Call for Artist-in-Residence: Re-Focus Sustainable Art

Call for Artist-in-Residence: Re-Focus Sustainable Art
Electronic submission deadline: June 10, 2012
(please view other proposal submission guidelines below)

The environmental impact of urbanization and industrialization has reached a critical point. It is now clear that our relationship to nature has drastically changed over time and that sustainable ways of living are necessary in order to deal with the complexity of the environmental challenges intrinsic to our subsistence; artists continue to fulfill a role of creating new forms of representations that illustrate, embody and propose different ways of understanding our relation to Nature.

Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) in collaboration with the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) and the Khyber Centre for the Arts are hosting an artist-in-residency and public presentation of ideas that brings together contemporary artistic practices and current environmental research and engagement.

Description of Residency
The selected artist’s proposal will outline the production of a site-specific artwork that challenges audiences to re-consider the idea of Nature and to explore new representations of ecological thinking. The challenge to the artist(s) will be to create a work that can be considered ecological in itself (and not necessarily the subject of the work.) For example, by considering an artwork’s material or immaterial origin, production process and future sustainability.

The duration of the residency extends for 4-weeks taking place within the province of Nova Scotia between September and November 2012, (the exact dates are negotiated with artist and committee).  The selected artist will be expected to complete the proposed work and to engage with different community groups in his/her process of production and dissemination, including staff and members of EAC and VANS. During the residency, the artist will be encouraged to conduct a manageable number of studio visits with members of VANS.

In the final week of the residency, the artist will present the documentation of their process at the Khyber Centre for Arts in Halifax, NS through exhibition, an artist talk and a master class, and also, engage in organized public discussions on contemporary eco-art practices and the intersection of contemporary art and environmental practices.

Proposals will be accepted from artists across Canada who have experience in producing art work for public discussion and within professional contexts. Artists submitting must be a current member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS), even if they are applying from out of province. Please note that artists can attain a VANS membership at the time of application.

A $2000 artist fee will be paid for the 4-week residency, as well as a small project material stipend and a per diem. Accommodation will be provided as well as any travel necessary in and around Nova Scotia. For such purposes, it would be ideal if the artist had a valid driver’s license.

All artistic media is welcome. It is recommended that artists research environmental projects initiated by Ecology Action Centre, current environmental issues, and consider these in their proposed concept and materials, before submitting their proposal.

All submissions must include:

  • A 1-page proposal detailing the project and referencing supporting research;
  • 5 JPG (500 kb max) images of previously completed work related to your proposal and up to 5 digital images of the proposed project sketches [or a selection of time-based work not exceeding an accumulated duration of 10 minutes of previous and proposed work (max)] (CDR or DVD only);
  • A corresponding complete annotated documentation list (numbered, title, media, date,   dimensions, description of work);
  • Curriculum Vitae CV (3 pages max);
  • An artist statement (500 words max);
  • A project materials budget.

Complete proposals will be reviewed by a peer committee. Please send your submission electronically to the Re-Focus Residency Committee c/o VANS at or by mail at 1113 Marginal Road Halifax, NS B3H 4P7.  

Hard copy submissions sent through the mail must be post-marked before June 8th. Electronic submissions must be received by June 10, 2012 at 5pm.

If the artist would like the submitted exhibition proposal returned, they must include a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) with their submission.

Selected artists will be notified by email, within 3-weeks of the submission deadline

About the Partners

Ecology Action Centre (EAC)
Since 1971 the Ecology Action Centre has been a vital and independent voice for environmental sustainability in Nova Scotia. The EAC is proud to be a membership-based, grassroots organization with an effective and unique structure and approach; we have over 1,200 members and 300 active volunteers. The EAC’s environmental work has a strong emphasis on environmental education and community development. For more information, visit

Khyber Centre for the Arts
Established in 1995, the Khyber Centre for the Arts fosters critical thought in society by operating an artist-run centre that presents non-commercial contemporary art and facilitates dialogue, social interaction and information exchange for professional and emerging artists and interested members of the general public. For more information, visit

Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS)
Working for the advancement and rights of the visual arts and artists in Nova Scotia, VANS is an inclusive organization established in 1976. The non-profit service organization provides exhibition, marketing and educational opportunities and support to the visual arts sector across Nova Scotia. Recognized as a critical resource for the visual arts in Nova Scotia, the public frequently consults VANS about Nova Scotia-based artists and the visual arts sector, in general. Since 1978, VANS has published Visual Arts News, the only magazine in Atlantic Canada dedicated to contemporary art. As a primary resource for visual artists, providing access to a community of peers, VANS fosters excellence, skills development and lifelong learning in the arts.

Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) gratefully acknowledges the support of the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and their grants to small organizations program for supporting this project.

Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS)
1113 Marginal Road Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
t” (902) 423-4694, 1-866-225-8267, f: (902) 422-0881
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