Western Front’s artists-in-residence program was initiated in 1977 by artist and Western Front co-founder Kate Craig. It remains the heart of our programming today.
This curated program provides invited local and international artists with the opportunity to pursue new developments in their practices and to produce new work. It focuses on artists working across music, media, time-based visual art, performance, and literature. While in residence, artists are supported with a fee, production budget, and curatorial and technical expertise, and are hosted on-site at Western Front or off-site on location, as required. The number of residencies and their structure and duration are tailored to each individual artist and project.
Many projects produced through our artists-in-residence program are done so in collaboration with partner institutions in Canada and internationally. We also offer audiences opportunities to engage with residents and their work at various stages of a project’s development and presentation.
While our new digital archive is being prepared, you can search past residents at Western Front’s legacy website here.
While in residence, Jay Pahre will develop a new project titled Weather Report. The project will take the form of an online series of writings that will be broadcast and tuned to weather formations across gitchi-gami (lake superior) and minong (isle royale). The lake is as much a place of passage as it is a boundary; in the winter the water freezes, forming an ice-bridge between the archipelago and the mainland. In the summer, the open water gives way for crossing by floating log, boat, or swimming. Drawing from the ways atmospheres collide and shift interactively with the changing ecologies across the region, Weather Report will query these points of connection along the avenue of speculative writing.
Jay Pahre is a queer and trans settler artist, writer, and cultural worker currently based on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Weaving between drawing, sculpture, and writing, his work queries trans and queer ecologies beyond the human. Originally from the Midwestern United States, Pahre’s work engages the shifting ecologies of the Great Lakes and Great Plains regions.
While in residence, Siku Allooloo will work on the development of a feature-length documentary in honour of her mother, historic Indigenous women’s activism, and Taíno resurgence.
Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian/Taíno filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist, poet, and community builder. She comes from Denendeh, Northwest Territories, by way of Haïti through her mother and Mittimatalik, Nunavut, through her father. Allooloo often reimagines conventional forms as imbued by her cultural traditions, oral history, and land-based practice. She resides in the unceded homeland of K’ómoks First Nation.
While in residence, Rebecca La Marre will host six workshops in collaboration with invited guests KC Adams, Rob Froese, Sharon Kivland, Danny Kostyshin, and Anahita Jamali Rad, alongside a working group of ten artists selected from an open call process: Rosamunde Bordo, Amelia Butcher, Xinwei Che, Hannah Crosson, Amy Gogarty, Chloe Lalonde, Josephine Lee, Christian Newby, Emiliano Sepulveda, and Julia Wong. Together they will think, read, make, and play within the intersections of craft-based art practices and writing. The workshops will lead towards the production of a new publication and a series of ceramic writing tablets for exhibition.
Rebecca La Marre is a queer artist based in Saskatoon, Canada, with a writing, making, and performance practice. She uses clay, text, and the human voice to give form to questions about what it means to be a person in the world. Her activity is driven by what she reads and a need to test how ideological structures, trauma, language, and ritual can shape bodies. The first person to teach her about clay was her grandmother Ellen La Marre, who displayed her work in domestic settings and craft markets. She holds an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is the former editor and publications coordinator for Remai Modern, Saskatoon, and an emeritus editor for E.R.O.S. Journal, London.
Presented in partnership with Peripheral Review.
While in residence, Dani and Sheilah ReStack will further the development of a new feature length experimental video titled Stovepipe to the Sun. The work will bring together research on the Sanctified Sisters (a nineteenth-century separatist women community in Belton, Texas), a speculative fiction where they cast themselves as descents of this group, and autobiographical recordings of their domestic life as they struggle to raise their teenage daughter Rose within a patriarchal society.
Dani and Sheilah ReStack are collaborators. Feral Domestic, the trilogy of videos they made from 2016 to 2022 (including Strangely Ordinary This Devotion, Come Coyote, and Future From Inside) combines documentary footage from their lives, re-enactments and fantasy sequences for queer feminist imagining of past, present, and future. They live in Columbus, United States with their two daughters and are committed to the domestic as a place of unruly possibility—a portal for emotional logic, fragmentation, and new narratives that allows the quotidian to inform the sublime. Dani is Associate Professor at Ohio State University. Sheilah is Associate Professor at Denison University.