and/or inter-cultural exchange
During the residency, the artist’s project should engage residents and visitors of Port Hope, creatively animate or add signiﬁcance to public spaces, and promote an appreciation of contemporary art practices.
While the artist’s process is as important as the resulting artistic products, residency projects should produce an outcome such as, but not limited to:
- a temporary installation
- creative collaboration
- exhibition, or
- a shareable community experience
Selected artists will:
- Engage community members in creative experiences
- Deliver your project within the program’s agreed upon scope, timeline, and budget
- Update staff regularly on progress
- Speak with media
- Hold open studio hours
- Debrief at the end of the residency
These details will be reviewed with artists-in-residence before their term begins.
A central feature of the residency program is for artists to engage with the people of Port Hope. This can include one or more of the following:
- Provide a focused skill-share workshop or class
- Put on an exhibit (in the Little Station gallery or at another public location)
- Create a public installation (indoor, outdoor, or online)
- Give an artist talk or performance
- Create a shareable community experience
- Work with a particular segment of our community (youth, seniors, marginalized)
- Other ___________________ (tell us what you’d like to do!)
Artists early in their career may receive guidance and support as they develop skills in these areas.
Selected artists will work with our Program Director to meet our program goals and to deliver a project that reﬂects a balance of creative practice development, theme exploration, collaboration, and community engagement.
Where appropriate, Critical Mass encourages artists to donate or leave us with one piece of artwork, upon completion of their residency. This work would be used to support our organization’s future community-based arts programming.
We are seeking Artist Residency candidates who are:
1) socially-engaged contemporary artists
2) at all career stages
3) artists living and working in Northumberland County
4) individual artists, curators, or artist collectives
Please note: Collective applicants will have access to the same stipend as individual artists.
Best-suited for applicants with:
- community engagement experience
- an exhibition or publication record
- formal training in visual arts at the post-secondary level
- equivalent experience from apprenticeship and/or peer recognition
Alumni: Applications from artists that have worked with Critical Mass before January, 2019 are encouraged.
Critical Mass is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness. We welcome the unique contributions that you bring.
Residency Terms & Stipend
Critical Mass will award paid 4-week residencies, between June, 2022 and September, 2022.
We currently have an opportunity for a local artist, curator, or artist collective for a paid 4-week residency between August 1-31, 2022.
June 2022 (FILLED)
July 2022 (FILLED)
August 2022 (OPEN to LOCAL Submissions)
The maximum total stipend awarded to a selected artist is $5,000 with 50% paid at the start of the residency and 50% upon conclusion.
4-week residency = $5,000
What does the stipend cover?
The stipend is intended to meet the artist’s basic needs while doing focused work and includes a contribution to assist artists with travel expenses. Artists will be responsible for their own living arrangements, personal expenses, materials, and supplies.
We want to ensure that our artists are successful. Critical Mass will provide ofﬁcial conﬁrmation of your project should you wish to seek additional funding for your residency project.
While materials and supplies will be the responsibility of the artist, some may be accessible through community partnerships.
To ﬁnd out more, contact our Program Director.
Facilities & Equipment
A Unique Work Space
Built in the mid 1850s, the Little Station might have been the ﬁrst railway station built in Port Hope—by the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada. The restored three-season, two-level building now serves as a multi-use creative space.
As an artist-in-residence, you will have full access to the entire building.
Studio / Gallery Space
The upper level of the Little Station is 375 sq ft with 10 ft ceilings. It can be used for installations and exhibits, facilitating community workshops and/or for your studio workspace.
The lower level is also 375 sq ft with 7 ft ceilings and can be used as studio workspace and/or for storage. Like all public buildings, the Little Station is smoke-free.
Tools, Equipment and Supplies
The Little Station has basic shop and hand tools, as well as workbenches, folding tables, and chairs for the Artist-in-Residence Program. Artists will also have access to general ofﬁce supplies and equipment (e.g. computer, wiﬁ, colour laser printer, and projector). A full inventory list will be provided to selected artists.
The upper level of the Little Station is wheelchair accessible. However, the lower level is not. It has two steps down.
The building does not have running water or washrooms. Artists will have access to the public washrooms behind Town Hall that are a 2-minute walk from the building.
If you have any other requirements, material needs, or requests, please let us know.
Resources for Selected Artists
Artists-in-Residence will have a dedicated Program Director to:
- Acquire permits for animating public spaces, as appropriate
- Facilitate access to municipal facilities, venues and public spaces
- Connect artists with collaborators and volunteers
- Source accommodation
- Mount exhibits, if applicable
- Coordinate promotional materials (writing, editing, design and printing)
- Arrange exposure for the artists: interview opportunities, promotion, and documenting of work
Residency recipients will receive an information package detailing resources and partnership contacts.
Artists will have access to urban and rural sites and partnerships for community engagement and creative animation opportunities.
Some sites and venues may include:
Parks, Trails, and Riverside features; Community Buildings like libraries, sports or seniors centres
Little Station features:
Little Station, Lent Lane, Elias St Fountain
Partnership examples include:
Northumberland Makerspace; Port Hope Schools, Agricultural Heritage Club, Green Wood Coalition, and more.
In the Community
The Little Station is situated in the heart of downtown Port Hope. It is a short walking distance from the main street shops, cafés, restaurants, drugstore, post ofﬁce, library, theatre, LCBO, and the Ganaraska River and Lake Ontario.
Critical Mass is committed to our community. The central location of our Little Station reflects our commitment to engaging with and shaping a vital and vibrant community.
Artists are encouraged to schedule open hours to engage with the public, give an artist talk, facilitate a workshop, or host an open house during their residency.
Port Hope sits along Lake Ontario (one hour east of Toronto) at the mouth of the Ganaraska River and offers an urban and rural mix of natural and historical assets to explore. Urban Port Hope features architectural gems and friendly shopkeepers on its ‘best preserved’ main street, and has been used in film and television (e.g., Stephen King’s IT movies and Murdoch Mysteries); rural Port Hope is lush with agricultural heritage, rolling hills, and beautiful vistas and farms.
What Sets Us Apart
Our small community is our strength. We connect with and look after each other, and we want you to experience what that’s like.
You will be welcomed by our friendly, earnest, volunteer group of artists and townsfolk. We are eager to make you feel at home. You can count on us to be your tour guides around the community, your resource to facilitate connections, and your new pals to meet up for copious amounts of coffee or communal meals.
We are here to support your professional needs as well. We want you to have a successful residency. Our Program Director will be dedicated to promoting and documenting your work so that you have opportunities for exposure before, during, and/or after your residency.
Application Requirements & Timeline
March 27, 2022 by 11:59 p.m.
Review & Interviews
Application requirements include:
- Artist Statement and Bio (max 150 words)
- Project Proposal (max 250 words / 1 page)
- Curriculum Vitae or Résume
- For visual examples, attach up to 3 images of recent artwork
- Include an Image List with title, size, or
- Include a Media List with links to ﬁlm/video or audio work
- Please be sure to include your website and social media links with your List of work samples.
If you have further questions, please reach out.
Contact Debbie: firstname.lastname@example.org